Retail & Distribution

The key in-store technologies that transform the customer journey

9 April 2020

4 min
The retail industry has always led the way when it comes to embracing new technologies. Here at Cegid, we truly admire retailers that are pushing the boundaries to make more possible. Our mission is to help our retail clients keep pace with change, so they ‘never miss a sale’. In this exclusive blog we’re championing stand-out in-store innovations, revealing how smart retailers are using unified commerce and mobile tools to optimise sales, and triumph in the race for customer loyalty. You’ll also learn about the Cegid Innovation Store – which promises to bring the best omnichannel capabilities to life – a chance to walk in your future customers’ shoes.

Personalised service, heightened in-store experience

Right at the cutting edge of global retail is fashion chain Zara. Its flagship store in Westfield east London features interactive mirrors equipped with RFID that can detect the product a customer is holding, allowing them to see what it looks like on a model displayed in the mirror. There is a very impressive joined-up approach to inventory management. How incredible that here, online orders are available in store on the same day, if made before 2pm, or the next day if made in the afternoon – that’s fast.

Frictionless commerce, seamless order management

Our client Longchamp is aiming for the same high levels of frictionless service and unified commerce in its stores. With our help the luxury handbag brand has been testing new omnichannel technologies adding popular services like click-and-collect, endless aisle and ship-from-store, to meet ‘next gen’ customer needs.

Mobile technologies will be tested in Longchamp flagships so that sales assistants can more easily serve customers using the latest omnichannel technologies while on the shopfloor. Clienteling and loyalty apps can also deliver a far more personalised service. For instance, it’s possible to access information on individual customers’ previous shopping preferences or their nationality – so that staff have a better idea of what to offer on the day.

Rising consumer expectations

Retailers must modernise because consumer expectations are rising. Customers want more retailtainment, tailored services, higher-quality products, unique experiences, stream-lined ways to shop and pay. According to Epsilon research, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer relevant, personalised experiences.

Upgrading stores to become more digitally-enabled also helps retailers gain competitive advantage. As Accenture notes, retailers that hesitate to develop and execute a digital or ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) strategy will open the door for competitors – old and new alike – “to swoop in and capture early IoT mind share and market share”.

Unified shopping is here

We’re well aware of the pressure to offer unified shopping and digitised stores. So we have channelled our passion into a very special project. To help retailers bring the physical and digital worlds together, we have developed the Cegid Innovation Store. This short video gives a taste of what’s on display in our state-of-the-art retail space in Lyon, France.

Our intention is that this inspirational space will allow site visitors (or those taking a virtual tour) to complete a full omnichannel journey for themselves. They can sample a host of new digitally connected services. These include smart fitting rooms and virtual reality-enabled customer experiences that showcase how digitised stores can help boost customer engagement, as well as drive conversions.

Bringing omnichannel concepts to life

Services such as click and collect, digital catalogues and endless aisle-selling via employee tablets can be seen and tried, as well as mobile payment, virtual try-ons and ‘social mirrors’ where shoppers can take selfies via interactive digital mirrors.

Another important element in the futuristic Cegid Innovation Store, is inventory tracking, order management and stock visibility. We can demonstrate RFID, and the rich data intelligence this provides.

Cegid has a uniquely global reach and therefore a deep understanding of international retail trends and innovations. So we wanted to share our vision of how we see this exciting sector evolving in the coming years.

Mobile innovations empower staff in stores

It’s clear that the most innovative technologies offer an exceptional customer experience: delivering products where, when and how shoppers wish to have them. At the heart of this, in physical stores, is empowering sales associate with practical ‘unified commerce ‘tools to sell and serve better in store whether the products are available there or not.

If coronavirus has taught us one thing, it is that traditional omnichannel models will need to change so that channel services can adapt with speed to unprecedented demand and supply chain limitations. Certainly empowering people, so that the organisation can be agile when circumstances change, will be essential moving forward.

Time to explore!

In a post-Covid-19 world consumers will once again expect to shop anywhere, anytime, anyhow. But for many retailers there are still challenges when it comes to facilitating this. We want retail professionals to explore Cegid Innovation Store and begin to scope out and visualise the possible. We hope the concept will guide them towards the most appropriate opportunities to take advantage of, and ensure they make the right decisions for the future of their business.

Talk to us today, and discover how establishing a unified shopping journey will help you build customer loyalty, maximise your profits and never miss a sale! 

Read the latest ebook on retail trends: Retail The New Way.