User, user, user?
“In the face of technological and digital evolutions, relationships between companies and their clients have deeply changed, and are now characterized by an increase in the number of contact points. As user patterns become more complicated, the balance of power changes between sellers and customers, who are progressively turning into “expert clients” thanks to free access to information, and who drape themselves in the power of recommendation (sharing of opinions).”
“Although every company’s objective remains the same – to make profit –, it has to rely on the building of a unique client – or user – experience. The “Mobile First” era comes with the “User First” one, which is characterized by the hyper-customization of the offer and of the experience, allowing users to feel considered and to create a long-term bond with the brand.
Here is another – evocative – concept: that of slow retail. It aims at giving the customer a reason to stay longer in a store or to maintain contact with the brand, and gives them a memorable experience. One example of slow retail is the provision of free mobile phone chargers in stores. Customers stay longer in points of sales, and baskets increase by about 10 to 15%.”
« Positionner l’expérience client au centre des stratégies des retailers est intimement lié au second concept : celui de profiter du digital pour servir le client en physique. »
“Putting client experience at the heart of retailers’ strategies is deeply connected to the second concept: that of using digital technologies to serve physical clients.”
Why chose between “digital” and “physical”?
“This is what “Phygital” is about: as user patterns are more and more designed by omnichannel retailing, companies also have to turn to a no-silo management structure, and see all online and offline channels as a consolidated whole. What is more, despite the unquestionable step up of the digital, new technologies and connected devices fields, physical stores and human interaction remain the base of client relationship and experience. This is why the physical world will not disappear to be replaced by the digital one. On the contrary, they support each other and work together. We talk about Phygital: to use digital power directly in points of sale.”
“Digital can be benefit physical: thanks to new technologies, each client will enjoy a customized experience.
Let us take the example of Sephora, who developed an app, MySephora, in order to enhance the relationship between clients/customers and advisers. This app is destined to advisers and is available on their tablets. It gives them access to purchase histories, customized advice, offers and also allows payment through the device: no need to take the checkout line!”
Stores: a redefined role?
“Because of the digitalization of points of sales, stores are changing. If they used to be impersonal, sales-only places, they now offer real experiences to stand out from the digital world. Customers must not come to a store only to purchase a product, they have to come to get information and education.”
“Let us have a look at mobile giant Orange, who opened a new concept store in the Opera area in Paris. It displays four floors and offers visitors a unique immersion: self-service virtual reality headsets, a lounge, new connected devices, interactive workshops, individual coaching sessions, etc. Everything is designed to tell customers about the innovations offered by Orange and its advisers. This transformation also impacts the HR department: sales agents become real coaches and add real value to the experience.”
“Players like Undiz do not hesitate to give an additional role to their stores. No more storage warehouses: they distribute their stocks between their stores so they can use as much space as possible for clients, and in order to increase their agility – especially by offering 3-hour delivery from their e-commerce website.”
One thing is certain: yesterday’s stores looks nothing like tomorrow’s.
One last word
“In the face of an increased competition due to the emergence of pure players and of hyper-connected, hyper-informed customers, retailers are taking a real turn in the building of their strategies.
The goal is to catch up on the gap between consumer habits and market practices. Indeed, retailers were long driven by a race towards profits, but they are now implementing no-silo, omnichannel strategies that enable them to offer a unified experience to clients – both in store and online – by making full use of technological progress and collected data.
However, not everyone agrees on the strategic priorities between stores and e-commerce: should digital serve stores or should stores serve digital?”
Are you interested in web-to-store? Would you like to learn more about it? Contact us! We will be pleased to have a chat with you!Contact us !