Trends in retail: the digital in store!

Twinkle Magazine

We are moving towards a retail environment in which online and offline shopping increasingly converge. In and around the shop floor, Digital technology is rapidly advancing. What are the most important trends around the digital in store? And how do these trends help to serve customers at their beck and call?

1. Bridge between online and offline shopping

More and more online retailers also have physical stores. Take electronics provider Coolblue, for
example. Customers become interested in a product online and look further into the store.
Conversely, it works as well. A customer sees a product 'in real life' and orders it online in a different
version. An integrated customer experience is important in such an omni-channel approach. You
serve customers from one e-commerce platform, based on data you collect online and offline and
deploy in real time. The connected store forms the bridge between virtual and 'real' shopping. It is a
store full of digital gadgets. Like smart cameras and sensors, with which you collect valuable data
about the behaviour and profile of offline customers. For most retailers, this information is still a
black box. In addition, you will find all kinds of interactive systems in the connected store. More on
that below.

2. Online ordering in the shop: a formula for success

You can't always have all your products in the store. The range is too wide, they take up too much
valuable space or they are simply sold out. Instead of selling 'no', there is a better alternative.
Customers simply place their web order in the store. This often happens at the checkout. But with
ANWB, for example, they have positive experiences with ‘order terminals’ in the stores. Customers
buy products that are not 'on the shelf' online via the terminal. An employee helps them if necessary.
The turnover benefits the store, so that motivates. Since the introduction of the terminals, the web
sales of the ANWB physical stores have increased sharply.

3. Smart dressing mirrors for increased convenience

In today's digitized shop mirrors offer extensive possibilities. For example, customers can use a smart
mirror to ask whether an employee wants to bring a garment in a different size or colour. The mirror
automatically recognises the garment and sends the message to the store staff. This way, customers
never have to be scantily dressed again in search of someone to help. It is also no longer necessary to
ask how something looks from behind. While the customer is spinning around, the mirror takes
pictures. Because the images are displayed with a delay, the customer can also see his back. Tommy
Hilfiger, a clothing chain in England, is already making full use of smart mirrors. In the Netherlands,
this is still limited to his shop in the Amsterdam P.C. Hooftstraat.

4. Interactive shop windows: customer contact inside and outside the store

Your shop window is a great way to attract customers' attention. But when your shop is closed, they
can't walk in to investigate and buy the product. Interesting prospects could be passing by anytime.
With interactive shop windows, you can also make contact with customers outside of closing time.
You change part of your shop window into a touch screen. This is possible with a special foil. People
can easily request information about the products via the touchscreen. Just like the aforementioned
order terminals, interactive shop windows are also ideal for shops in shops. As a retailer, you can still
show what you have 'in house' with a limited amount of space.

5. Just walk-out technology: Leave the store without paying

The possibilities of a connected store can go far. In America you now have 'Amazon Go', a
supermarket without a cash register. Customers open the door of the store with their mobile app,
take their groceries from the shelf and walk outside again. The groceries are automatically paid for
via a virtual payment card. This is the end of the queue for the cash register. In France, the Casino
supermarket chain in Paris is experimenting with 'Le 4'. Customers walk in there 24/7. They can
choose their products themselves, possibly accompanied by a digital assistant, or tap on a large
picking wall. They are then collected by an employee. Payment is done via an app or automated
checkout, so there is no just walk-out technology like Amazon.
The connected store offers consumers more shopping convenience and retailers new opportunities.
They can get to know their customers better and serve them better - offline and online, at any time
of day.


Read the article in Dutch.