retailciooutlook

Raising the Benchmark of a Good Customer Experience

By Djamel Toubrinet, Marketing Director, Americas–Retail, Cegid Group

Djamel Toubrinet, Marketing Director, Americas–Retail, Cegid Group

Retailers are no strangers to the concept of remodeling their businesses. Fresh assortments, new products, updated store décor and differentiated marketing are all part and parcel of running a successful retail enterprise. They have been for many years. Yet today, retail executives around the globe see a burgeoning need to remodel in a manner that goes deeper than new fixtures, fashions and promotions. This remodeling involves the very essence of retail brand building and the core mechanisms by which retail brands engage with customers. The good news: All of this transformation can be supported by a single retail commerce platform.   

Building a brand means building a community

The benchmark of a good customer experience is constantly increasing and evolving. Strong brands are called to take their emotional connection with the consumer to new levels. In this retail landscape, brand building is about much more than advertising imagery and messaging, though these elements remain important and must translate into social-mobile media. Thriving retail brands nurture deeper connections with shoppers by building communities. They are tapping into consumers’ lives, including needs and wants for products, services, content and experiences. Consider just a few examples.

• Lolë: At this active wear retailer, customers can practice yoga at store locations. The Montreal-based brand organizes “meet-ups,” encouraging its community of followers to socialize and get active at its stores and partnering fitness facilities. The company also produces the Lolë White Tour, a series of giant public yoga sessions and entertainment events dedicated to peace. This year Lolë is taking the tour on the road to over 50 cities globally.

Companies like Lolë invite the consumer to seamlessly glide between different life activities, from exercise to meditation to shopping. To offer these consumers an equally frictionless shopping experience, Lolë relies on a connected and centralized retail platform powered by the cloud. This way, the brand is ready to meet its loyal community members at the point of service, regardless of how, when and where they want to shop.

"Thriving retail brands nurture deeper connections with shoppers by building communities. They are tapping into consumers’ lives, including needs and wants for products, services, content and experiences"

• Devialet: A sound technologies specialist, Devialet sells Phantom brand wireless speakers, speaker-mounting accessories, professional grade sound amplifiers and more. At its core, the brand is entrenched in music in ways that relate to what it sells but also reach well beyond the seller role. Partnering with music label Fondamenta and a global network of sound archaeologists, Devialet released the “Lost Recordings” collection. The partners traveled the world to unearth rare recordings on analog tapes, which they recovered and re-mastered into high-quality limited-edition vinyl and lacquer albums. Then Devialet distributed the collection in digital and CD formats.

At a new Devialet store in Hong Kong, you can request a private listening session with a team member. At every turn, the company is solidifying its authenticity as a serious player in the sound community.

At retailers such as Devialet, a holistic, 360-degree view of the consumer is essential for offering a highly personalized in-store experience. For example, working closely with Cegid, Devialet is able to give its associates a real-time view into an individual customer’s preferences, purchases and any special requirements. Then the salesperson is able to create a truly engaging store encounter aligned with the shopper’s unique tastes.

• ASICS: Athletic shoes and apparel are the products ASICS makes, but the brand is really selling its expertise in physical fitness and human well-being. Through the “My ASICS” community, you can quickly build a personalized training plan to meet running goals and tap into a digital community where other runners share tips. The ASICS Institute of Sports Science conducts R&D regarding human form and motion, materials and product construction.

• ASICS recently opened a new concept store in Brussels, which Sportswear International described as a “fully integrated sports experience” based on ASICS’ “Sound Mind, Sound Body” philosophy. Shoppers can interact with digital touch points in the store to check out local running routes or visit a community room to participate in free workout classes. Onitsuka Tiger, a brand within the ASICS family, opened a pop-up store and gallery this spring in New York City. The space features not just footwear and apparel but works by local Japanese artists. “Through a series of cultivated and themed in-store events commencing in April 2017 and ending in December 2017, Onitsuka Tiger will directly speak and engage with its core audience through fashion, lifestyle, health and music,” ASICS said.

Even as they blend fashion with the arts and physiology, innovators like ASICS are also leveraging technology to reduce database duplications and see a much clearer picture of each shopper’s overall purchases and activity. In addition, they are using the latest retail software to provide staff with real-time in-store inventory information across their enterprises. Armed with this visibility, ASICS can save the sale when a pair of shoes isn’t available at a specific location but can be fulfilled from another, thus removing the risk of a bad customer experience.

Technology as an enabler

Technology is a powerful enabler to help retailers take their brands in new directions, including the development of communities and experiences that transcend the digital and physical worlds. Behind the innovative consumer engagement at Lolë, Devialet and ASICS is Cegid’s connected commerce platform, providing a real-time view into customers, products and the retail value chain. These leading brands and many others are leveraging Yourcegid Retail to cultivate intimacy and offer personalized experiences.

Is your retail organization ready to remodel? Contact Cegid today to discuss how to get started and move the ball forward toward your brand-building goals.

Retail Kiosk Solutions Special