Merging digital and physical shopping experiences
This European global fashion retailer delights as much in creating a great customer experience as it does in offering stylish apparel.
To stay attractive, relevant and engaging for increasingly connected customers, the retailer is pursuing a digital transformation strategy to merge its physical, in-store experience with its online, e-commerce services. By aligning key customer touchpoints in the physical store with its online presence, the retailer intends to optimize its investment in both digital and physical services to enhance the brand via a truly integrated and memorable customer experience.
In a world fast becoming dependent on smart devices and smart buildings, the retailer first decided to innovate with smart fitting rooms.
The smart fitting room and beyond
To realize this vision, it turned to the Capgemini Smart Digital Store framework. By applying technology that makes physical stores smart, digital and connected, the Smart Digital Store framework enables a whole host of new capabilities and services.
Capgemini integrated the smart fitting room solution with the retailer’s existing RFID inventory tracking system. The system now recognizes the RFID tag of any item in the fitting room, triggering an immersive, interactive display on a wall-mounted touchscreen.
The display features a range of product images, and mirrors the company’s website with key product and pricing information. Customers can also click through to find further information, such as sustainability or desi gn features. The solution also collects data on fitting patter ns and sales trends for later analysis and strategic decision-making. Both the RFID gateways and the touchscreens feature processors from Capgemini’s global partner Intel, for optimum power and responsiveness with built-in high-level security.
Because the Capgemini Smart Digital Store is an integrated platform that provides multiple solutions, the architecture supporting the smart fitting rooms also serves as the retailer’s hub for all ongoing and future digital transformation initiatives integrated into core systems such as ERP and e-commerce.
From concept to full solution
The retailer knew that a partner with a breadth of retail technology experience would be essential to drive forward its goal to merge its online and offline shopping experience. At the Capgemini Global Retail Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) in Lille, France, the company discovered firsthand the strength of Capgemini’s commitment to the future of retail.
By working closely with alliance partner Intel on the development of the Smart Digital Store framework, Capgemini ensures that the underlying architecture is more than robust to meet the most demanding requirements, while core elements like security and privacy are present at all levels. Through their partnership with Intel, Capgemini pushes the boundaries of ‘business as usual’ by applying advanced, scalable and reliable technology. At the Global Retail AIE, this partnership creates an environment for organizations to explore, discover, test and apply innovations to their own individual use cases.
Empowering customers, improving operations
By recreating the familiar online shopping experience in its stores and empowering customers with greater product information, the retailer unified the customer experience across two major channels – online and in store.
With more information at their fingertips, customers are now better able to make a quicker, positive buying decision thanks to the enhanced experience.
With data generated by smart fitting rooms, the retailer now also has greater visibility into how many people use the fitting rooms, the items they take with them and conversion rates. By combining and analyzing this data they can spot patterns and trends to optimize their stock levels, pricing and even working processes. The company can also better understand the performance of individual items – if a jacket is often tried on but rarely purchased, the company can explore the potential influencing factors such as pricing, product design or staff training issues.
A Smart Digital Store roadmap for the future
The retailer’s first Smart Digital Store implementation firmly established the platform and architecture foundation. This first installment enabled item scanning in fitting rooms, display control, enhanced store security, and advanced analytics and reporting. As the Smart Digital Store is designed to connect existing and future digital systems to truly blend digital and physical worlds, in the future the smart fitting room solution will incorporate information from the retailer’s customer loyalty program and online user browsing history to make personalized best offer recommendations and more.
The smart fitting room solution is being rolled out across several core stores as well as those under a subsidiary brand. To support this level of scalability, the solution incorporates the latest Intel® processors with Intel® vPro™ technology, including centralized device management and embedded security enhancements, such as full-disk encryption and secure erase command to protect user data. These capabilities will become increasingly important as the company’s Smart Digital Store initiatives evolve to include more sensitive customer data.
The retailer also plans to further develop its Smart Digital Stor e deployments by:
- Connecting employees to the system so customers can request assistance, such as items in different sizes or related products, without leaving the fitting room.
- Enabling customers to text or email item details for later consideration.
- Creating in-store ‘endless aisle’ virtual video walls and magic mirrors.
After a decade or more of heavy investment in their online shopping experiences, retailers are finding the physical store falling behind customer expectations. By blending the digital and the physical with the Capgemini Smart Digital Store concept, this fashion retailer is reversing the trend by creating an engaging and memorable shopping experience for its customers. It has also laid the foundation for future innovation, customization and transformation acceleration.