On a store tour thanks to Paris Retail Week
On a sunny day of September, in margin of the Paris Retail Week show I had the chance to follow one of the store tours. Better than seeing the famous sights of the French capital (not that they aren’t nice, but I have seen them all), the tour stopped at five different shops that implemented tech solutions.
Our first stop led us to the store of Salomon, a French brand specialized in running and hiking gear. Salomon’s products are very technical so it seems only logical that their brand store also uses a lot of technology. Interactive screens help customers to get information and even compare products. At the checkout, the store obviously has a classic cash register, but employees can also assist customers with tablets.
But the most interesting feature is that the store offers the possibility to make tailor made shoes. Any customer can make an appointment and, with the help of technology and real shoemakers, obtain his own personalized and perfectly adapted pair of running shoes.
This store aims to offer sustainable and ethical consumption at all levels. For example, packagings are prohibited and lots of sales happen in bulk. Interactive screens are available but that’s not the main item you’ll notice in this shop. One will also pay attention to the kids corner, the click and collect service, the tablets to help customers, the area where information sessions or small events can be held, etc., but most of all to the service for the ones who need assistance in choosing their perfect (and often tailor made) cosmetics.
Another cosmetics shop but here also selling ‘mainstream brands’, unlike the Aromazone. At first look, you can notice the classic codes of a cosmetic shop, and here also sales staff uses tablets. These allow for example to offer a personalized service, access profiles of customers, access product information etc.
But the most interesting item is at the back of the store. Clients can get their own personalized skin diagnosis. A customer can in a few minutes get information about skin complexion, pigmentation, etc. According to the diagnostic, the sales staff will offer an even more personalized advice.
Nature et Découvertes
Here is another shop where tablets for sales staff have been implemented. The most interesting item is that the store we visited is quite small compared to other stores of the Nature et Découvertes chain. So the tablets are really put into use and the store manager was quite enthusiast about sharing his positive experience of the tablet implementation: better service, happier customers and most of all increased turnover.
Finally we stopped at Leroy Merlin, who opened a DIY shop at the prestigious Place de la Madeleine. On 5000 sq meters, clients get a very wide offer but also personalized service at certain areas: for example to design a kitchen, or to access the famous Leroy Merlin Techshop.
After seeing all this, what we can see is that tablets and interactive screens seem to become mainstream features that a store should implement today. Customers appear to understand and appreciate the use of new technology, as service gets more complete and personalized. Secondly, store staff doesn’t seem to complain or fear new technology.
Last year Paris Retail Week had Live Retail as theme, the fact that human must remain at the center of technology. And today’s tour showed that technology (when correctly implemented) truly comes to help and enhance customer’s experience.
Finally, I’d like to conclude by saying that joining a store tour is for me always a very pleasant experience. I love a trade show but I appreciate even more when I see a store functioning with innovations, and implementing new concepts. On that aspect this store tour truly fulfilled its purpose for me.
Check out the pictures of 20/CENT’s visit to this event on the Facebook page @20CENTRetail: https://www.facebook.com/pg/20CENTRetail/photos/?tab=albums
Store TourParis Retail WeekRetailEcommercePosTechnology