Inventory: the new customer service

A post by Maureen DUCLOU, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

DUCLOU 1A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping around the pink city, Toulouse, and I was wondering why I’d never visited such a beautiful city and that maybe I should come back once in a while. All these consideration were before I bumped into the Undiz store.

Undiz is a French brand of underwear that has recently opened a brand new store concept that I can truly qualify as Phygital. Indeed, as their sale area was pretty limited, only 50 meters square, Undiz had the brilliant idea to implement the idea of “inventory as a service”. In the middle of this small normal shop stand 4 huge touch screens, connected to 4 giant plastic pipes that dive into the inventory, in the basement.

On the touch screen at the menu: underwear, bras, and many other delights, customers fill in their cart and put an order. Five minutes later, the order prepared upstream by the team in the inventory, arrives in an aero-powered capsule through one of the pipe. All the articles are equipped with RFID tags to facilitate the payment and the order preparation process. If the customer doesn’t like the product he can just put it back in the capsule and send it back behind the scene.

DUCLOU 2

It really is a phygital concept as it mixes conveniently and smartly all the assets of the digital and physical commerce in store. This process provides a modern alternative to shopping but for the skeptical it is still possible to shop the “traditional” way. The future arrives politely!

Six months after this success, the brand opened an “Undiz machine” in Paris, rue de Rivoli. This two-floor shop with a sale area of 270 square meters is far from the 50 square metres shop of Toulouse. Undiz went even further this time — without forgetting the “click and collect lovers” — with the creation of a revolutionary service called “click and capsule” based on the click and collect concept which is going to be a whole different customer experience.

Customers can order whatever they wish from the Undiz collection from anywhere thanks to the mobile app or on their laptops.

When they enter the shop, their phone gets detected, which triggers the whole process. Within 5 minutes, their order will shoot out of one of the pipe. The customer enjoys his order without even needing the help of a sales person.

Can you imagine how convenient it would be to shop, not needing to look for sizes or queuing up? Unidz machine did it, and this is definitely a good reason to go back to Toulouse and visit Paris too!

This whole new customer experience is a great step toward the phygital store. It’s the perfect way to blend digital and physical store: responding to surface, time and consumer experience issues. Do you think this kind of phygital store could lead to the abolishment of human interactions in stores?

 Maureen DUCLOU

Get in touch with Maureen on LinkedIn.

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