About the digital invasion within traditional stores

A post by Capucine CHAUVEAU, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

As a make-up consumer, I am frequently receiving newsletters from different brands and particularly Sephora, offering discounts or presenting new products. Recently, they informed their loyal customers about the opening of a new shop: the first connected make-up store. This intrigued me and after some research, I discovered this was a “phygital” store.

I asked myself: what does the term of “phygital” mean?

It is actually a sweet neologism between “Physical” and “Digital”, and thus, describes the integration of emerging and digital marketing techniques within traditional and physical stores.

Phygital is a neologism between “Physical” and “Digital” which describes the integration of emerging and digital marketing techniques within traditional and physical stores.

This concept is quite new but is starting to appeal to more and more companies. Indeed, customers’ behaviour has evolved and Internet is our new best friend. How many of you have already checked if the wanted product was available online and cheaper?

Introducing digital and new technologies is an interesting alternative to keep customers in the store through the creation of a totally new experience around new digital trends.

But, let’s talk about our concrete example of a phygital store: Sephora Flash in Paris (I am really sorry for all the gentlemen’s who will read this article, but keep reading because it can totally be adapted to another kind of product).

The experience begins at the entrance of the shop where a little robot, named Robot flash, is welcoming and explaining you the concept. Moreover, Robot flash invites you to take a digital cart which will allows you to put products on it, pay and choose a delivery mode: at home or in a Sephora shop.

CHAUVEAU 1

Then, you will meet different types of screens of different sizes. Each of them have a precise role: delivering information, finalizing the order, showing tutorials, adding products on your digital cart, choosing samples, or simply creating a special atmosphere with images and videos.

CHAUVEAU 2

Are you wondering if Robot flash is the only employee within the shop? Actually, Sephora employees are still there, helping you though this experience with pieces of advices or make-up sessions. However, they all are equipped with a new digital tool, scanning your skin in order to provide the best needed products.

And by the way, there is a little added service: you can recharge your mobile phone for free during your shopping, unless it avoids you to find information about competitors’ products online during your visit in the shop…

What about you, have you already been to this kind of shops? Do you feel they provide you a totally new experience?

Capucine CHAUVEAU

To get in touch with Capucine, find her here on TwitterLinkedIn

 

Luxury: immediate boarding to the “phygital” store?

A post by Chloé RIGOMIER, MSc student in Digital Marketing, @KEDGE Business School. 

Who has never hesitated to enter in a luxury shop, frightened by so much prestige and coldness? I definitely have (in spite of the fact that I love luxury), and I’m sure you have too! Strangely, we speak about a place of contact with the customers, a showcase for the image of luxury brands. Dissuasive guards, immense and spotless shops, absence of prices, rarity of products… Everything is reunited to institute a distance with the customer. Yet, luxury brands use these spaces to demonstrate their power: the surface must be the most spacious, the neighbourhood very posh, the layout designed by prestigious architects… I believe that luxury attracts us, moves us and makes us dream… But luxury can also scare us off! Then, how can luxury brands develop their stores towards a pleasant and attractive customer experience? Is digital the key?

Première photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/25oHRxp

Are Luxury and digital incompatible? There’s a huge stereotype claiming that digital would put luxury in danger because it would oblige the brands to lose some of their prestige and secret aura. Well, let us take the example of the pioneer in the domain: Burberry and its digitalized luxurious flagship store (London). The ambition is clear: make visitors live the same experience online and offline. Sellers have iPad to consult the last purchases of the customers. They can create the trench of their dream on tablets. There are screens to broadcast fashion shows and concerts. Products have RFID chips to show similar articles thanks to screens also acting as mirrors. Customers can pay by mobile terminal. Nevertheless, Burberry is a brand with a traditional image, very anchored and backward-looking codes (tartan, trench). They included the current stakes by proving us that there aren’t borders anymore between the real and the digital world. If you wish to see images of this remarkable Burberry store, it’s this way:

In an oppressing context where e-commerce faces the exclusive distribution of luxury, it’s time to enter in the “phygital”. The digital needs to enter in physical stores to appeal to the future clientele: the Y generation. It will revolutionize the point of sale making people live a memorable experience. However, luxury needs to stay a singular world inventing its own digitalization: an astonishing and magic digital experience. The human needs to be put back at the centre to provide a real distinction between online and offline. Sellers need to find the pleasure of the customer relationship again, delighting the experience with a refined quality of service.

In the video below, Eric Briones (the famous @darkplanneur) proposes strategies for a singular digitalisation of the luxury:

Let us be carried away by the imagination of the luxurious shop of tomorrow: I dream of an immense cosy space (noble materials, furniture design, wine and smoothies bar, makeup and hairstyle spaces, personal shopper, sound and olfactory atmosphere…) but still very modern (sellers informed about our needs, connected shop windows for a shopping 24 hours a day, hangers with RFID chips for further information on screens, connected fitting  rooms to share on social media, customization of products on tablets, mobile payment…).

What about you? What could incite you to enter a luxury store? Tell me what you think about the “phygital” for these brands. Comment, share, like… And have an amazing day!

Deuxième photo Chloé jpg

Source : http://bit.ly/1L1uIhf

Chloé RIGOMIER

To get in touch with Chloé, find her here on Twitter & LinkedIn

The phygital trend: a good thing or not?

A post by Frédéric PAILLET, MSc student in Digital Marketing @KEDGE Business School. 

PAILLET 1

Day after day we can see in retail spaces the emergence of more and more digital platforms. I am sure that, like me, most of you have seen these and wondered, what is that? How does it work? With these platforms, customers can, for example, check the product offer on interactive terminals, they can see demonstration of product on TV screen and many other things. But are all of these digital platforms really interesting for brands who decided to implant them in their stores?

In this article, we are trying to identify what are the arguments for and the arguments against the utilization of this type of platforms in retail space.

First, the arguments for:

The “phygitalisation” allows brands creating a real customer experience in their store and improving and facilitating customers’ shopping . Customers can have more information about the product, more quickly. Moreover, the experiences into the store are more playful and allow to the customers to have a good time. Sellers can be more efficient because they can use tablets to find information more quickly. Moreover, “phygitalisation” allows concluinge sales which would not have been done in the past. For example, before the digitalisation, when a product was not available for size or colours reasons, the sale failed. Today, the seller can find the product in another store and propose to the customer to deliver it at home in two days.

For all of these reasons, the “phygitalisation” of retail space is a good things for brands and for customers, but on the condition that is it done in an intelligent way.

Second, the arguments against:

For some customers, the utilization of digital platforms is difficult and it’s not unusual to find them deserted by customers because there are no people to help them use them. In consequence, that makes the usefulness of this type of platforms flawed, and particularly unnecessary. Moreover, most of the time, sellers are not trained to use these platforms and are, as a consequence, powerless to help customers with it. The last more common argument for detractors of these platforms is the loss of human contact in stores.

To conclude, digital platforms in a store are a good thing for brands and for customers, but it is also required to have trained staff so they can help customers to use them. Even customers can appreciate the utility of these platforms and to keep the human relation with the seller. The most important thing to understand for a brand is that “phygitalisation” is not a tool which allows to spend less time with customers but rather to improve customer experiences and to allow customers to enjoy moments spent in store.

Frédéric PAILLET