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Improving the seamless experience with connected stores

by Mark Faithfull

MAPIC’s new series of podcasts have been produced to showcase innovative retail thinking, examine new business models and seek to understand the post-Covid reopening of retail and leisure destinations. MAPIC 20–TWENTY INSIGHTS feature 20 minutes with the innovators and disruptors redefining the retail industry’s future.

In this insightful interview Pierre-Marie Rallu, CEO of Belive argues that the connected store has become a fresh focus for retail and that physical stores can remain relevant around five themes:

  • A focus on connected stores requires overcoming implementation challenges;
  • Digitalisation will boost physical retail: A new platform of services to add value to clients;
  • Automatisation: AI and voice recognition can be used to personalise the customer journey;
  • Payment solutions can enhance the seamless experience of connected stores;
  • Digital platforms also need physical!

In this specially-recorded podcast for MAPIC, Rallu argues that retailers have been running to develop online and offline separately, and only more recently has it been about omni-channel.

He says: “Everything has started to evolve from perhaps five years ago when people started to notice discrepancies between online and offline. That’s where we come from with the connected store. The retail store has become a new focus again but with the need to provide offline the experience created online.”

Rallu cites a range of innovations, from the payment solutions of the Amazon Go cashless store as an example, plus concept stores like Nike and Adidas, which are “not about the product but if you go there with your friends you are going to have a good experience, all around the brand.”

He groups the main technologies as: biometrics, “where you really work on the customer”; AI and self-learning machines; the computer vision, and IoT.”

“The retailer has to establish their own brand objectives. Once this has been done, it might be quite cumbersome to find the right technology. So rather than take one leap, establish a roadmap,” he advises. “So they might want to focus on payment, or display or personalisation but not try and tackle the three of them at one time. It’s very important for them to have an innovation focus anyway.”

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