Changing customer expectations of the role of the physical store

Although e-commerce is a rapidly growing and essential channel, it represents less than ten percent of total retail sales. A recent Capgemini study also found that, for transactions, the physical store is still considered important for 72 percent of shoppers. The challenge is that today customers expect their experience to be enabled by digital throughout, from online to in-store. They see the physical store as part of a continuous digital experience that must include the smart use of technology. Though how do you do this in a way that seamlessly bridges the gap between online and in-store?

Rising costs of store operations

Although many customers use digital channels heavily, the store is still central to the customer experience. We see this in customer preferences and in the investments pure online players have made into physical outlets. However, with rising costs the store continues to be a problematic channel to maintain cost effectively. In addition, many retailers have invested heavily into online to address customer demands though this drives only a small proportion of total revenue. How do you make more of investments in digital, extending the benefits of the insights gained online into the physical store?

Bridge the gap between online and in-store with the connected bag

The connected bag brings the richness of personalization and experience available online into the physical store by digitizing a key element of the in-store experience, the physical retail bag. Developed by Capgemini in collaboration with a start-up, Twyst, the connected bag and accompanying mobile and tablet apps, provide real-time, personalized offers based on what’s in the bag, available inventory and what the customer already owns. This is a first. It also provides a completely frictionless check-out. No waiting in a line / queuing, no scanning of goods, just pay and leave. And it enables a host of new, highly personalized experiences like connected changing rooms, concierge assistance and much more.

Plug and play with multiple technologies

Capgemini can bring the connected bag as a proof-of-concept into a store in multiple formats. As a data collection tool that provides new insights into customer behavior in-store, as a standalone feature to streamline the checkout or as part of a comprehensive, immersive retail experience that connects into marketing, analytics, commerce, and mobile platforms. A rapid proof-of-concept phase is achieved using a mix of start-up and core system partners to enable near plug-and-play connection into most POS and commerce setups.