Since the start of 2014, growing numbers of sales assistants at personal care retailer L’Occitane have been carrying around tablets with a digital sales aid installed. The distribution of tablets started in L’Occitane’s US stores and later spread to Europe. The ambition is to steadily equip all stores with tablets to make staff’s lives easier and offer customers an enhanced experience. It’s an initiative that is very Digital for all NOW, proving that retailers have grasped the importance of the digital transformation!
An app that caters to assistants’ every need
The app was developed internally by L’Occitane’s IT department to help staff familiarise themselves with the company’s products and find these more easily at the point of sale. The app shows a planogram – a diagram showing the layout of products on the shelves – which was previously only available from the Intranet as a print-out. It also provides access to customer account details so that sales assistants can view the purchase history, favourite products or purchasing channels of the customer in front of them. It will soon provide personal recommendations too.
But tablets are not only useful for CRM. Assistants across the pond use tablets to ring through sales ‘on the fly’ from anywhere in the store. Using a simple dongle, the tablet turns into a fully fledged electronic payment terminal. The result is a more streamlined customer journey, since the sale can be completed immediately after a customer is advised by an assistant – there is no need for them to wait around at the till. The risk of shoppers abandoning their purchases is therefore reduced, and the whole experience improved.
The European model is slightly different, as sales assistants can’t currently use this function. They do, however, have mobile EPTs for processing card transactions. Yet the retailer would like to take a leaf out of the Americans’ book (and quickly) so that European sales assistants will no longer have to juggle between their tablet and mobile EPT.
Gregori Hromis, Head of the Sell Out team (retail, CRM and digital) is confident that once the roll-out is complete, the new technology will become a real asset for customers. The French brand is already in high spirits thanks to extremely positive feedback from stores equipped with the devices.
Will digitisation of points of sale soon be the norm?
They help sales assistants cater to well-informed customers and save customers time by cutting queues, but tablets don’t only improve the customer journey in store, they also make a brand stand out and therefore attract a customer base that is increasingly scattered and solicited from all sides.
More generally, digital tools provide new commercial opportunities, such as terminals displaying interactive product catalogues (like at the Miliboo hyper-connected store), electronic loyalty cards, or physical or virtual retail beacons used to send personal and super-localised offers to customers’ smartphones. The above are just a few examples, but one thing is certain: digital technology is leading us towards ever more personal and fruitful customer relationships!
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Photo credit: Beat Küng – L’Occitane / Flickr.com / Licence CC BY-NC 2.0