Retail Technology Improves CX Unlocking Efficiency

Imagine a store where shoppers can see and summon all of their size, style and color options on the shelves and in stock without ever leaving a fitting room; where managers know what’s selling and what’s on the shelf at presentand associates can learn while working on their own.

This store is not a fantasy. Beverly Hills, California is where COS smart store retail technology is already improving the customer experience, optimizing omnichannel opportunities, enabling operational efficiencies, empowering staff and evolving retail. whether in-store, online or hybrid.

COS is a division of the H&M group which stands for Collection of Style, with 271 stores worldwide. The brand, offering classics and wardrobe essentials reinvented, operates gStore, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) first mobile application from GreyOrange. The app helps its staff combine the ideal aspects of e-commerce and in-store shopping to deliver unique and personalized experiences that customers want but can only get in person.

“We develop and imagine how COS retail spaces can inspire our customers, today and into the future,” said Lea Rytz Goldman, COS’s chief executive. “Our ambition is to pilot new technologies that allow us to meet and exceed our customers’ in-store shopping expectations. With COS Beverly Hills, we have seen with our own eyes how our customer experience can be improved through technological improvements.

Indeed, retail technology is unlocking what The Huffington Post calls “omnipersonal” experiences, enabling retailers to truly differentiate themselves by serving customers in personalized and relevant ways across all store touchpoints: in-store , mobile, online and runtime. The Beverly Hills COS store is just the start.

The solutions that COS unlocks through retail technology include:

Create enhanced in-store customer experiences. Smart touchscreen mirrors in fitting rooms use item-level radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to automatically recognize products and sizes that customers have already chosen. Behind the scenes, AI technology allows mirrors to also offer in-stock options for colors, sizes, styles, and complementary accessories that shoppers can request associates bring to them. (Although not all retailers have yet implemented RFID in their stores, there are still opportunities to take advantage of existing technology labeling, such as barcode scanning.)

Soon, COS will expand this functionality to allow shoppers to “try and buy” directly from the fitting rooms. An additional tap of a smart mirror will complete the purchase and direct associates to bags of items to hand out to departing customers, who never have to wait in line at a sales counter.

Not only do these features attract shoppers to a store, but they can also keep them coming back. According to Capgemini, 46% of consumers who have a positive experience with in-store automation would shift their online purchases from digital-focused retailers to retailers with in-store automation technology.

Unleash real-time data and insights managers can use right now. Until now, COS managers in Beverly Hills printed out weekly email updates on top-selling products and shared them with staff. Through the gStore app, they see RFID data on a tablet, allowing them to know in real time what is selling and what is not selling and to make the corresponding decisions to act quickly on the evolution of trends in consumption. This keeps hot items out front while they’re hot.

It is only an opportunity offered by the gStore application. Managers can drive inventory replenishment in real time by monitoring which shelves need restocking and managing related tasks. Additionally, managers have a complete overview of online order status to ensure better CX for omnichannel shoppers.

Enable efficient online order processing. The application enables COS to provide online shopping and shipping service from in-store product store to remote customers, transforming the store into a mini-distribution center and optimizing speed, cost and supply. It can also maximize customer convenience by coordinating curbside pickups at the Beverly Hills location or at a partner store, whichever is closest to the customer and has the item in stock. Retailers can get customers what they want, where and how they want it.

Self-trained collaborators during their work. The gStore mobile app provides continuous interactive on-the-job learning and training for associates, sharing best practices, retail trends and shopper needs via smartphones that help them seamlessly organize customer experiences exceptional with minimal prior training. Associates can also look up shopper information they glean from the sales floor through associate surveys. The result? Employees get a self-directed journey to excel at their jobs and delight their customers.

Using retail technology, COS gives customers a reason to shop in-store by providing convenience and service worthy of their time. And gStore’s in-store technology helps COS deliver a shopping journey that customers simply can’t follow behind a keyboard at home.

COS smart store retail technology is already improving the customer experience, optimizing omnichannel opportunities, enabling operational efficiencies, empowering staff, and evolving retail, whether in-store, online, or hybrid of them.

About Timothy Cheatham

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