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Retail & Ecommerce Event: Panel on Innovation in Physical Retail

In June, we organized a Game Changers event in Paris dedicated to retail and ecommerce. One panel focused on Innovation in physical retail.

Hassan Hadjji is CEO of Ecrebo, a company working on point-of-sales marketing, that helps retailers see the point-of-sale not as a transaction-execution place but more as a medium. Ecrebo works with large retailers in the UK and keeps track of high-street spending. Physical retail is 10 times bigger than online commerce: in the UK, Amazon sees 26 M customers per month while Marks and Spencers sees 24 M customers per week.

Cyril Marchal is CEO of Lucky Cart which leverages human behavior to increase the ROI of any dollar that retailers spend in discount thanks to promogaming. Customers can win the product they buy, or win a jackpot. Lucky Cart works with offline retailers, food retailers, and low discounters.

Philippe Chainieux is the COO of Made.com, the leading European online home furnishing retailer.

Michel LĂ©ger is Executive Vice-President of Ingenico, in charge of innovation. Ingenico is the world-leader in seamless payments acceptance, whatever the channel: payments in stores, internet or mobile payments. The aim at Ingenico is to help merchants create seamless transactions on all channels and provide cross-channel payments.

At Made.com, which was created as a 100% online company, some customers wanted to have the capacity to test and feel the products (sofas, fabrics, tables). The company decided to open showrooms where customers can have an experience of the brand and of the products. Showrooms also became a destination for customers that were acquired online and hence a way of increasing conversion. Made.com also convinced customers to become online ambassadors via their social network called Unboxed. Unboxed became an online showroom.

Lucky Cart started as a full-online company but now works with offline players too. Working with offline retailers, they gather data once in a day and cannot gather real-time data. This a challenge for offline retail: data has more value when it is fresh. The loyalty card is essential for both retailers and Lucky Cart to gather data on customers at checkouts.

Loyalty cards are not always easy to use and now there is a lot of innovation in payments, especially tokenization, the technology that can identify customers wherever they are. You can use a proxy of the card to mimic the online experience. At Ecrebo they believe in the convergence of loyalty and payments in the future, all is about leveraging the payments’ infrastructure.

To Ingenico, creating the ecosystem of trust is the foundation of everything. Tokenization is the only way to convert customers whatever channel they use. Good value proposition has to be personalized and context-based.

Physical stores have the unparalleled advantage of having their customers right in front of them at the time of purchase, in most cases of decision making too. The challenge for offline retailers therefore is to harness all the data from web to store, instore and checkout activities in real time so as to be in the best possible position to target customers as and when they are most receptive.

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