The ‘Inspiration Corridor’ system is designed to anticipate the needs and wants of customers, optimising their passage through the shopping malls and providing a personally tailored digital experience.
In a recent interview with L'Atelier, e-commerce technology expert Catherine Barba underlined that with customers now connected 24-7, the mass retail sector needs to speed up its adoption of advanced digital technology. Following the example of the QWARTZ shopping mall which opened in April in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, a town to the north of Paris, many new initiatives are now starting up. At DigitasLBi Labs, the technological monitoring, consulting and prototyping arm of digital marketing company DigitasLBi, a number of prototypes are being developed under the ‘Connected Retail’ heading. One of these is the ‘Inspiration Corridor’ designed in conjunction with French commercial real estate company Klépierre. The goal is to enhance the customer experience by helping customers get to know all the stores at the shopping mall and obtain up-to-the-minute information on new items on offer there.
Personalised connected journey through the mall
The ‘Inspiration Corridor’ is a 21m2 room bristling with equipment, which can be set up in a shopping mall. It includes an infra-red Kinect camera equipped with body scanning technology, a device equipped with Quividi video analysis, and PigData product recommendations. When a customer enters the room it takes just a few seconds for the system to register a range of basic data on his/her gender, age, clothing style, etc. This data is analysed to generate a personalised ‘mood-board’ – a wide range of products shown on digital screens that are recommended for the customer’s attention on the basis of his/her profile. The customer can then see where the suggested items can be bought. Using Carlipa technology, the screens are updated with real-time content and can interact with the customer’s ongoing movements. Once the customer has finished making his/her selection, all s/he has to do is to synchronise the items on a smartphone using the Klépierre app, which makes use of iBeacon Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Using geolocation, the system then suggests the most efficient path through the shopping mall for the customer to pick up the items.
Boosting in-store footfall
The system thus enables the customer to get the best of both worlds: the latest e-commerce practices combined with the advantages of the bricks-and-mortar store. By offering this cutting-edge service to the customer, ‘Inspiration Corridor’ helps the individual brands and stores at the mall to boost sales and moreover enhances the reputation of the shopping mall vis-à-vis the competition. By creating synergies between the traditional physical store and the digital technology that is very much a part of modern consumer habits so as to highlight brands in a novel way, this experience could entice more ‘influencers’ to shop at the mall. Moreover, the system, which can be set up and taken down in just a few hours, also provides large amounts of data which could help brands and firms calibrate their merchandising strategies. Although the ’Corridor’ is still only at the prototype stage, it is scheduled to be rolled out at Klépierre shopping malls soon. “We’re currently working on a pilot with DigitasLbi for the end of November at Belle Epine” – a shopping mall to the south-east of Paris – revealed Klépierre’s Development Director, Delphine Beer-Gabel.