What are the greatest learnings that you have drawn from the Covid crisis?
Digitalisation has become a vital urgency necessary for the survival of commercial brands. For those who had not yet started their transformation towards a multi-channel model, content management, the implementation of click & collect or even simply remote working emerged as priority projects requiring adaptability, speed and ready-to-use tools. During the lockdown in March 2020, we saw some retailers, particularly in Specialised Distribution, succeed in setting up services in 3 months that had stagnated in the decision-making process for years! Being ready to reexamine and question your business model and open up to new channels is an essential step for everyone who wants to trade in 2021.
More than ever, product information is the cornerstone of trade, and those who master it and use it with agility are almost certain to ensure the sustainability of their business. At PiiVO, this comforts us in the belief in our solutions because they are natively omnichannel, easy to set up and flexible, and can meet the needs of a large number of retailers and e-tailers. The importance of always being one step ahead is one of our core concerns, constantly anticipating the developments necessary to evolving consumer and business patterns.
In your opinion, in what way will trade evolve in 2021?
There is a real need to reinvent the in-store customer experience and journey, underpinned by effective and dynamic signage. A few years ago, people talked about “phygital” without clearly grasping all the ins and outs. Sometimes there were simply interactive terminals in the shop to direct people to a wider range of products and services on the retailer’s website. Today, it has become a reality that leads to the multiplication of interdependencies between online stores and physical stores because customers spend less time in the store but prepare their visit beforehand by consulting the retailers’ websites.
Therefore, it’s essential to strengthen the data present online but also develop an educational message about the new process – information to be provided on the website but also in the store’s car parks (where, when, how to pick up my order?) and make sure that the information they have previously identified is present on location: product information, visuals, and of course prices; everything must be complete, accurate and consistent. Also, not forgetting to rethink product collection points for customers picking up their online orders: for retailers who did not have a dedicated location before the crisis, the challenge is to make places that were not initially intended to receive the public accessible and attractive.
Implementing digital solutions that update data on all communication media in real-time, as offered by PiiVO POSter, makes it possible to develop a global commercial approach that streamlines and simplifies the purchasing process for customers to feel guided and supported every step of the way. For retailers, it is also a way to show greater responsiveness in adapting messages on the fly, as required by the hyper-changeable environment that still awaits us in 2021.