The future of retail is called future store

We speak to Emil Zagirov of xplace to learn more

xplace, a specialist for interactive customer information and digital signage at the POS with subsidiaries, sales offices and partnerships all over Europe, was one of the newcomers in the London business scene this year. Making the point of sale exciting for everyone everywhere is its declared aim. Emil Zagirov, Director International Expansion at xplace, explains what this means for the future of the retail sector. 

In June 2017, your company co-organized the retail pricing showcase in Covent Garden, London, with the aim of calling attention to the multichannel-retailing. At the meeting, retailers could learn how the digitalization of the POS increases efficiency. Is this the first step towards the store of the future? 

Efficiency through digitalization is just one side of the coin. Multi-channel retailing as well as omni-channel requires information to be shared quickly and efficiently online and in-store. Efficiency can be but part of the digital transformation. The other side of the coin is more human interaction through digitalization. The digitalized brick-and-mortar locations are meeting-points where customers - customers are consumers - can interact with a digital world enhancing their in-store experience. The xplace solutions for the digitalization of the point of sale are able to transform the point of sale into a point of experience, for they are based on the active interaction of the customers with the digital tools. 

“Making the point of sale exciting for everyone everywhere” summarizes the xplace vision for the future of the retail sector. It will be exciting for everyone everywhere. What does it mean? 

Yes, this is both our vision and our promise. It means that our digital solutions for the point of sale aim at creating a sort of interaction where consumers can experience emotions, discovery, fully up to date information about products and services and have fun in a connected world. xplace offers reactive digital concepts. They are customized, developed and tested together with the retailer. We find in this way the synergy between the social and the business side of in-store activities and we help the retail sector achieving both customer satisfaction and a positive response in the turnover for the retailer.

Window displays, digital effects, moving displays, interactions with social channels, virtual reality car showrooms, high-traffic centres for brand engagement. A walk down the high street of 2025. How can xplace contribute to enhancing the shopping experience of 2025? 

In our customer journey of 2025, business incentives will merge with and match perfectly the customers’ social and buying incentives. In our high street of 2025, changes in buying behaviour and in the customers’ demand on social interaction will meet immediate response from the store, providing service and needed digital and analogue experiences on fly in a very short timeframe. 

The future of retail is called “future store”. Online-platforms as the starting point for the customer journey… 

Well, I would not say that online-platforms are the starting-point for the customer journey, for online and offline increasingly merge in the experience of the shopper.   We know that having an online presence for retailers is nothing exotic. Omnichannel capabilities are becoming increasingly necessary. Transactions in stores are influenced by the online presence, with many parts of the shopping journey taking place even before the customer steps into the brick-and-mortar location.  

2025 means also future social experience store. How important is the social dimension for the customers from the point of view of xplace? 

People look for trends, coming near to each other in interests. They look for social communities where they can share their experience. They look for the satisfaction of this sort of digital social needs everywhere. In stores as well, which must react accordingly. One of our interactive devices, the Mobile Mirror, for example, is based exactly on the possibility of sharing pictures with an online community from the store, asking one’s own community for evaluation. In France, Gémo has our Mobile Mirror in some of its stores and we know that it got more than 3000 users every month in the first three-month period of 2016. More than 1000 pictures were shared on social media and more than 2000 pictures and videos were shared via email. This is a good example of how social our devices are and will be.

Source: xplace GmbH

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