The way the average American consumer engages with the retail sphere has changed dramatically in recent years. From the boom of online shopping triggered in part by pandemic restrictions, to the advent of smart devices enabling a more social and interactive shopping experience, the modern consumer has come to expect a much more involved process when choosing where they’d like to spend their cash.
According to recent data, some of the major reasons so many shoppers are ditching physical stores in favor of e-commerce platforms include a higher degree of convenience and more product options, leading to 43% of those surveyed stating they’d be content with never browsing through a physical store again.
Couple this with estimations that 95% of all retail purchases could be attributed to e-commerce by 2040 and it’s clear that physical retailers must find a way to revitalize themselves. This is exactly how H&M envisaged their COS smart store to function, seamlessly merging both online and physical retail experiences under one roof. To find out how, let’s take a look at the COS smart store in Beverly Hills.
Enhancing the customer experience
In many ways, the main draw to the COS smart store is the use of cutting-edge technology to facilitate an incredibly convenient and efficient customer experience. This is perfectly illustrated in the inclusion of touch-screen smart-mirrors in every fitting room, each equipped with RFID tech and advanced AI tools.
When shoppers interact with these devices, active RFID tags in clothing labels will automatically record and analyze the unique products and sizes presented to each mirror, with smart AI software working behind the scenes to recommend additional in-stock items that best complement chosen fits. If customers need help, staff can be called, and items can even be purchased directly from the smart mirror interface.
Intelligent data analysis
Smart technology is not only able to provide customers with a more convenient shopping experience at the COS store, but it’s also used to provide staff with intelligent data and huge efficiency benefits. Using a dedicated and bespoke company app, the same RFID tags designed to interact with the smart-mirrors can be used to track inventory and aid staff in seeing which items are most popular amongst customers.
Using this real-time data, shop assistants are able to make sure that trending items are always well displayed and readily available, as well as plan more effective inventory replenishments and in-store promotions to guarantee that customer needs and expectations are always appropriately addressed.
Improving fulfillment efficiency
Where the Beverly Hills COS smart store really bridges the gap between physical retail and e-commerce is in the business’ integration of buy-online and store-pickup services. Customers are able to purchase a wide range of in-store products using the COS app, and effectively use the store as a fulfillment center.
Those living in remote locations can have their items delivered directly to their homes or select a curbside pickup service operated by both the Beverly Hills store and a few affiliated sister locations, with retail surveillance systems in operation to ensure that all items ready for collection are safely monitored.
Adaptive training and management
With employees of the COS smart store all connected to the business’ wide array of installed smart devices via a dedicated smartphone app, interactive and adaptive training procedures are in continual development to help improve customer experiences in direct response to collected real-time data.
By observing on-site trends, real-world interactions and engaging with customers, associates are able to self-manage and adapt in-store best practices to ensure that all visitors and guests have a measurable impact on the way that the physical store is operated and improved in order to optimize essential tasks.
This means that as the needs and desires of the location’s unique clientele are able to change and adapt in relation to evolving retail trends, staff are able to analyze actionable data to stay ahead of the game and guarantee that customer convenience is always viewed as a top priority across all business aspects.
Though the popularity of online shopping may have caused some physical retailers to fear for their futures, the Beverly Hills COS smart store stands to prove that adapting to new challenges is not only entirely possible, but doing so can also help to propel businesses far beyond their initial expectations.
Using smart technology and intelligent data insights, the COS store has managed to merge the social benefits of physical retail with the enhanced convenience of e-commerce, all while ensuring that the customer experience is always held at the center of every major decision that store associates make.
With a continuous approach to optimizing every aspect of the COS smart store, customers can be sure that this smart shopping location will continue to innovate and excel in creating a truly enjoyable retail experience, perhaps even helping to reinvigorate more high streets across the globe in years to come.