New digital solutions make shopping easier in our department stores
Ensuring a seamless customer experience in every sales channel will play a central role in the retail business of the future. In fact, an omnichannel approach is one of Stockmann's strategic focus areas in 2015-2016, and a number of agile and innovative projects have already been launched.
Tablet tools for all department stores
In addition to the new customer app, which was announced at the end of September, Stockmann has also developed a tablet tool for its sales personnel. The tablet pilot project was started last autumn in the women's footwear department of the Helsinki city centre department store, and the lingerie and sport departments of the same store later joined the pilot project. Stockmann is developing the tool in an agile manner. “The most important factor guiding the development work is the feedback received from our sales personnel. They have been really enthusiastic about the new tool and have provided us with good development ideas,” explains Elina Savolainen, Omnicommerce Development Manager. She adds that the tablet tool and the new customer app are being developed in parallel. “Our aim is that in the future the tablet tool and the customer app will communicate with each other.”
The intensive development work is producing results and the tablet tool can now be put into wider use. All departments in our Finnish department stores will receive tablets for use as sales tools by the end of November. “After that, our sales personnel will have a total of about 400 tablets,” Savolainen says, summing up the plans for the near future.
During the tablet introduction stage, sales personnel will be able to view product images and check product availability and basic product details in all channels, make internal calls for assistance within the department during busy periods or respond to calls sent by customers in digital fitting rooms. The tablet will also help in service situations as it provides easy access to the benefits booklet and the digital Premiere magazine.“However, this is only the beginning, as we are continuously developing new features and adding them to the application. The development work is based on the feedback received from the sales personnel and our business needs. Our aim is to build a system that is of genuine help in sales work and helps us to create a seamless customer experience in the department stores,” explains Savolainen.
More digital fitting rooms
Digital fitting rooms were first piloted at the end of May in the lingerie department of the Helsinki city centre department store. Shortly after that they were also tested in the sport department. Stockmann has collected feedback and development ideas from customers and the sales personnel and the reaction has been really positive. “Digital fitting rooms makes shopping easier and quicker. When in a fitting room, a customer can check the availability of a product and contact the sales personnel by simply pressing a button. Customers called the salespersons almost 3,000 times during the pilot stage,” says Savolainen. Salespersons receive the customer calls on their tablets and can take products of other sizes to the customers for fitting. “Customers have been really pleased with this new service approach: In fact, 86 per cent of the feedback has been positive. At the same time, the sales personnel felt that they were able to provide customers with quicker and better service,” explains Savolainen.
Boosted by the positive reception, Stockmann will introduce digital fitting rooms in the lingerie departments and men's fashion in all Finnish department stores by early December.“By the end of the year, we will have a total of 74 digital fitting rooms. I believe that this is a really big improvement in terms of customer experience,” says Savolainen.“The digital fitting room’s tablet app is the result of the innovative efforts of our own ICT department and especially of Ilkka Pirttimaa, our Chief ICT Architect. Only Stockmann offers this type of service in Finland.”