8 min read

Bridging the gap between the online and offline parts of a store

Picture of Magdalena Zaremba
Magdalena Zaremba

Researcher and Outreach Specialist at Divante

The “Innovative eCommerce in retail” webinar was the continuation of our online meetups series that connects people from the business and technology world. The webinars explore innovations, modern approaches to business, and game-changing solutions for various industries. 

Care to share?

This time, we gathered speakers who have comprehensive experience in retail. They shared their insights on how technology and innovative concepts can embrace the omnichannel experience and drive the company's overall growth.

Innovative eCommerce in retail speakers:

Natalia Tokarz, a product owner of the CCC mobile app, coordinates mobile commerce development from networking and user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to implementation and analytics. In her speech, she strongly focused on the CCC mobile app features that blend the online and offline world.

Kamil Jodełko, an eCommerce project manager in Poland and the Czech Republic at Sephora, has over ten years of experience in the digital area and more than seven years in multinational companies. During the webinar, Kamil talked about how Sephora used retail resources to support eCommerce sales during the lockdown.

Bartłomiej Loc is the project manager of the first implementation of Shopware's progressive web app (PWA)-based store in Divante. Bartek not only deals with eCommerce projects but also has introduced the product information management (PIM) technology, Akeneo, to Divante’s offer. Bartek talked about the unique and innovative features of the Yope project.

 

M-commerce as a key point of an omnichannel strategy at CCC

“It’s not enough to have a good product and push it to increase revenue. Consumers expect a diversified, unforgettable, and personalized experience.”

Natalia Tokarz

CCC meets users' needs by offering them an attractive product and content that CCC wants to inspire them. The application is not only a tool with which you can buy new shoes but also a meeting place for fashion.

The innovative approach of CCC and its further improvements and functionalities are intended to strengthen its position in the fashion market.

CCC


Features that help to blend online and offline experiences at CCC

  • CCC Club: Buy, level up, profit

Omnichannel loyalty programs are changing the way sales and markets function. The more you buy at CCC, the more you gain in the club. Higher status means more benefits, discounts, and offers. The famous footwear retailer also remembers to diversify benefits because every consumer is different.

Types of club members:

  • Promo hunters that always look for the best sales.
  • Early adopters tend to buy or try out new items, programs, and new versions of existing programs sooner than most of their peers.
  • Partnership and event lovers. When you have Gold status in the CCC club, you can access special VIP events, a 30% discount once a year, and six additional monthly discounts.

Visual search: See it, take a picture of it, buy it


Because of visual search, inspiration for fashion no longer has to be only inspiration. Just one photo is enough to get to what you’re looking for immediately. 62% Of Millenials and Gen Zers prefer visual search to any other technology when shopping. Based on the image, the visual search function will suggest products that will resemble what’s visible in the selected photo. 

How does visual search convert at CCC?

  • 40% growth in usage year-to-year
  • 30% of scans result in a purchase
  • Conversion boosted by four times compared to text search

CCC visual search

esize.me: Buy shoes that fit the best


Thanks to esize.me, you can scan your feet in 3D in one of 200 CCC stores. It takes about five minutes, including the registration process. Checking your size before you purchase something helps to reduce returns, and it’s a quick win if you have children. You don’t have to worry about the correct size for growing children, and an app will even let you know when their scans need to be updated.

esize me 3D footprint scanSource: https://suwalkiplaza.com.pl/esize-me-w-ccc/

The mobile app is the key channel for consumers purchasing with esize.me. It helped to deliver 65% growth year-to-year.

PayPo offline: Buy now, pay later in the store

Non-cash purchases with deferred payment in stationery stores are made using the company's own CCC mobile application. The customer has to generate a code, present it at the checkout, and then approve their purchase on a smartphone. Deferring the payment for 30 days doesn’t involve additional costs for the buyer. The implementation of PayPo deferred payments in traditional trade sets a new direction for development for the entire buy now, pay later (BNPL) market in Poland.

The benefits of the PayPo service:

  • Clients don’t have to decide immediately.
  • They can choose if they want to pay in total or in installments. There’s no extra fee unless they exceed 30 days following the purchase.
  • Customers buy smarter. Larger, more expensive purchases can be made without straining the budget.
  • Purchases are safer because of encrypted payments via secured servers. You don’t need to provide a credit card or other accounts.

Barcode Scanner: A simple but effective omnichannel feature

Scanning a barcode is still one of the most valuable features despite their long history. It’s a convenient way to find the product, get more information about it, and check out the reviews and opinions in seconds.

Barcode scanner

What’s next for the prominent market players?

1. Hyper personalization

According to the McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized content, and 76% are frustrated when it doesn’t happen. 

2. The virtual fashion industry

Global spending on virtual goods reached $110 billion in 2021, doubling the total in 2015. Of that, 30% was attributed to virtual fashion. The virtual showroom mimics the perks of in-store shopping, except you, can do it from home. It’s an effective tool to support online sales.

Virtual fashion industrySource: https://mbamci.com/why-is-fashion-entering-into-the-virtual-world/

3. Social commerce and livestreaming

Social commerce describes the customer journey from discovery to exploration to purchase of a product, all within a social media platform. China’s livestream selling market grew from $3 billion to $171 billion in three years. Companies that use livestream selling strategies are seeing conversion rates of up to 30%. A strong majority, 60%, of shoppers who tried livestream shopping said it improved their shopping experience.

Contactless shoppingSource: https://www.cosmeticsdesign-asia.com/Article/2020/07/29/Shiseido-and-Isetan-Mitsukoshi-ride-contactless-shopping-wave-with-live-streaming-launch 

Digitalization in the time of COVID-19 at Sephora

Before COVID, all of the biggest market players had a fixed omnichannel roadmap. However, it was pretty quickly outdated. During the COVID outbreak, this strategy has defined the digital transformation. 

In 2020, Sepora was forced to speed up its transformation because the lockdown was not predicted as a risk to the project. All retail businesses had to face new challenges, such as no shopping at physical stores, store closures, or customers being scared to go outside. The big market players needed to focus on online sales, strategic initiatives, and a lean approach to startups.

Strategic omnichannel initiatives in Sephora during COVID-19:

  • Refreshed website and app, including new layout, responsive web design (RWD), focus on content and brand spaces, and a native app for iOS and android
  • Expert chat
  • Click and collect
  • Call and collect
  • Sephora+

Expert chat

Sephora beauty advisors supported online customers by giving them individual product recommendations. The answers were provided by a salesperson from a retail store instead of a random consultant that uses a stock photo. It was a great success from the beginning, and clients are still widely using it. 

Expert LiveChatSource: https://www.sephora.com/beauty/live-chat 

Click and collect

This allows clients to interact with a physical store even if they make an online purchase. In key locations in Poland, where click and collect orders were the most popular, customers can collect the order in self-service PickUpWall lockers.

The key benefits of the click and collect service:

  • Operates during store closure with a POS-pick up point
  • Better stock management
  • Incremental sales

Click and collectSource: https://www.wiadomoscikosmetyczne.pl/artykuly/sephora-rozwija-siec-automatow-pickupwall-do-odbio,68648 

Call and collect

This is a very old-school way of buying goods remotely. By implementing this feature, Sephora opened a new sales channel to more traditional customers. 

To use the call and collect service, clients had to call a selected store to check the availability of products with a consultant. Then, they had to confirm the details of their order and make the payment by entering the BLIK code. BLIK is a payment system in Poland that allows users to make instant payments and withdraw cash using only the user's standard mobile banking app. Interestingly, clients who didn’t want to buy online prefer BLIK payments to purchase the goods. 

Key benefits of the call and collect feature:

  • Faster than click and collect
  • Customers are not forced to create a store account
  • Easy to implement

Sephora+

Sephora+ can be easily described as “never say no to the customer.” The service allows store agents to order goods from their eCommerce stock and have them delivered directly to the customer's home. From a technical perspective, it’s an eCommerce order initiated and paid for directly in the store.

Key benefits of Sephora+ service:

  • Convenient for the customer
  • A larger product portfolio is accessible to store agents
  • Generates additional revenue for stores

The need to boost Yope’s eCommerce presence

Yope is a Polish cosmetics brand founded in 2013. The company has been developing its sales in foreign markets in Europe, Asia, and North America. For several years, it has offered eco-friendly and vegan beauty and cleaning products. Yope was looking for a partner like Divante to create a new version of their online shop that would utilize innovative functionalities and meet their needs.

What were the main goals of the project?

  • Online expansion in foreign markets
  • Adaptation of the technology to the needs of its mobile customers
  • Adaptation of mobile-first technology
  • Integration with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system
  • Integration with BaseLinker

The project included designing and implementing a new online store and migration from Magento 2 to Shopware 6 plus a PWA. 

We recommended Shopware 6 because it’s a lean and extremely flexible product that can be easily adapted to meet Yope’s requirements. The unique architecture, user-friendly administration panel, and many more available functions enable the rapid development and scaling of the business.

The key reasons Shopware 6 was chosen:

  • Headless architecture
  • Mobile-first approach
  • Fast page load time
  • Modern tech stack, including Vue.js, Nuxt.js, Symfony, and more
  • Almost unlimited UX possibilities
  • Short time to market
  • Great customer experience for customers
  • Cooperation with core Shopware PWA team

UX experience as the competitive advantage of an online store

Yope was focused strongly on visuals, so they wanted the PWA to look and work the same on all devices. The Divante team worked hard to achieve this goal, resulting in a flawless UX and UI that promotes a convenient online shopping experience.

YOPE Website

The UX and UI visualization of the website has been improved thanks to:

  • A transparent banner on the home page.
  • The structure of the content.
  • A mega menu.
  • A mini cart.
  • Enlarged product photos.
  • Fast checkout.
  • Adapting the PWA to mobile devices.

Final conversion and performance:

  • Total conversion increased by 70%
  • Desktop conversion increased by 82.62%
  • Mobile conversion increased by 64.48%
  • Reduced time to first byte by 1100%

Find out more about the project and read the complete case study.

Sustainability first: Don’t throw it away, refill it instead

You can refill bottles with Yope products in many drugstores in Poland thanks to unique and extremely easy-to-use stands. It combines innovation and ecology. There’s also additional savings for the customer because refilling the bottle at a stand is 15% cheaper than buying it in a new bottle. At the same time, empty packages of Yope products must be returned to drugstores.

Refilling YOPE bottlesSource: https://yope.me/

When we cross the Yope boutique store threshold, we know it will be a long and pleasant journey. We can touch, smell, and try everything. It’s possible to use a sink so that we can test liquid soaps on our skin.

Yope is an example of a brand that perfectly combines offline and online customer experiences. The innovative mindset of the founders can be seen by their focus on the eco and sustainability trends that are the future of retail.

Find your fit for an omnichannel strategy

Omnichannel sales connect the online and offline world. Brands such as CCC, Sephora, and Yope put the customer's purchasing experience at the forefront. They are masters of consistency with the information provided to the consumer along with the skillful integration of all touchpoints. That’s a recipe for success and a lesson for all brands that want to succeed in the competitive retail market. 

Our experts are happy to talk if you want to go over your store’s omnichannel strategy.

Published August 10, 2022