The Store of the Future With Sylvain Nigra

June 17, 2021



Our special guest, Sylvain Nigra, brings decades of experience at some of the most successful brands in the world to talk about what it takes from a technology perspective to deliver the best retail customer experience possible. What are the main in store technology retailers should be adopting to be successful? What should be the first step in the project rollout? What tools do store associates need to best serve customers?

  • We ask these questions and more of our special guest, Sylvain Nigra, founder and co-CEO of Retail Performance 360 and former retail director for top luxury brands including Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors.

  • Sylvain brings decades of experience at some of the most successful brands in the world to talk about what it takes from a technology perspective to create the best customer experience possible. He is confident that there’s no time to waste, and that the right technology and retail associates training needs to be in place to enable and empower these associates.


Conversation Rundown

[ 5:29-8:05 ] Time to go back to basics for the retail stores
Sylvain Nigra believes it's time to go back to basics when it comes to the in-store shopping experience. We're so focused on talking about newness that we lose the fundamentals. He believes the importance of window displays has unfortunately been diminished in recent years. That's what attracts customers in store! You also can't overstate the importance of good inventory flow and availability in-store.

[ 8:08-9:40 ] Invest in people to get more customers in-store
Your store associates are your most important brand ambassadors. Yet so few retailers invest in their store teams. They train them once and never again. They introduce new technologies without really equipping their team with the knowledge they need to be successful. They pay the store associates the same rate despite asking more and more of them each year. These are all critical errors.

[ 12:26-13:56 ] Financial planning for retailers
Sylvain is a big believer in stores. He thinks the retail apocalypse has been vastly over-dramatized. In-store shopping is not dead. In fact, people are lining up for hours when stores re-open because they've missed it. Some stores need to go. But that decision needs to be educated. Don't only look at sale per square footage. Look at the role that store plays within the broader ecosystem-e.g. how it influences online sales in that region.

[ 19:55-21:24 ] BOPIS is not as easy as it looks
BOPIS looks easy from the outside. In the same way that professional athletes make their sports look like a piece of cake. There's a lot going on in the background to make BOPIS work-it's certainly not easy. And many retailers don't consider that when they make the decision to take on a BOPIS project. They think about the benefits without considering the investment.

[ 21:59-22:33 ] How to market to a BOPIS customer
How do you market new products to a BOPIS customer? One of the main benefits of click and collect is that it encourages in-store traffic. Study after study shows that if you bring customers in-store, they're likely to purchase more. You need to create a seamless experience for them that allows them to quickly pick up their order and leave if that's what they want. But also give them the option to explore on the side.

[ 28:19-30:55 ] Technology should reduce friction
Ask yourself: why are you buying technology? Is it to say you did, because all of the other retailers are doing it? The purpose of technology is to reduce friction. I've seen some amazing tech in terms of capabilities, but it made life harder for the consumer. Retailers need to be hyper-focused on creating the most frictionless experience in-store and online. Inventory accuracy is one of the main areas of focus that tech can target.

Meet the Expert

Our special guest, Sylvain Nigra, founder and co-CEO of Retail Performance 360. Also, former retail director for top luxury brands - Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors, joins us to share his experience of the most successful brands in the world.

Retail Tips & Tweetables

Store associates must be trained to be customer service reps because online customers are now going to come to the store and talk to them as if they sold that product to them, in a much more seamless way.

Store experience has to evolve. Store cannot be simply a place where you go buy the item and take it home but it has to be where I would come to experience the brand.

Just because you want to deliver a better experience in your store to your customer, you need to save the energy and efficiency of your associates.

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