Retail Omnichannel Commerce

Drive to store: from click & collect to phygital experience

  • By: Tecla

In the omnichannel era the concept of Drive to store, or rather of all those actions that prompt the customer to purchase, has radically changed, mainly thanks to the advent of the mobile. The digital channel, especially through ecommerce, has for some time been the first point of contact with consumers, the Zero moment of truth, when they are still out of store, with the primary role of informing them as effectively as possible at any time and recommending the purchase.

Once the customers are in-store, not only do they have the incomparable direct experience of the product and a relationship with the shop assistant, but they can also have direct digital interactions thanks to smartphones, kiosks, digital signage, and other integrated digital technologies that can give information immediately.
The Phygital (Physical + Digital) experience at the service of the customer enables the retailer to provide personalized marketing approaches that are therefore highly effective. An example of these are analysis of the presences and of the in-store journeys or the sending of promotions in real time (mobile push, digital signage).  

Together with business innovations, the fusion of the physical and digital channels make the store experience work better and for the customer as well as offering advantages thanks to a single display of the offer and of the product inventory. The customer can purchase the point of sale’s “out of stock” of using mobile commerce, choosing shipment to own address, or making the products available in a shorter time in the point of sale compared with the traditional delivery, by click &collect.

Retail Customer Experience

Phygital Experience & WebRooming

Against an increasingly omnichannel customer experience, in which the touch points are both physical and digital, the Retail brands are creating phygital experiences to engage customers at the right time and in the right place with relevant contents.

The Phygital experience, made possible by the application of the technology in an interactive and personalized manner to the user’s experience, creates a unique interaction between digital and physical channels, which significantly improves brand reputation.

Phygital experience and webrooming, both crucial for the drive to store, are strongly interconnected: the users make online searches to arrive to the store as informed as possible, 85% of them continue to use the mobile device to acquire further product information, compare prices for the product they are observing in-store with the prices they find online, or search online for a specific variation of the product which they have tried at the point of sale but which unfortunately is unavailable in the store.

And it is in this extension of the infinite “corridor” of webrooming that enables technology on the one hand to support retailers in acquiring big data on customer behavior and, on the other, intervenes to improve customer instore shopping experience.


“62% of Italians are willing to be identified in-store, in exchange for discounts or dedicated services”


Some of the technologies which make the phygital experience possible, and which have revolutionized the instore experience of customers willing to consent to monitoring of their behavior in exchange for discounts or dedicated services, transform the retail store into a collection hub for big customer data

  • Beacons: to track and communicate with consumers in real time. The store can use the mobile device to detect the presence of the contact or send special coupons in real time;
  • RFID tags: the radio frequency identification tags can be applied to specific products inside the physical store for a single and omnichannel view of the inventory. Using an RFID tag a customer can make the purchase on line and immediately pick up the product inside the store, creating further cross selling opportunities once inside the store;
  • Guest wi-fi: when the customers connect to the Wi-Fi instore, retailers have access to crucial data like the number of customers in the store, duration of their stay inside the store to detect their interests, managing also to track whether they are new visitors or regular customers inside that specific point of sale.

Omnichannel commerce and store

A radical change in the management process at the root of commerce flows is crucial to support the drive to store which enhances the omnichannel customer experience.

Stock management and real-time communication of the availability and real shipment times to the customer is one of the crucial drivers in this journey of innovation which must include:  

  • Online exposure of the product catalog and of the stock of the point of sale;
  • Omnichannel order management, with transfer between one store and another, with the possibility of global inventory management, with display of the single physical stores and the ecommerce catalog, to optimize out of stock/overstock management and improve customer satisfaction;
  • Reserve in-store and Click & Collect, which significantly increase the drive to store and improve sales (71% of customers who click & collect usually buy other products at the point of sale);
  • Buy online and Ship from store which, not only reduce delivery times, but also minimize shipment costs, reducing the percentage of abandoned shopping carts


In this case too, in addition to innovation in the basic process, the technology shapes models of behavior born outside the physical store, leading the customer to buy increasingly online even when she/he is physically inside the store, thanks to innovations like:

  • Digital Signage and Digital Kiosk, “physical” supports in the digitalization of the point of sale. The Kiosks are hubs where you can charge up a smartphone to encourage a longer stay, view the product catalog, dedicated contents, videos and record presence in-store to allow tracking of a contact’s loyalty. Digital signage technology makes it possible to interface with the branded app through QR code or beacon and to personalize a dynamic program of contents and offers based on the customer’s profile, on the single device, on the time and on the individual point of sale.
  • Emotion analytics: : allows to trace the emotions generated in the customer or potential customer by the storefront, digital signage, fit-outs
  • Mobile POS ( Point of Sale), to replicate the experience of a quick check-out inside the point of sale

The virtual fitting room is one of the most recent developments in the phygital phenomenon: the customer can “virtually” try on the product in front of a touch screen mirror, a further source of valuable information and content, with a positive impact on the increase of purchase conversions.

These trends are in line with Gartner research which shows that 50% of product investments will be used for innovation in customer experience by 2017. This confirms the extent to which integration of technological innovation and process optimization will lead to a digital transformation process which rests on solid foundations.


For many years, Tecla has comprehensively supported big retail players on their business innovation journey, starting from a timely analysis, then developing an ad hoc strategy to integrate technologies in which it can boast continually developing development solid expertise:

IBM WCS Commerce, IBM Marketing Cloud, IBM Bluemix, Sterling Order Management, Product 360 Informatica.

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