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Interactive mirrors, augmented reality, 3D-printing – it’s only logical that recently held Paris Retail Week expo played host to many high tech novelties. But technological gadgetry isn’t limited to the expo centre at Porte de Versailles. A quick tour of Paris’ most innovative shops makes it crystal clear: Technology has become a definitive staple of high-street retail. Well, nearly anyway.

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At the opening of the E-Commerce Paris show (12 to 14 September – Paris expo Porte de Versailles), Fevad published its report on internet sales in France in the second quarter of 2016. This study is based both on information gathered from the main retail sites as well as the total number of transactions processed by the main payment companies on behalf of the 189, 240 active retail sites.

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When we are talking about customer experience, the first thing is to be clear about what we are expecting as retailers or brands from this experience. Are we looking for loyalty, money, advocacy … all of these? Probably all, just because the customer journey is now a full ride with a brand, that needs to be evaluated as a pure relationship made of facts and data.

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Photo (c) Bigstock
Photo (c) Bigstock

There I was, standing in a sea of black suitcases at a local department store. My current wheelie bag was in dire need of replacement. As a long-time road warrior, I knew this bag would be my constant companion, so I approached the task with the same care and thought that other people might put into choosing a new SUV.

My husband stood by my side looking at the bags with me, when a salesperson approached. The salesperson ignored me and made a beeline for my husband, looked directly at him and asked if he needed help finding a new bag. My husband gestured to me, saying, “It’s for her.” The salesperson looked surprised and took a moment to recalibrate his pitch. I just smiled and sighed. It was a classic case of incorrect assumptions: in this case, the assumption that I was not the decision maker for this purchase. Based on my research with women consumers – as well as a lifetime of personal experience – incorrect assumptions happen with women all the time, even when they’re shopping alone. (i.e., “Tell your husband he needs to buy this necklace for you!”).
Many women have the experience of being ignored, overlooked or underestimated when shopping, particularly with a male partner or friend. These experiences can and do happen with both male and female salespeople, and they can derail a sale.

First of all, I always keep in mind that the innovative businesses looking to distinguish themselves who come to me aim to create an experience, as well as enchanting the reception of a sales point, federate, seduce and shape client faithfulness in a different way. The olfactory signature is part of the sensitive and emotional experience which allows to build a strong tie between a brand or enterprise and the clientele. I am then guided by a very clear project: being welcoming through originality makes the client faithful, through the offering of a unique and pleasant experience as soon as they walk into a sales point. He must not only feel welcome, but also capture the olfactory image of the company. From the time the customer walks in, magic must happen. Here, bonhomie and wellness must be the most important keys words. This, while at the same time taking care of collaborators who work at the locations and really prioritize a quality of life within the workplace.