Changing stationary retail through digital transformation – that was the aim of retailer E.Leclerc in a hypermarket in the French town of Langon. Zumtobel Group Services (ZGS) has supported E.Leclerc Langon on this exciting digitalisation journey, using a pilot project to test the added value of retail lighting concepts linked to the Internet of Things (IoT). ZGS and E.Leclerc Langon use light as an infrastructure to create new shopping experiences and to interact with customers. Recent results show that sales in selected customer groups rose by more than 40%(*) compared to the previous year, proving that retailers really benefit from a networked IoT lighting solution. At the same time, the project has provided fresh insights into utilising the “Internet of Light” and positively influencing customer loyalty in the retail sector.
Dornbirn, Austria – Light plays a major role in the retail trade. Having previously just been used to ensure the best possible presentation of goods, it can now support new services made possible by comprehensive digitalisation. In close cooperation with ZGS, a branch of the leading French retail chain E.Leclerc in Langon started a pilot project linked to the “Internet of Light”. The vision was to create a higher level of interaction with customers and to enable unique shopping experiences based on the lighting infrastructure in the hypermarket – and therefore boost sales along the way. “With the expertise of ZGS and connected lighting, we were able to design a modern and interactive shopping centre in Langon – a place where our customers can experience a completely new way of shopping”, reported Alain Lafforgue, CEO of E.Leclerc Langon.
The first stage of the pilot project saw ZGS install Bluetooth beacons in the existing TECTON LED smart location luminaires from Zumtobel to create connected and digital lighting throughout the store. The beacons, which can be integrated into the fittings during regular maintenance work, do not take up any extra space and do not require a separate power source. These units establish a connection to customers and talk to them directly while they shop via a smartphone app. “Lighting is the ideal infrastructure for IoT applications”, explained Stephane Vasse, Head of IoT Business Development. “In this pilot project, we installed a system of luminaires with integrated beacons, a localisation platform and linked it to the E.Leclerc customer loyalty programme. In this way, we were able to help E.Leclerc Langon boost the knowledge of customers and respond even better to their needs.” The test phase has been running since beginning of December 2017, with the first set of findings just in.
Smart light: Successful results from the test phase
E.Leclerc Langon informed three test groups – 2260 customers from two consumer segments (“Diamond” customers with high turnover and “Family” shoppers) and 437 employees – via e-mail about the new app and its functions in the store. These included push messages, location-based offers, helping finding a particular product and the option to highlight and request missing products. The app was downloaded by 1119 respondents, while the number of users increased continuously during the pilot phase, with 771 people actively used the app in the hypermarket. E.Leclerc Langon and ZGS analysed the purchasing behaviour of the app users at the end of the test phase and compared them to the figures for non-app users. The first set of findings show that push messages (proximity marketing) for selected offers significantly increased sales amongst all three test groups.
Proximity marketing boosts sales
The display of product recommendations and dedicated offers on customer smartphones has led to a clear increase in sales at E.Leclerc Langon. Revenues from app users in the customer test groups increased by 34% (Diamond) and 42% (Family) compared to the previous year. Smartphones connect to the beacons via the app. Customers are alerted to dedicated offers in real time via a push message when they enter a certain area. “This new type of marketing relates to the location of the buyer and forms the basis for completely new customer experiences in the store,” confirmed Tariq Hussain, Head of Strategic Partnerships at the Zumtobel Group. “Direct interaction with a targeted approach increased sales figures, the number of visits in the shop and the average basket size.”
Virtual customer interaction via lighting infrastructure enhances customer satisfaction
The “Internet of Light” also enables E.Leclerc Langon to improve customer communication when it comes to searching for certain products. The store can use this interaction to ask for feedback on the store performance and customers behaviour, like empty shelves. Customers can also pass on additional feedback about their shopping experience to the store directly via the app. “Thanks to virtual customer interaction, we are getting to know our customers and learning more about their individual wishes. With this knowledge, we will be able to increase satisfaction levels and thereby generate greater customer loyalty,” reported Alain Lafforgue, who is delighted with the results. As one customer confirmed, the response from those shopping in the store has been equally positive: “I think it’s a good thing that I don’t have to look at my smartphone all the time, but rather that the app assists me through the store and shows me the recommendations based on my location. The targeted and personalised promotions have also motivated me to try out new products.”
* Information about the setup of the pilot project:
About Zumtobel Group Services
The Zumtobel Group Services (ZGS) brand offers one of the most comprehensive service portfolios in the lighting industry. The spectrum of services ranges from project management for turnkey lighting solutions or financing models for lighting systems to providing advice on and commissioning lighting management and emergency lighting systems and worldwide technical and maintenance services. In the rapidly growing market of connected lighting, ZGS also offers its clients the use and analysis of ‘Digital Services’. Zumtobel Group Services provides complete, customised and ready to use lighting solutions. The brand belongs to Zumtobel Group AG, which is based in Dornbirn, Vorarlberg (Austria). For further information, see www.ZGServices.com.