Retail by… Eric Borreil

(Author : Altavia Watch)
 Eric Borreil CEO of Altavia France  

Eric Borreil




  • What Retail innovation recently seduced you the most?

The most striking, the most attractive and the most emblematic for tomorrow according to me is, without a doubt, Amazon’s “Prime Air” project!
Of course the project is over two years old now – and it holds a number of constraints – but Amazon announced the launch in India in October. We speak here of “octocopteres” which can fly up to 80 km / hour carrying packages weighing up to 2.2 kg, on a radius of 15 km which represents 86% of the company’s sales !
With an incredible promise: “The delivery of your package in less than 30 ‘! “
When we know that Google is also working on a similar project with its “Project Wing” and that France’s La Poste tested last year a terminal designed for landing and takeoff of package delivery drones, we can think that between futuristic and immediate future, time retracts at breakneck speed. Which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing  when it comes to delivery…

  • What major trend affecting Retail seems the most exciting  to you ?

In the line of the drone delivery solutions, widespread revolution in commercial logistics is from my point of view the most significant and structuring development for retail.
If we look at this trend with a wide view, we realize that it meets of course the technological and e-commerce revolutions, but it also supports a broad service-based development which is the new paradigm of retail, changing the primary expectations of customers today.
We are facing one of the largest evolutions of services retail has known in a long time.
Between the logistics of home delivery and the various systems and procedures: withdrawals or deposits point, click and collect, drive, vending machines, pop-up stores, mobile trucks etc … it is an entire ecosystem that innovates and reinvents itself to offer a tenfold accessibility to their products and their offers.
Somehow the rise of proximity is also a form of response to ‘logistic’ expectations today. This trend is exciting because it reconfigures retail today and tomorrow.
Considering that customers have regained power over their consumption and purchasing, and retailers are becoming more than ever great logistic experts for customer service, we are here facing a major field of innovation, at the center of today and tomorrow’s digital native generations expectations. 

  • Your favorite Retail destination ?

As a golfer, I have a regular practice … in a chain of stores: Golf Plus.
First, because it has created some shops in Paris and incidentally at 800 meters from my home (proximity again…), but especially because it has set up a complete service and wonderfully faces all the (real) needs of golfers, whatever their level.
To push the vice (yes that sport is a vice) a little further, Golf Plus created spin offs in the same street : a shop for clothing, a shop for material, a workshop for equipment repair and adaptation, but also a “Golf Plus Travel” antenna.
The pros that make a difference? The service, as always: including a fitting workshop that can customize clubs after analyzing your body, your swing speed and sensations (with a GC2 radar for experts). But also an inside practice to test the material, not to mention the advice of profesionals in the shops or the possibility to rent equipment …
The example is certainly unusual, but the fundamentals are present and well developed: proximity, choice, advice and (ultra) customized services (ultra)!

Golf plus

  • A Retail app in your Smartphone ?

For once, I instinctively think of an app: the TGV Pro application.
It summarizes everything I expect from a app, it’s simple and practical, based on my real user needs, logical, useful and essential in mobility. The dematerialization of my train tickets, my loyalty program and my “Grand Voyageur” card allows me to travel with my phone. The recent inclusion of all the necessary documentation is a must of ease and simplicity at this level. Furthermore it really simplifies ticket exchange processes (in two clicks) and offers additional services like booking parking or taxis to take only these examples. Last less visible point: no concession is made to what is useful and necessary. Thus no minor feature or schedule unnecessarily complicates the customer experience. In short, a good example for me of a “customer centric” application.

  • Customer satisfaction challenges of tomorrow in Retail ?

Client link for a long lasting satisfaction! And in this regard my belief is that the link can be built only by the consideration of “the customer’s truth” prerequisite to the creation of meaning and value, necessary to a long lasting relationship. More than ever, new technologies open an always bigger relational and transactional field, more contextual, more interactive, and of course more personalized.

We all know that services are at the heart of customer satisfaction through new experiences that are always smoother, faster, more complete and more in line with the expectations of shoppers. 

Nevertheless, I believe that the great challenge will be building satisfying customer satisfaction through a clean and differentiating relational code. As technology opens up the field of proximity, interaction and customization, it increases the risk of intrusion or even bad taste. In fact, new technologies requires excellence in the relationship.

I think it necessary to stay alert of a drift that would not create the necessary differentiation: technological innovation and satisfaction based only on service or offer. Service and offer that can by essence be copied.

Satisfying a customer is also and above all based on a proposition to join a system of values in which he recognizes himself. for customer satisfaction to be sustainable, it needs to make sense, to be built on the truth of its expectations and its context with transparency and empathy.

For satisfaction to be sustainable it requires a strong and “real” customer relationshipWe must therefore put the content and meaning at the center of customer satisfaction. Creation is in my point of view a little forgotten in the on-going revolution, very (too?) focused on the reinvention of offers, services and client touchpoints. Offering to customers a relationship in which he’s fully (re)considered is in my opinion one of the key challenges for the future.

How does the customer perceives the legitimacy of the relationship with the brand? How important is this relationship for him ? What kind of relationship does he consider establishing with the brand with him? What level of closeness is he waiting for? What standard is he ready to accep?

These issues – from the customer’s point of view – status, involvement, frequency, format and relationship are at the center of a sustainable and satisfying link with customers. And “customer relationship” is the major challenge of a lasting satisfaction for tomorrow.

  • Your “Proust madeleine” in Retail ?

I’m not a nostalgic. I would much rather imagine concepts for tomorrow than look back on memories of another time. What is certain is that the best is yet to come ! But for exercise I will say my neighborhood bakery. For the authenticity, the quality of the products, the smell. For the real product and the real baker! Besides authenticity is a value of the future, including in innovation, and proximity is at the heart of the expectations and new behaviors today.


Source : Altavia Watch