Technological and societal change is clearly being reflected in retail, with megatrends such as digitisation, urbanisation and customisation influencing customer behaviour. Selling online today, offline tomorrow, always personally custom-tailored of course, and round-the-clock – depending on the situation, interested buyers switch back and forth between channels, some of which can no longer be differentiated from one another. Industry pioneer Wanzl has a response to this: Customer Centricity, which means an explicit focus on customers, their needs, and the Customer Journey. This approach necessitates the creation of new shop concepts that employ a consistent change of perspective. Wanzl will be at stand 13A89, Hall 13, of the world-leading EuroShop 2020 trade fair in Düsseldorf, presenting an entire city that features innovative shopping experiences, technologies, and inspiring end-to-end solutions – all in line with the slogan: WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT
A growing number of people are moving to built-up areas, and urbanisation is constantly increasing. But space is in short supply, making it very difficult to achieve profitability in sprawling shopping centres, or even to establish them at all if the space is essentially unavailable. Urban stores can supply locals with day-to-day products from fruit and vegetables, bread and baked goods, right up to ready-made snacks and convenience foods. Even more than that, they can essentially replace shoppers’ refrigerators and kitchens. At the same time, they serve as a meeting place for the neighbourhood, offering a stylish seating area and coffee bar. Wanzl designs its urban stores so they imitate a contemporary lifestyle apartment with clear light/dark contrasts, judicious dashes of colour, and carefully chosen decorative elements such as real plants or quirky lighting. Shopping itself becomes smart and cashless, with customers’ smartphones functioning as digital customer cards; customers use an app to access the shop by means of a gate solution, as well as to activate their customer account and virtual shopping basket. While shopping, fully automated systems detect when and which products have been selected. Store employees are available to offer advice, make sure the shelves are well-stocked, or to prepare fresh snacks. After the customer has finished shopping, a control check takes place; If the contents of the virtual and real shopping basket match, the user confirms that the information is correct. Alternatively, the customer can scan goods at the self-checkout. Following the obligatory checkout via the gate, the cost of the goods is automatically debited from the customer’s account.
Structured, inexpensive, and fast – the existing advantages of the hard discount are even further enhanced by innovative technologies. There is no longer any need to wait at the checkout, so shopping will be even faster in future! Smartphones and scan trolleys are central to the concept. The smart shopping trolley can be unlocked – coin-free and connected to the user’s personal smartphone – via an app. Next, the buyer can simply scan each product directly at the shopping trolley; the goods automatically appear on the smartphone display, along with the individual and overall total price. To pay, the customer confirms the displayed purchase, their credit card or bank account is charged for the amount, and they receive a QR code to open the exit system. The shopper then takes the shopping trolley back to the trolley shelter and in return is thanked by the app, perhaps with a voucher included for their next shopping trip. The concept and the design are built on the same principles: Wanzl takes a minimalist approach to equipping the hard discount, using simple shelving systems, sales baskets, and pallets. Light colours, bright lighting, and clear routes facilitate fast navigation through the store.
The simple idea behind the 24-hour store concept is that immediate needs should be met around the clock. Customers enter the store by double-scanning a QR code in the operator app or via the barcode on a customer card – first on an external pillar in order to enter the shop vestibule, and then on a gate solution to access the store. In this process, the system automatically identifies the customer number and the individual entering the store is authenticated. They can then move freely through the shop and make their selections from what’s on offer. Once they have finished shopping, they go to the checkout area with self-scanning tunnel. The customer is again identified via the app, and then the scanning process starts. All items are placed on the checkout conveyor, digitally recorded, and displayed both as a product list in the app and on the screen of the self-scanning tunnel. Anti-theft protection is removed during the scanning process. Once all the products have been recorded, the customer chooses their preferred payment method, such as a debit or credit card, Paypal or mobile payment, and they pay the total. Now an additional QR code is sent that enables them to leave the store via an exit gate. The 24/7 stores each have an individual look depending on their location and operator. Whether what’s needed is to reflect a distinctively regional design at airports and train stations, or the corporate identity of a pharmacy chain or hardware store, and whether the brief requires something playful and elaborate or simple and straightforward, Wanzl will create the right shop interior.
Container mobile stores provide flexible, space-saving and full-value shopping experiences. These mini shops can be designed, produced, fitted and commissioned incredibly quickly, and represent a fantastic alternative not only for supplying rural areas, but also to enable quick shopping trips in high-footfall spaces such as universities or company premises. Wanzl adapts the look and feel of container mobile stores in line with the relevant target market and goods group, accommodating every look from on-trend, casual, classic, rustic, or traditional – you can be sure that the intended clientele will be addressed with the right feeling for colour presentation, decoration, and materials. Shoppers access via a customer card or corresponding app on their smartphone. The store offers convenience products that app users can scan themselves as they shop. Customers without the app can use the self-checkout in the tills area, and this cannot be accessed until customers have authenticated themselves. As soon as the payment process has been completed via credit card, debit card, or a customer account, the shopper can exit the store by means of a QR code.
Luxury market shopping presents the antithesis to ever-increasing speed and ever-decreasing prices. Here, the focus is not on simply meeting need, but on shopping as a social experience, where the store becomes the third personal space after the workplace and home. Sophisticated interior design is essential to succeeding here. Wanzl ensures visually impressive design with its premium materials, exquisite decorative arrangements, and exclusively designed goods presentations, to create a space where shoppers not only enjoy spending more time, but also engage in detailed discussions to find out more about the high-quality products on offer and how they are made. Innovative events such as social and show cooking or gastronomic concepts integrated into the stores make the locations more attractive, and in doing so also increase customer loyalty. Ultimately they stop feeling like customers, and start feeling like part of a community.
How do customers get to the product they’re looking for? With its dark store concept, Wanzl uses three different solutions to demonstrate its expertise in both retail and logistics. The goods warehouse serves as the anchor point. With its brand-new mobile workplace, smart wearable scanner, nestable roller containers, and AG-V1-compatible commissioning trolleys, Wanzl offers everything you need for a smooth process in the classic cycle from goods arrival by commissioning to outgoing goods. Alternatively, direct sales via automatic machines at the goods warehouse is also possible: online orders are chaotically placed into storage on-site in packaging stations, where customers can pick them up at any time of the day or night using the QR code sent to them. Alternatively, the interested buyer can visit the automatic machine without making an advance order, use a product selection terminal to find out any information they need, and then order their products immediately – and even take them away there and then if they’re available.
Wanzl has taken part in and significantly contributed to the design of the evolution of retail, from counter sales to self-service. The innovation leader’s new shop formats represent the groundwork for the next major development journey. With its first-rate experience, Wanzl guarantees scalable and above all achievable concepts on an economical basis. Concentrated on the here and now, with its sights set on the future. Digital technologies such as fully automated access systems, monitoring, recommendation, analytical tools, and mobile payment are just as much part of their expertise as the implementation of cutting-edge shopfitting concepts, from planning to design to commissioning and aftersales. Its key focus is always to achieve a custom-tailored solution and first-rate service.
Wanzl GmbH & Co. KGaA