Interview with Julien Decoster
Julien Decoster is in charge of pre-sales in Merchant Services & Terminals. He joined the company in 2000.
We were at Paris Retail Week in September. Can you tell us more about this event?
Paris Retail Week is the fusion of two separate trade shows: e-Commerce Paris and Digital in Store by Equipmag. It occurred in this new state for the first time this year. This new format is to our advantage because, while we were historically present at e-Commerce Paris, our solutions were also presented at Digital in Store by Equipmag, trade show dedicated to physical stores, given our partnership with Samsung. Additionally, this fusion follows the current Digital Retail trend, that is the combination and the interweaving of online and in-store shopping, a subject Worldline is active on with dedicated solutions.
What is the significance of Paris Retail Week for Worldline and what were our main expectations for this event?
It gives us the opportunity to meet prospects but, more importantly, to see our clients. We also participate in conferences about payments and big data, for example. Finally, we showcase our dedicated solutions, through demos using Samsung products, as well as our capacity to innovate.
As you just mentioned, this event brings together the retail and the e-Commerce worlds. What are the synergies between these two worlds?
In my opinion, it is more a fusion than synergies at work. Indeed, e-Commerce and physical retail are becoming intertwined and this event is proof of that. But, while both worlds were competitors for a long time, they now are joining forces to, for example, direct traffic from websites to physical stores. On the other hand, physical stores enable online ordering in stores, known as web-in-store, and use digital tools in order to display more products without needing more space or even stock, for example.
This fusion creates new buying journeys such as “click-and-collect”, where customers place and pay for their orders online and pick them up in stores, and “click-and-reserve”, where customers place their orders online but pay in stores when they pick them up.
Which solutions did we showcase on our booth? How do they help merchants to reinvent their customer experiences?
For this year’s event, our overarching theme was “Reinventing the customer experience”. Indeed, the goal of our demos was to showcase our capacity to create an end-to-end in-store customer journey. Among these demos, we had Mobile Seller, a tablet-based solution for salespersons to help them cater to their customers throughout their in-store journeys. We also used our connected changing room demo to showcase interactions between physical goods, equipped with RFID* chips, and this room by displaying information about them on a digital screen in said room. We also had the extremely rare** Samsung connected mirror, a screen that displays relevant content and also creates interactions by, for example, suggesting a complete look, via a video, to a customer who is trying on a polo.
During this event, we also demoed our PromoWall and Scan Me Buy Me solutions which were also featured in Samsung’s pop-up store during their Innovation Week, as well as our payment terminals.
What do you think are tomorrow’s trends in retail and e-Commerce?
The main trend is the digital transformation of merchants in order to better serve their customers and to accompany them all along their new buying journeys, which take them from one channel to another. One example of this transformation could be the use of physical stores as showrooms. In this context, customers would search and select their items online ahead of time, then they would try them in stores before finalizing the purchases online and having them delivered at home. This new use case has advantages for both customers and merchants:
- For customers, it saves time and makes it easier for heavy and/or cumbersome items.
- For merchants, it helps them with stock management as showrooming does not require stock or restocking.
Thank you for your time today, Julien. I will leave you with one final question: if you could invent a new innovative solution to help with one of your daily tasks, in your professional and/or private life, what would it be and why?
It would be the ability for merchants to be able to predict what I need depending on the content of my fridge and to deliver the missing items directly to my front door. This would save me a lot of time on a daily basis.
* Radio Frequency IDentification
** Only two in Europe currently