The ‘Internet of Light’ in the retail sector
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.
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.
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.
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.