Lorena Gómez Latorre, Retail Technology Manager
The concept of selling has traversed a long way from just selling a product to building relationships with customers and creating a compelling experience for them. Especially with the onset of e-commerce, traditional retail stores are uncovering new ways to regain their importance. Retailers are making headway into creating engaging customer experiences by integrating more consumer-facing technologies into the brick and mortar environment right from revamping the store design to installing interactive digital signage devices that communicate with the customer. Shoppers find it more interesting when they are welcomed with interactive displays that educate them about a particular brand’s products or design portals that help them configure and customize products based on their requirements and preferences. The key to survival for retail stores today relies on its ability to act as a living showcase for products and brands. In a nutshell, this new breed of experience centric retail helps draw customers into stores and create an engaging environment that keeps them coming back. “With the changing consumer behavior, retailers need to transform their stores to focus on shopper brand experience, online to offline strategies, and smart processes by optimizing store design and functions,” explains Lorena Gomez Latorre, HMY Retail Technology Manager. As an international leader in global 360 degree retail services innovation, HMY recognizes this need and empowers retailers to reinvent their store formats in keeping with the needs of the digitally-connected consumer to reap untold benefits. By fortifying retailers with innovative solutions and services, HMY aims to transform the retail stores of clients into attractive and efficient sales space that offer a compelling and unique shopping experience to consumers. "We go a step ahead of becoming strategic retail partners to enable clients to ensure that they have the right solutions to keep up with the consumer behavior evolution while increasing ROI,” adds Lorena.
Delivering a New Approach to Retail
HMY works closely with clients to ensure that each ‘phase’ of a particular development is right for them, and to get them to understand the benefits of a particular approach. “Once we start a project with a client, we work out what the most-desired aspect is; we can build on that with new phases and features, creating a solution that is constantly changing,” states Lorena.
With the changing consumer behavior, retailers need to transform their stores to focus on shopper brand experience, online to offline strategies, and smart processes by optimizing store design and functions
HMY provides turnkey solutions that are divided into three main pillars—shopping experience, smart processes, and analytics. To enhance the consumer experience, the company offers a wide range of solutions from digital signage to interactive products based on many different sensors, touch screens, or virtual and augmented reality. These solutions are customized based on the client’s and their consumers’ preferences to create unique experiences at the point of sales. In addition, HMY offers a portfolio for self-checkouts such as basket SCO, hybrid, tunnel, and queue management solutions. When it comes to stock control, HMY equips clients with solutions based on RFID or other sensors integrated with the shelves that are able to give an accurate and real-time inventory status. Finally, the company’s offering consists of a set of solutions for analytics, utilizing which the clients can measure the consumer behavior and traffic; thanks to different sensors. With HMY’s customizable dashboards, clients can easily define and change their strategy. “All in all, we customize our solutions, making sure the marketing and sales objectives are met, ultimately creating a strong ROI,” says Annja.
HMY combines hardware, tailor-made software, and integrates them into the store design. Each solution addresses specific challenges, which lead to faster ROI. Moreover, the company also provides the tools to measure the ROI so that before going to a roll-out, the solution is at the highest performance. For example, for digital signage, HMY works hand in hand with clients to ensure the right content creation and content management, which Lorena believes is the key factor that leads strong ROIs.
Following this model, HMY has worked with numerous clients that were looking to do something different. “It depends on how ‘disruptive’ the retailer wants the technology to be,” Lorena explains. Interestingly, for one client, the company developed a ‘happiness measurer,' which told customers that the more they smiled, the more discounts they would be able to receive. “Things like this make people come back to a store, as it offers an experience that cannot be replicated online. Here, the limit is only a retailer’s imagination,” she quips.
With an established presence of six decades, HMY is a company that has excelled at implementing 360-degree projects, all the way from the definition of business models and retails concepts to manufacturing and turnkey solutions.
“Our approach is to generate solutions that increase traffic and sales, increase profitability, and heighten purchasing process satisfaction while building brand loyalty for our clients,” extols Annja. During the process conceptualizing and manufacturing of smart solution for clients, HMY does not limit itself to the current fashion or styles but thoroughly observes and analyzes the market trends, competition, users, and the strength of clients. By evaluating these elements, the company identifies the differentiation and competitive advantage. This technique ensures that the final solutions designed are functional as well as creative.
"We provide ‘peace of mind’ so that our clients can have one single contact who will provide all the retail solutions and latest technology, case by case, and not ‘off the shelf’ solutions"
In addition, the company is an integrator and can work with specific partners to provide the right solution. The company holds exclusive partnerships and joint ventures with several companies like Netip, Toshiba, RetailNext and DeuSens. “As each partner specializes in a specific area, it allows HMY to stay at the forefront of new technologies and continually update our offer with the latest in the market,” says Lorena. With a software department expert, HMY can create tailor-made solutions while making software integration with third parties to exploit their potential. "We provide ‘peace of mind’ so that our clients can have one single contact who will provide all the retail solutions and latest technology, case by case, and not ‘off the shelf’ solutions.” With its innovative approach, HMY has garnered a client base consisting of leading brands such as Coca-Cola, Vodafone, Volkswagen, Huawei, Carrefour, Sony, L´Oreal, P&G, and Ferrero among others. "Working with top-level brands and retailers in Europe is a continuous source of inspiration to create cutting-edge solutions,” she adds.
Retailer: The Ultimate Decision Maker
“In technology what is new today is old tomorrow, so we strive to stay ahead of the game continually. This means investment in R&D to offer specific solutions to each of our clients and in each segment of the business,” remarks Lorena. The company aims to be the go-to retail specialist that can help clients understand the evolving consumer behavior and the strategies to cater to this change. Undoubtedly, this involves the use of modern technologies like AI, and the company is working toward creating solutions that will use this technology. “We are working with our partners to offer the solutions for brands and retailers worldwide,” states Lorena. HMY is working to ensure quality and delivery along with integration and aftermarket services, in other words, global reach local implementation. She also believes that as the traditional retail sector becomes more accustomed to the benefits of integrated technology, they will be able to take ownership of their digital presence and apply it constructively to their business. Retailers are creating new departments to manage their digital technologies, and are looking for in-store solutions that can match their expectations. “We offer a service, provide the platform, and also manage it on behalf of our clients. But often it is the retailer that applies the scalability and flexibility,” she concludes.