Empowering Customers and Employees to a More Human Centric Shopping Experience [ Group Auchan SA ]
Auchan wanted to introduce more choice to customers while also reducing the length of queues at its checkouts. At the same time, it wanted to improve the employee experience on the shop floor. Three new self-service tools from Fujitsu empower customers to design their own shopping experience and make employees of Auchan more cheerful and approachable. This has enhanced the relational dimension between Auchan and its customers.
"Fujitsu helped us to work on our checkout waiting times and flow. Auchan wanted to offer its customers choice, both on the shelves and at the checkout. The new concepts, developed in partnership with Fujitsu, have enhanced the experience for our customers and made the sales process more flexible, whilst also improving working conditions for our employees."
Anne Bonjour, National Checkout Director
Offering its customers the widest possible choice
The Auchan group is made up of five independent and additional companies. It employs over 330,000 people in 16 countries and has a turnover of €62.1 billion. The company has subsidiaries in France, Italy, India, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China, Taiwan, Romania and the Ukraine. In 2014, Auchan had over 1,700 integrated supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Auchan's strength lies in offering its customers the widest possible choice, particularly on the shelves. In order to take this approach further, the company recently explored a new avenue by offering its customers innovative checkout concepts. This strategy was regarded as decisive in improving the experience for customers and employees.
"We wanted to reduce waiting times at checkouts and offer customers access to new concepts. Riding the wave of the democratization of new technology,we felt it was crucial for us to integrate these concepts into the shopping experience. As a company, it is essential that we offer choice in terms of products and services, which is a real competitive advantage," explains Anne Bonjour, National Checkout Director.
Auchan has been working with Fujitsu for over 20 years and regards this relationship as a partnership based on trust and innovation. Fujitsu was therefore the obvious choice for Auchan to introduce new technology within the group.
"Together we developed an integration strategy for new concepts which would transform the way our customers shop," adds Anne Bonjour.
Installing three new checkout concepts
Auchan took an innovative approach by installing three new checkout concepts, designed in partnership with Fujitsu, which allow customers to scan and pay for their items independently. "Rapid Auchan" is a handheld scanner system which allows customers to scan their purchases while walking around the store. "Caisse Minute" is a self-service checkout system designed for customers with baskets.
Even more innovative, "Chariot Express" (Fujitsu’s U-Reverse solution) is the first hybrid checkout solution which allows Auchan to rapidly switch from self-service checkout mode to traditional cashier-operated checkout mode in order to reduce queues, thereby adapting to suit store activity.
"Fujitsu helped us to work on our checkout waiting times and flow," explains Anne Bonjour. "The new concepts, developed in partnership with Fujitsu, have enhanced the experience for our customers and made the sales process more flexible, whilst also improving working conditions for our employees."
The deployment of these concepts now takes place on the stores' initiative: gradually in the first instance and a real acceleration has been observed in recent years.
Transforming the in-store experience for customers and employees
The implementation of these self-service concepts has been successful, with 35% of customers now choosing a self-service concept to make their purchases. As a result, queues are smaller at the traditional checkouts, thereby improving the experience for customers and employees.
"Auchan has transformed the cashier's role into a more relational and diverse role and has reduced the tiresome nature of their work by limiting their handling of items and money, which is a stress factor."
Studies show that, following the implementation of these new checkout solutions, customers now find staff more cheerful and approachable.
Thanks to its international coverage, Fujitsu can assist Auchan with the implementation of these new concepts throughout Europe. "We hope to carry on with this process, continuing to deploy these new concepts in our stores," states Anne Bonjour.
With Fujitsu’s support, Auchan has transformed the in-store experience for customers and employees. Customers now have the choice of a wide range of services to improve their shopping experience and reduce waiting times.
"We are constantly seeking innovative solutions and Fujitsu's involvement has always been very strong in this regard. It has been a trusted partner for over 20 years, thanks to its technology expertise."
Anne Bonjour, National Checkout Director
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