Fill Me In
Decathlon prides itself on two things — their hyper-experiential stores and value-for-money, affordable prices. The French sporting retailer first arrived on the shores of Singapore in 2016, and their newest flagship store opened at The Centrepoint earlier this month, boasting an immersive customer experience with VR technology and robot assistants.
Boosting the shopping experience
Taking over two levels in the mall, the Orchard Decathlon outlet will have one of the most comprehensive catalogues with over 6,000 products across 60 different sports to cover almost every sporting need or equipment you might ever require.
A normal retail store no longer cuts it, as shoppers are looking to engage more with the products sitting on the shelf. Even a fully online experience might not be enough for customers, especially those who do sports and have very specific requirements when it comes to their sporting accessories. For Decathlon, the physical experience is just as important as its online experience, seeing its stores as ‘gathering places’ where customers can interact with the products and each other.
According to Monash University, phygital is the concept of using technology to bridge the digital world with the physical world with the purpose of providing a unique interactive experiences for the user.
While Decathlon has been rolling out technology-driven experiences in their stores worldwide, this will be their first store in Singapore where customers can experience VR through their interactive zones.
And how does a phygital experience help you make a more informed choice?
With that in mind, Decathlon has been incorporating digital technologies like VR and XR into their experiential zones. Trialling products in simulated environments to get a more accurate feel of using said products are more likely to result in a more satisfied purchase as you are less likely to get hidden surprises.
In addition to their popular skate ramps and hiking bag testing zones, the Orchard Decathlon will also have a tent pitching zone. Put on a pair of VR goggles to get a sense of how it’ll be like pitching it in the outdoors, and try out other camping gear without having to leave the sunny island. The VR experience will allow you to travel to multiple terrains, weather conditions, and time of the day. Check if the tent is opaque enough to block out the sun or the moon, or just use it to bask under the starry nights.
Decathlon also offers free foot scans for those looking to get the correct shoes. This cutting edge technology analyses your feet shape and even takes into consideration the type of activities you engage in to recommend the most appropriate shoes.
A robot pal for real-time stock-taking
Gone are the days where you need to hunt down a sales assistant and tell him what you’re looking for, and then waiting apprehensively for him to “check in the back” in the hopes of him returning.
Named PAL, the robot helper glides around the store and tracks inventory in real-time to give updates on stock availability. They don’t speak, and they definitely won’t bite.
Cashier-less checkouts, in-mall and online
Instead of regular cashiers powered by humans, the checkout process has been seamlessly automated. Look for the checkout counters peppered around the store and place your items into the basket to check out. The machine is outfitted with an RFID scanning technology to automatically detect every item placed in the basket instead of having you to scan each one individually.
And if automated checkout is too much of a hassle for you, you can also check out your items online by scanning the QR code on the product tag and cart out.
Save the earth while you at it
As part of their sustainable movement, the Decathlon outlet will not have any plastic bags at their counters to encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.
Opt for home delivery through their online checkout so that you can continue your day out without being bogged down with bulky sports equipment! If you drop by early enough in the day, you might even be able to arrange for same-day delivery.
A hybrid shopping experience
With its latest store located right in the heart of Singapore, Decathlon is dedicated to making sports much more fun and accessible to everyone. The interactive shopping experience seamlessly fuses both physical and digital experience in their retail store, offering the modern shopper a much deeper insight into their active lives.
Decathlon is now open daily from 10am to 10pm at The Centrepoint, #01-14/15/16/17, #02-07 & #02-11.