Decathlon customers shop safely thanks to Entrance Monitoring

Published on 03/11/2021 in Customer Stories

For Decathlon, innovation and digital transformation are two inseparable components of customer experience and internal efficiency. The proof is the Entrance Monitoring solution integrated into 25 of the 37 stores in Belgium.

Decathlon customers shop safely thanks to Entrance Monitoring

Digital transformation: a must

Innovation is a priority for Decathlon. It is an instrument for product design, customer experience (UX), logistics and the environmental responsibility of internal processes. “Contextual elements have accelerated our capacity for innovation and the need to reposition ourselves digitally", explains Olivier Flament, Data & Direct Marketing Manager at Decathlon Belgium. According to him, the arrival of new players who are better prepared for e-commerce or even marketplaces is one of the first indicators, followed by the development of e-sport and online sports coaching. “Not to mention Generation Z and their new consumption habits.”

A crisis that is accelerating digitization

The health crisis is a major obstacle for sports retail specialists. But it is not insurmountable thanks to several projects under preparation, which will be deployed faster than expected. “Our Click & collect bridges the virtual and physical world: the customer orders online and can pick it up in store an hour later. It’s a boost for our customer experience. Business opportunities have also arisen in terms of the circular economy, health and well-being and even through our own marketplace. A paradigm shift”, stressed Olivier Flament.

Contextual elements have accelerated our capacity for innovation.

Olivier Flament, Data & Direct Marketing Manager at Decathlon Belgium


"Enter without knocking"

A crisis team, strict in-store measures, an updated exchange process... Decathlon put many initiatives in place to adapt to the new "normal". Olivier Flament revealed the most promising project: the integration of the Entrance Monitoring solution.

“We monitor the flow of visitors in store depending on a maximum authorized number that is calculated based on our sales areas.” For example, we are talking about a maximum of 600 people for 8,000 m2. At the entrance, a screen informs customers in real time whether or not they can enter the store. Without this technology, it is very difficult for large retail operators like us to know if security measures are being respected. ”

It is all about data

Within the 25 pilot stores, other sensors detect movement. Olivier Flament and his teams have anonymized data via a ’retail dashboard’ that makes it possible to visualize traffic in areas on a heat map using a color code, but also to visualize the most used routes or even potential cross selling between departments.

“Once again, we are using digitization to serve UX and our own knowledge. We now know, for example, that the average store visit time is 31 minutes or even that we need to optimize the presence of our employees in the sales areas.”

“Because support is key for Decathlon – a value we share at Proximus – other innovative data projects are also underway.”

We monitor the flow of visitors in store depending on a maximum authorized number that is calculated based on our sales areas.

Olivier Flament, Data & Direct Marketing Manager at Decathlon Belgium

Electronic Shelf Labeling in Liege

For a specialist like Decathlon, information on products available on the shelves is not limited to price. Up to now, this crucial information for customers has been communicated on paper.

“You can imagine the logistics involved in reconfiguring a store or quite simply making price changes. This situation is no longer in line with our productivity objectives and our environmentally responsible vision. We are therefore currently testing Electronic Shelf Labeling in Liege. This solution allows information to be centralized, managed and sent to digital labels in stores. The aim is to extend this labeling solution by the end of 2022”, explained Olivier Flament.

Concept store in Lille

Decathlon has a concept store, DXNew window, in the north of France. It is a mix between a boutique and a showroom, where all innovations are tested and improved. “A real playground for experimentation that allows us to express and display the value of our products. There are trial solutions such as 3D cutouts of our products, labeling and digital display, augmented reality for customers… I would not call this a futuristic store, but rather a contemporary store in line with our Vision 2026”, concluded the data and CRM manager.

Sport and well-being

Remote working, confinement, isolation... To allow companies and their employees to stay on course, Decathlon has three online programs suitable for complete beginners, the more experienced and even the whole family.

Find out more about the programs Opens a new window

Olivier Flament is an enthusiast, a dad and above all a thoroughbred decathlete. While he may not have been predestined for the retail sector with an education in law and political science, he is nonetheless Data & Direct Marketing Manager at Decathlon Belgium.

Olivier's advice

  • Create a working group armed with three skills: data, IT (hardware) and communication. This will allow you to consolidate your innovation project internally.
  • Do not undertake all the steps at once. Take into account the precise segmentation of your retail network.
  • Rigorously define the added value of the project. You will cut down on discussions and avoid creating doubt.

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