Running retail today is not really so different now than it used to be. First you have to meet the basic requirements which consumers want and be able to meet their expectations. But what has changed and is challenging today is the second point, “meeting customer expectations.” Retailers today must
- be customer-centered at every touch point
- provide unique offers and customized services
- enable customers to shop 24/7
The reason for this wildfire of expectations is that transactions and communication are increasingly omnipresent. The growth of touch points provides customers with the ability to reach out to retailers at any time, in any place, and through any device. Today’s consumers split and bundle their online and offline lives at will, through whatever touch point is suitable at that particular moment.
They use their mobile devices to discover brands and products while leveraging social networks to share their experiences and to get advice from friends and strangers alike.
The power of networks permeates everything because it’s how we live and work today. Let’s take an example: Imagine you are at a railway station and you notice an advertisement for a pair of shoes. You are in a hurry but there is something that grabs your attention, and you stop. You imagine yourself wearing these shoes with your favorite trousers at a party, and you smile. At this point the story can go down various paths − you could walk on and the shoes will fight for a place in your memory with the other thousand things you’ll see that day. Or you might take a picture with your phone in order to google the shoes on your own later. Or you use an app on your device, e.g. an app to scan a barcode or QR code and you might be redirected to a mobile-optimized web site to buy the shoes. You can see that the shoes are in stock – but will they really fit? The party you have in mind is next weekend. If now the site tells you that these shoes are available in a local store right nearby, you will smile again. Pretty soon you are on your way to the store to try on the shoes which you have reserved or bought online using your mobile device.
The good news doesn’t stop there. Your customer journey was without hurdles and so you might share your great experience with your social network.
Retail in 2015 is all about Omni Channel Commerce, that is to say, meeting user and customer expectations, anytime, anywhere. And in the end, it’s all about strong e-commerce power and big data handling – that’s where we, Hybris and SAP , can and will shine.
On the one hand, there is SAP with its strong offerings: the SAP HANA platform, analytical and cloud applications and solutions, SAP’s CAR (Customer Activity Repository), SAP 360 Customer solutions, SAP CRM applications, SAP’s Big Data solutions, etc. And on the other hand, there is Hybris with its omni channel e-commerce platform and product content management (PCM) software that will give this alliance ( http://global.sap.com/corporate-en/investors/newsandreports/news.epx?articleID=21335&category=45 ) a significant edge in delivering new levels of customer experience across all retail channels.
We are the ones who can help retailers simplify their business with a deep understanding of their customers’ needs and the ability to serve them individually and seamlessly across all channels in this changing world.
In this context this article will be interesting for one or two: Making Stores Smart with Beacon Technology