Retail is already real time for customers. They can shop whenever they want, wherever they want, through whichever channel suits them – store, Web, catalog, call center, mobile – or all of them. They also have instant access to rich product information and opinions so they can make more informed selections. And expectations are rising all the time. To learn more, attend our session “How to Be a Retailer of the Future” at the Goodwill Summer Conference.
But for retailers the world is far from real time. For years the dream has been to create a connected world where they can see what is happening and respond instantly. But the reality is that they live in a world of unconnected systems that have been running for years and, as new technologies proliferate, the old systems are struggling to keep pace. And the challenges will only get worse as new ways of shopping and communicating change the retail landscape. How can you possibly respond to these fundamental changes? Through transformation.
Transformation is needed
Transformation is a frightening word. It means disruption. It means substantial change. But, to address the expectations of customers, transformation is needed. It’s not only needed, it’s perfectly possible. Today, real time retailing is within your grasp, underpinned by innovative new technology. So how can you make the required changes in your retail environment and what do you need to do to become a real time retailer? What benefits will it have for your brand? What will you be able to do differently and how will it add value to your business?
Breakthrough technologies that support transformation
What does it take to become a real time retailer? The answer is information. But not the static, historical, preformatted information of the past. Real time retailing requires accurate, up to the minute data about every aspect of your business from merchandising to marketing, your supply chain to your stores, and other sales channels. Previously that was just a dream. Softengine, leveraging SAP Business One and iVend POS/Retail, is delivering the technologies that enable it to come to life, now.
By becoming a real time retailer, you will achieve the three, key, emerging principles of retailing success:
- Authentic to the brand value of your company
- Consistent in your interactions with customers
- Trusted by customers and partners
Be Authentic - Deliver the products and experiences that make your story real.
Every brand has values associated with it. You only have to hear names like Apple, Nike, Walmart, or Goodwill to know what they stand for. Based on the values consumers associate with your brand, they either purchase or aspire to purchase from you in the future. So ensuring you maintain a consistent value proposition is imperative. Our solutions help you keep on top of the following four key ingredients.
- Market and customer intelligence - use Big Data to get your brand message out to the public in a more personalized format. Obtain the latest on what is trending around the world using Google Trend analysis and other predictive analytics tools, i.e., SAP Lumira.
- Products and pricing – maintain consistency across all locations and channels by providing everyone in your organization with the same source of information and common performance metrics.
- Suppliers – ensure your vendor strategy is executed consistently and product quality and delivery standards are maintained with real-time insights into supplier performance and compliance.
- Services – provide a consistent customer experience that inspires loyalty by providing real-time access to information about stock availability, customer orders, pricing, and delivery schedules. Enhance productivity and competency by using mobile devices.
Be Consistent - Deliver the same experience, wherever people interact with you.
To achieve brand promise, you must meet or exceed customers’ expectations every time they interact with you. According to a recent MasterCard report, 80% of consumers use technology during the shopping process.
- Streamline and accelerate retail processes with integrated core business applications
- Maximize visibility across all channels to gain a single view of inventory and better understand customer needs
- Deliver on customers’ expectations to buy from any channel, anywhere, at any time
- Build customer and brand loyalty on a personal, one-to-one basis
Be Trusted - Develop a trusted relationship with customers and partners.
Acting with integrity has always been important for you but, today, it is more important than ever before. Consumers are actively choosing who they give their business to, based on a company’s ethics.
- Transparency - the proper disclosure of ingredients is becoming increasingly important in consumer buying decisions.
- Traceability of products, all the way from production to check out, is imperative. Consumers will not be kind to retailers that cannot immediately destroy or re-call products that are unsafe, unreliable, or both.
- Responsible data usage is essential. Never before have had retailers had so much information about customers. They must show that they can use it responsibly and guard it carefully, so that there is no chance of identity theft or fraud. Failing this trust will jeopardize customer loyalty.
To learn more, attend our seminar “How to Be a Retailer of the Future” at the Goodwill Summer Conference. Our session will cover: “Where Retail Is Today, Where Retailers Need to Be, How Retailers Can Get to Where They Need to Be”, and the role of technology in accelerating your progress to help you become a “Retailer of the Future” today.”
For more information about SAP Business One and iVend POS/Retail helping you to run your business at optimal efficiency, please contact Barry Lederman: 818.704.7000, .