The Customer Experience
While many companies believe online shopping has forced brick-and-mortar retailers to adapt or close their doors, there’s far more to it than “ecommerce vs in-store” retail. In reality, basically two types of retailers — those that sell for the lowest price and those that deliver experiences around their products. While the former will always attract some shoppers, retailers that deliver true experiences their customers crave are the ones that end up building deep customer loyalty.
Today’s shoppers want omni-channel experiences that seamlessly integrate the worlds of in-store retail, ecommerce, mobile, curbside and home delivery and more. For many retailers, that can often be a tall order to fill.
Failure To Innovate Can Mean Failure To Succeed
Simple, Hassle-Free Online Ordering
While simple, hassle-free online ordering is part of meeting rising expectations, it isn’t the whole picture. Customers may just want to know the closest store that has a particular item in inventory so they can go see it, pick it up, and take it home. They want the store to make it readily available via various methods including same-day or next-day delivery, store pickup, or curbside pickup.
Retailers Can Run Into Challenges
To provide for all these different, yet intertwined, scenarios, even tech-savvy retailers can run into challenges like…
- Integrating dozens of independent legacy systems—or a handful of monoliths that resist change
- Technology infrastructure that, while aging, is prohibitively expensive to simply replace
- Slow-to-adapt manual processes that could be automated if there just “time and budget”
- High staff and knowledge turnover which means constant training and re-training on using inflexible systems and processes
Most of these challenges point to a lack of agility in people, processes, and technology. Applying agile practices removes the need for building and maintaining complex and invasive 'many to many' integrations between existing systems - or having to replace those systems outright. Our microservice-based approach to integration architecture wraps a retailer’s existing systems and exposes additional functionality and data. This extends the useful life of the aging systems by allowing retailers to seamlessly combine them with technologies such as e-commerce, mobile apps, big data repositories, and advanced analytics and reporting.