What’s wrong with offline retail?
Let us start by stating a simple fact, online has changed how customers shop by providing a personalised, seamless and service oriented experience, which customers now expect to have across the brand, regardless if it is online or in-store.
This is why retailers needs to fix their brick-and-mortar channel. Their store model has not evolved to satisfy the changes in customer expectations AND they are not equipped to adequately capture and share data across off and online. Whatever is happening in-store is not reflected online and vice-versa, meaning a lot of information is being missed if customers are shopping across multiple channels.
Let me give you a simple example: If you look for something online, the website would remember and personalise your next visit by curating the products you see based on your engagement history. You may event receive follow up emails or texts about the products you like. But, in most cases, that information (data) is not leveraged when that same person continues their shopping journey in-store.
When it comes to physical retail, we love to touch & feel the products and the human interaction – things which are almost impossible to replicate online. But due to the inefficiencies in retail, the experience can be frustrating at times. No one enjoys waiting endlessly for a store colleague to check for your size or locate a product. Worse, when something is unavailable, they won’t really know what else you might be interested in. Offline can be slow, inefficient and it is definitely not personalised.
Why is that the case? It is a fundamental Data problem.
Retailers own a lot of data about clients and products, they have a lot of content, but all of this is not leveraged in-store AND offline data about customer behaviour and preferences is not captured and shared across other channels, such e-commerce and marketing.
Retailers now have Marketing and Customer Data Cloud for personalisation, sophisticated inventory management solutions, Analytics Cloud for better decision making and, of course, Commerce Cloud to deliver a fantastic online experience. But what is missing here? Retailers are still making 70% of their sales offline, but there is still no comprehensive in-store cloud that would deliver digital capabilities in-store and would connect with other IT systems.
Why Mercaux + SAP?
This is the reason why we believe in our partnership with SAP is we jointly bring data and capabilities in-store via Mercaux's In-Store Cloud platform.
Mercaux integrates with various SAP systems and provide its customers with an In-Store Cloud, that has 2 components:
- In-store Clienteling, Assisted Selling, Omnichannel, and other tools for sales associates and customers
- Content, Analytics and In-store Data Cloud
We take existing data retailers have (customer or inventory, for example) and make them actionable in-store. But whatever happens in-store is also captured, and then turned into insights or transferred back to the existing retailers systems such as Commerce or Marketing cloud.
Let us show you how it works in real-life:
Step 1 – We simplify and automate existing in-store activities
Imagine a customer comes into a store and asks for a specific size. Without walking away the sales associate scans the product and immediately checks for size and availability. If the product is unavailable, they are prompted with AI-driven in-store alternatives. Or, they can order the product online or reserve in another store. In the instance that the product is available, the app shows complementary products for cross-selling suggestions.
What would typically take 15 minutes to execute (and hours product and IT training) happens instantly with Mercaux. The result – no time wasted, higher conversion and basket size (UPT).
Step 2 – We enable New Service Models
When a customer enters the store, a sales associate can access all the relevant information about this customer, such as their online abandoned basket or wish list, purchase history and preferences. They are able to offer personalised suggestions. Moreover, sales associate can stay connected with this customer via email or messaging, and build personal wardrobes for this customer. The result – highly personalised experiences across all channels.
Step 3 – Everything that is happening in-store is captured and turned into insights via our Analytics Cloud and Mercaux HQ Portal
For Head Office, managers can see which customers have browsed in-store and purchased online, which sales associates are most active, and reward their stores for service, no matter where the transaction has occurred. For customers, it means their offline behaviour and relationships with sales associates are reflected in their online experience, which becomes even more personalised.
What does it all mean:
- Unique data and insights for customers’ behaviour and preferences in-store
- Higher in-store and online sales due to increased effectiveness and new service models
Our integrations with various SAP systems means that we are ready to deliver these unique solutions to existing SAP customers and SAP prospects. Visit our SAP Partner Page for specific scenarios available through the partnership.