Three major retail technologists have unveiled how the cloud could make retailers more responsive.
German retail technology specialist Software AG has launched a cloud based Smart Store Monitoring systems to give retailers the word from the high street in real time. By interpreting large volumes of data streaming in from sensors, tills and apps in their brick-and-mortar stores, it will help them react quicker to market conditions in the stores and instantly avert problems.
The instant insights could help retailers see how in-store promotions are working and make timely interventions to boost their impact. The intelligence will also help retailers work the Internet of Things (IoT) to maximum effect and move staff to busy areas when needed, according to Oliver Guy, Retail Industry Director at Software AG. The cloud based technology could “persuade marketing managers to fine-tune promotions on the fly and improve their response to different consumers in a particular location,” said Guy.
That calls for more flexible management of the flow of data, which would be enabled by the cloud and the IoT according to Guy. “To benefit from the store’s shifting purpose and growing shopper expectations, retail managers must be able to track, monitor, analyse and optimise all in-store activity in real-time,” said Guy.
Though retailers are optimistic about the value of IoT three common technology barriers were cited in the report: blending a disparity of data sources, choosing the best response to events or expectations and dealing with mass data diversity in real-time.
Software AG claims its Digital Business platform solves these problems by connecting all IoT-enabled data sources, briefing store staff and head-office merchandisers, instantly adjusting
signage and other automated store peripherals and modelling predictions to take pre-emptive action – such as staff or stock replenishment – to nip problems in the bud.
A Wipro study conducted with Planet Retail, which said 82% of retailers it interviewed feel that investments in digital technology and operational improvements would help them target customers as individuals. Those who fail to react to feedback and hyper-personalised offers and promotions will fall behind, it said.
To this end, Adobe has added new services to its Marketing Cloud to help retailers improve the customer experience. The additions include new ‘shoppable media advancements’, advanced push notification and extra Adobe Experience Manager Screen options.
A new emphasis on data-driven remarketing means retailers can connect consumers’ behaviour online with contextual data. Acting on this intelligence they can create user-defined remarketing triggers, such as an email, push notification or SMS, to increase the likelihood of purchase. If a consumer views women’s footwear for several minutes, for example, the retailer can send an email highlighting that product and incentivising the customer with a discount.