Results tagged “retailers”

Technology Amplifiers for the Retail Customer Experience in 2017

Amplify the Human Experience [Source:]

I find it extraordinary that shares of Amazon have a price-to-earnings ratio of 173.35. That is amazing for any stock, but Amazon's unique situation tells us something important about the retail success of the company. Especially when it comes to amplifying the customer experience. That is, investors in the stock market place a premium on Amazon's ability to innovate and make its website and associated digital devices and platforms a seamless, one-stop shop for today's plugged-in consumers. Why else would a company have such a high p/e ratio? The answer: Investors have confidence that the company will keep pushing the digital envelope.

As I prepare for the annual "Big Show" of the National Retail Federation, where Infosys is presenting a host of tech showcases, I can't help but give readers of InfyTalk a brief preview. I am constantly asked what I see as the top technologies that amplify a customer-centric retail experience. The fact is: You don't have to be a global retailing giant to harness these technologies. They are available to all, and if you are able to get the combination of technology with responsive customer strategy right, you could well be on your way to being the next big thing.

What Shoppers Want: Shopping-friendly Tech

What Shoppers Want: Shopping-friendly Tech

A shopaholic once famously quipped, "Whoever said money can't buy happiness, simply didn't know where to shop." The joke now seems to be on retailers as customers shop on their mobile device, television set, and not to forget, in different formats of brick-and-mortar retail stores. Given the heterogeneity of shop fronts and availability of brands at diverse price points, retailers - and not shoppers - seem to need therapy.

The shopper's digital genome compels the retail industry to reinvent itself to serve existing and emerging demographic segments. Just as the cable industry rises to the challenge of the digital 'cord-cutter' generation accessing content on their mobile devices, retailers need to serve millennial shoppers who prefer 'adding to cart' rather than paying at checkout counters. Even when shoppers visit the store, retailers need to influence their pathway to aisles that stock goods in their shopping lists.

How Digital Technology Can Replicate the In-Store Experience

Dise Digital Signage New Shopping Experience! [Source:]

I found myself the other evening watching one of the most delightful old movies: "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Because it hit theatres back in 1961, it's definitely dated. The references in the movie to the retail world are fascinating, however, because of the transformation that digital technology is having on that sector today - more than a half-century later.

In the movie, the young protagonist tells her would-be suitor that she loves going to Tiffany's because simply walking around the jewelry store makes her feel good. She can enter with all sorts of worries on her mind and then leave a half-hour later without a care in the world. She wasn't speaking about the jewelry per se. She was talking about the entire in-store experience: the combination of the layout, the lighting, the way the courteous staff greets her, and how they wait on her as attentively as possible.

Verizon Labs; Where Innovation Happens [Source:]

Sometimes we need an event to jar ourselves out of our comfort zones. For me, the sad and tragic saga of a passenger airliner that was apparently lost over a remote stretch of ocean was just that sort of event. For more than a month now, much of the world has been perplexed by how something so large and technologically advanced could seemingly vanish into thin air. Up until very recently, search and rescue officials hadn't the slightest clue as to what happened to the large jet with hundreds of passengers onboard - most of them owning and operating mobile communications devices.

The reason this event served as a kind of wake-up call to me was that it showed the limits of the Information Age. As digital consumers, we carry smart phones that can ping a retailer and let it know where in a grocery store we are, and whether we are browsing, say, laundry detergent or tomatoes. Based on that instant geographical information, the store can then text us with a coupon for a certain kind of tomato or announce a two-for-one special on our favorite detergent.

Emerging markets are a veritable gold mine for global consumer brands that face slowing growth in the developed markets. Mining that gold profitably, however, is no walk in the park. These markets present significant challenges to brands.

Emerging markets are a complex maze of traditional retail structure dominated by millions of small retailers (India alone has 12 million). Due to the high costs and logistical nightmare involved in reaching these retailers, brands depend on thousands of independent distributors to connect them with retailers and customers. They also provide local market intelligence to complement sales and marketing efforts of the brand. However most of these distributors are not technology enabled, have no standard way of maintaining sales and demand data and, more often than not, fail to share vital information with brands. Due to this lack of visibility brands don't know what is selling, where it is sold, what customers are buying, whether product quality is being maintained, and how much inventory is present and at what locations. This drastically reduces their ability to sense and respond to market demand.


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