January 28, 2014
Retailers Implementing a Single Customer Engagement Platform across All Touch Points
By Frank Griffin
TMCnet Contributing Writer
The available technology today is giving businesses across all industries more opportunities to engage customers across multiple channels. While PCs, laptops and even regular cellular phones provided access to consumers, it is the advent of smart mobile devices, new wireless technologies, and payment systems that has provided businesses with more access than ever to consumers. With all the available platforms available to businesses for customer engagement, the time has come to consolidate all this technology and have it under one umbrella. The 15th Annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey from Boston Retail Partners makes the exact point by highlighting more than two thirds of the retailers they surveyed have already implemented or are making plans for a common platform.
According to the survey, retailers are well on their way to integrate store, mobile, and Web commerce in order to provide their customers a comprehensive shopping experience. For retailers, customer engagement no longer means only the point of sale at the cash register.
The shift towards engaging the consumer across all touch points is essential for retailers if they want to compete with online merchants that are increasingly providing better services at much lower prices. Retailers must provide a shopping experience that transcends traditional approaches and overcomes many of the weaknesses of online shopping.
This trend is being adopted by virtually every retailer around the country with national brands as well as local retailers overhauling their brick and mortar stores to give the customer an experience that cannot be achieved on a monitor. High end retailers are especially making the move with hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to bring their stores to the 21st century.
"The retail technology landscape is being forever changed. The next generation of technology, Unified Commerce, is combining POS, mobile, web, and clienteling into one common customer engagement platform,” said Brian Brunk, Principal of Boston Retail Partners.
Retailers around the country and indeed the world are in adapt-or-die mode at this point in time. Overcoming this obstacle will require highlighting everything an online retailer cannot give the customer and making it available at the brick and mortar location so consumers have a reason to walk in the front door.
"The customer experience is the driver, with customer-facing technology allowing the customer to tailor her own shopping experience. Real-time retail is the key to delivering a personalized and meaningful experience for today’s customer," said Ken Morris, Principal of Boston Retail Partners.
Boston Retail Partners is a management consulting firm specializing in the retail industry with strategy, selection, and implementation of unified commerce, POS, CRM/Loyalty, merchandising and supply chain solutions, and information technology.
Edited by Ryan Sartor