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The promises of “Omni-Channel” retailing

Zafar Anjum | July 16, 2013
Clicks and bricks is the future of retail, says Anand Mehta, the director for Retail Industry at Motorola Solutions for SEA, India, Japan and Korea

So the components of this new thing are basically that it is modular. There are six modules to this. There is a core module that is a platform which handles the Omni Channel offer management engine and it's all driven essentially by an application. So the glue between the retailer and the consumer is the app on the phone. The differentiator with our app is for the on-boarding process, we only do it once whereas traditional applications, you have to keep volunteering every time you step into a store. So we detect once and the next time they walk into your store, it's seamless. They just get pinned for information.

The important thing with the core platform with the application is that we are completely driven by being dynamic. Most current apps are static. It's a smaller screen size version of bits and pieces of information that they have anyway. What is in-store today? What is this promotion of today? You can't do a double-click into anything live. So we are completely dynamic. The traditional static app honestly is history. It's not going to be around much longer.

THE SHOPPING TRIP

Now once the core platform is enabled, the application is on the consumer's phone. One thing that we offer very quickly is a module known as the "Shopping Trip." Now the objective of the shopping trip is two-fold. Firstly, you start from an online or mobile shopping list and make it an in-store shopping cart. This is top of mind for retailers. It sounds like a very small thing but just delivering this is a huge significance in retail operations. Otherwise there was a mismatch.

There was no way to migrate the journey you began on online or on your phone into the store. They were two separate entities. We've made it seamless and in making it seamless, we've got a hold on analytics that doesn't exist otherwise. So we go from browsing behaviour to buying behaviour and everything in between.

Now the interesting thing about this is when you have this thing enabled, it also lends itself to connecting with the store staff while they are in there. Say you go into your phone at home late one evening, you develop a shopping list you would like, you visit the store the next morning, you click your way through the shopping cart and you need more product knowledge, you simply press a help button. It goes to one of the devices that we've got round one of the associates and it comes straight over to you. So the journey keeps continuing.

The third component is clearly locationing as we have defined. I guess it is driven towards large formats and large square footages but this is a space that I think you will see emerge in Asia over the next six months very rapidly.

 

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