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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

Then we have another component that if you are gathering all this information, we've got shopping lists, we've got shopping carts and we've got consumer personalisation. What matters to the retailer is to monetise this information. The only way to monetise this is to make an offer. The offer becomes a transaction and then the whole thing has a commercial value.

So I think we are the only ones giving consideration to individual mobile advertising and promotion strategy. So we are blatantly recommending to retailers that like if you have a print media strategy, like if you have a television strategy, like you have a radio strategy, you've got to go beyond just having a digital strategy where you just show the same ads in the PDF, you've got to have a live mobile engagement strategy so we hand-hold them through this and once they have a strategy developed with us, we have all the tools to communicate the offer to the consumer on their phone.

Last but not least we have analytics. The prominence of analytics cannot be understated, right? The more data you gather the more you have to analyse it. There are two considerations in analytics here. One is presence so a retailer will know who is in his store using which device on which operating platform. That basically detects the physical. The second component of our analytics is it detects the browsing. Now there is a phenomenon that is emerging rapidly in North America and slowly into Asia Pacific known as "Show Rooming." Have you come across it?

No. Please tell me about Show rooming?

It's a beautiful term. They've said it in one. So "Show Rooming" is basically a customer going to a full-fledged retail store, looking at the products, touching, feeling and getting the price done, doing the comparison if it's consumer hard goods for instance and while he's in the store, he's getting onto a website on his mobile phone maybe comparing price on an Amazon; and physically being in the store with the retailer who's paying rental for that store, staff wages for that store but he's sitting in that store and buying from an on-line competitor.

It's happening with the bookstores and they're dying.

They're dying. That whole format has fallen over to digital markets. So we have found a way to identify who is in the store and what they are browsing and on whose website and which product. I jokingly refer to this part as the "Show Rooming Buster." So we can now pick up this behaviour and automatically alert the assistant and get the assistant to walk over to that customer and say, "Listen, is what you need another x percent or $x off? We value you; you are in our store so let's do the deal here." So far this has not been available and this is really resonating with the retailers.


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