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How to Create an Omnichannel Strategy that’s Worth Celebrating

This holiday season customers have more ways to shop than ever before. Retailers are making it easier to get the right presents by providing enhanced delivery options – from buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) to curbside pickup. While this freedom is empowering for customers, it creates a new level of complexity for retailers as seen by the hurdles experienced this holiday season. As this complexity becomes the new normal, the retailers that will thrive are those who deliver a consistent branded shopping experience across all channels.

No retailer has yet fully mastered the seamless omnichannel experience, but a few are well on their way:

Nordstrom gives customers access to advice from their favorite sales associate anytime through their TextStyle program. If a customer needs a personalized recommendation, a sales associate can scan an item, provide a photo and brief description, and send them a buying code via text. Once a customer types “buy,” the sale is charged to their preferred credit card and sent to the shipping address that’s on file.

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Kohl’s is seeing success with its mobile app which provides a consistent experience by allowing customers to access their virtual shopping bag, available loyalty points, and promotions while shopping in-store or online.

Coach does a fantastic job of integrating channels by allowing customers online to search in-store inventory in their area for the specific product they want. When a customer completes the purchase in store, the associate sends them a follow up email that includes personalized recommendations to encourage repeat purchases.

The shopping experience demanded in today’s competitive climate needs to be seamless. Retailers can be successful by creating one digital platform and pushing content and functionality across multiple channels, instead of trying to integrate a portfolio of different assets.

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One way retailers can start is to repurpose content from their online and mobile properties and bring it into the store using digital signage and tablets. This allows them to test which content increases conversions and apply changes instantly across multiple stores.

And content isn’t the only thing that can be duplicated across channels. Retailers can scale shopper engagement through digital experiences in the store. By using digital capabilities like remote expert, retailers can continuously offer high levels of service and expertise in a way that isn’t dependent on in-store staffing. Promotions can also be offered in real-time to improve conversion or maintain competitive pricing.

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Retailers should evaluate each step in the shopper journey and assess where digitization can improve the experience. They should also consider making use of the data that comes from digitizing those steps to make better decisions on what’s working and what isn’t.

While retailers have access to a mountain of data from online and mobile shopping journeys, they have a big opportunity to gather data from the in-store experience. Retailers will get a full picture of each customer’s journey when they combine data across all channels and build processes that allow them to deliver the right experience at the right time – whether shorter checkout, personalized assistance, or more relevant promotions. At Cisco we’re building the most advanced IOT solution in the industry by giving retailers access to information in the store that they can apply online and share across all channels.

What strategies do you think will be effective for creating seamless customer experiences? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more innovative retail strategies, see our Top 10 list of how you can create the ultimate shopping experience:

10 Ways Digital Technologies Can Create the Ultimate Shopping Experience from Cisco Business Insights

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Mobility IoT Opportunity and Challenge

The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely accepted as a key business opportunity for Mobile Service Providers (MSP) in the next 5 years. One recent report from Analysys Mason, predicts $8 billion in new IoT/M2M revenues from 2013 to 2019 in APAC alone. Other report predict even larger business potential, but where everyone agrees is that new IoT revenue is essential to compensate for other declining areas of revenue such-as voice and messaging.

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Telecoms Revenue Growth by Service Type, Asia-Pacific, 2013-2019. Analysys Mason.

So shouldn’t MSPs just open the network doors to the tsunami of IoT devices and watch the money roll in? While Read More »

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Expanding on Cisco’s Leadership in Policy Management

In June, we announced that Cisco was recognized by Infonetics Research as a Leader in the Policy Management scorecard, based on feedback from service provider customers, vendor market share, market share momentum, financials, brand recognition, reputation for innovation, and other benchmarks.Leadership_10NOV2015

One area of strength highlighted in the scorecard was Read More »

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Mobile Collaboration: Where Does It Rank on Your Priority List?

The way people collaborate is in the midst of an enormous shift. Whether you’re ready or not, it will impact how and where teams and employees conduct business.

In 2014 alone, global mobile data traffic grew 69% and nearly half a billion mobile devices were activated and connected. And by 2019? That traffic is expected to increase nearly tenfold.  Tenfold!

Collaboration is a major driver for increased mobile usage.  We’ve used chat and messaging tools to maintain personal connections for years with popular apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Voxer, and many others. With their success in fostering simple and straightforward communication, it was only a matter of time before these apps found their way into the business world. This “consumerization of IT” is paving the way for new breeds of business-class technology to redefine the boundaries of the workplace.

But it is more than technology fueling this shift.  The way teams form and work together has changed as well.  Entire functional teams may not even sit at a desk anymore, getting more done by working closely with customers, suppliers and far-flung colleagues, especially while on the go.  Supporting the needs of this increasingly mobile workforce is critical.  However, executing against those needs may leave you wondering where and how to start.

Aragon Measures the Market
Aragon Research took an early look at applications aimed at solving these challenges in its recent Tech Spectrum for Mobile Collaboration report. Aragon looks at the products designed to enhance teamwork and team building across the workplace ecosystem. These tools, according to Aragon, “Are making it easier for people to interact with internal and external colleagues and partners on any device, without barriers.”  And by 2020, Aragon estimates that 60% of users will rely on mobile collaboration as frequently as email.

Aragon Tech Spectrum Graphic

Read More »

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Personalizing Consumer Engagements with Location Data and Analytics – Find Out How at Location & Context World

Location, Location, Location. While location is always important in real estate (never more of an understatement than here in the San Francisco Bay Area), it’s becoming crucial in, well, LIFE itself.

Don't Get Spooked by Location Services_ Image 1_28OCT2015

November 3-4 | Palo Alto, CA

Let me explain the slightly dramatic statement. Read More »

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