E-commerce: Online shopping is a leader, traditional shops are digitized
The Internet confirms its commercial offensive. According to a recent Deloitte study, the number of people who shopped online for the first time in history (48%) was higher than in stationary stores (45%). At the same time, consumers still complain about the lack of opportunity to test a 'live' product when shopping online. The result: companies are modernising physical stores, which are equipped with such solutions as Facebook hanging tags or interactive try-outs integrated with mobile devices.
The search for products and services on the network has become market-driven. According to BigCommerce research, in the United States, the so-called Y-generation does 67% of shopping online. The changes in the modern world of shopping are part of the changes taking place in the economy, which is becoming more and more automated and digitized. Edyta Gałaszewska-Bogusz, Director of Accenture Operations in Poland, points to this context of technological revolution, in which the world of shopping is also changing. It is a company that employs over 2000 specialists on the Vistula River and is one of the global leaders in business consulting. Among its projects in Poland there is no lack of international activities in the field of digital marketing.
- According to Accenture research, by 2035, artificial intelligence can increase productivity in the world's top 12 economies by 40%. The change has become a new status quo, also generating new expenditure. Each such revolution entails a number of expenses, e.g. related to business modernization, company reorganization, new workstations, training, equipment. A budget for innovation is a necessary price to pay for development. And at the same time one of the best investments of a modern company - says Edyta Gałaszewska-Bogusz.
Science fiction on the shop shelf
In this context, the trade market is developing. The changes taking place before our eyes are the result of, among other things, an increasing number of sales channels and contact. However, the key place of trade, where decisions are focused, is still the shop: the physical one and the digital one.
- The related idea of Store 4.0 can be reduced to one word: convenience. This is because behind it there is a vision of a place that offers the client a large number of intuitive shopping channels tailored to his profile. The company's goal is to move smoothly between online and offline channels and integrate them to facilitate shopping. The "C&A Fashion like" project of the Brazilian C&A branch is an interesting example of how this idea has been put into practice. The company posted interactive hangers in its stores, connected to Facebook. They reacted in real time - through integration with the SAP S/4 HANA platform - to the likes of the clothes hanging on them. This allowed customers to find out which products are considered the best. The campaign reached 8.8 million people and C&A had 1000 new fans every hour," comments Ewelina Ciach, Senior Value Advisor at SAP Hybris.
SAP Hybris Labs in Munich is working on similar projects. One of their innovations is a smart fitting room, equipped with an RFID scanner and a tablet. Each item of clothing that goes into it is transferred to the tablet screen, where you can choose, for example, your dream size and colour - to get the chosen version straight into the changing room. An interesting solution was proposed by Crate&Barrel's, a home accessories retailer, which provides customers with tablets. They allow you to send yourself a shopping list by e-mail or to ask the seller to take the product from the warehouse to the checkout.
The Austrian retail chain SPAR has also been involved in the digitisation of its fixed locations. With the help of special software, SPAR manages in real time, among other things, electronic prices of products on the shelves, changing them automatically with a single click throughout the store. The company has also installed a network of beacons in the pilot shops, which are used to send customers dedicated messages to mobile devices in specific areas of the shop. The network has thus gained the opportunity to analyse the efficiency of all sales channels and well selected information on different consumer groups.
Proven solutions, new areas
Shops in their operations increasingly use the services of well-known customers of Polish banking networks, which are among the best digitised in Europe. For example, mBank has been using analytical software for several years to observe and draw conclusions about customer behaviour. It allows it to respond in real time to new consumer expectations and, moreover, to anticipate the needs of its partners.
High awareness of the Polish banking sector in this respect and the potential of learning from its experiences by other industries was emphasized during the recent SAP Executive Forum conference by Krzysztof Klimczak, President of the Board of Zen Card. His company is a Polish startup, acquired this year by PKO BP, developing software for loyalty program management. It combines the potential of analytics and technology with encouraging customers to, among other things, make further visits to stationary stores in exchange for prizes or discounts.
Why do companies do all this? According to a recent BigCommerce survey, 96% of Americans have used e-shopping at least once, and four out of five have done so within a month of the survey. As stated by PwC last year, 55% of Poles decide to do this type of shopping regularly. All these figures underline that the future of shopping has come now. Companies that understand these relationships will understand today's clients who are looking for a combination of convenience and real experiences.
Many people also use discount portals, which make it easier to locate the opportunity and take advantage of discount coupons during special sales periods. There are often discounts to Wojas and other reputable foxtailtail and foxtail shops, and the discounts reach up to 70-80%.