The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to dramatically change the way retailers interact with customers. But with so many different opinions what the IoT actually is, it’s easy to see why there can be some confusion about what it means to the future of retailing.
“We encourage retailers to think about the Internet of Things as an Internet of their things,” says Karen Garrette, Global Retail Director at Microsoft. “What can you do with the technology you have right now to improve customer connections? And with a little technology applied in innovative ways, how can you make the shopping experience even more remarkable for the customer and more profitable for you?”
Shoppers today are taking charge of how, when and where they make purchases – using their preferred devices and channels to become informed and empowered before they even engage with retailers. They expect a unique, personalised and seamless experience.
The boundaries between virtual and physical spaces are becoming blurred in this omni channel environment. Omni-channel is all about being connected to those channels where your customers shop. It’s about providing information, along with easy and consistent shopping experiences, and encouraging customers to have a relationship with your brand.
Customers move from social networks, to online stores, to in-store experiences, and they expect seamless and consistent engagement with the retailer. So the focus of the retail experience has expanded well beyond the walls of the retailers’ physical store.
The challenge for retailers becomes staying relevant and compelling to an increasingly connected audience.
Microsoft Dynamics for Retail is a modern, unified omni-channel retail solution that reduces complexity for retailers, allowing them to focus on connecting with customers and empowering their employees. It empowers organisations to deliver a complete shopping experience – personal, seamless, and differentiated – with a single view of the business.
Customers shop on their terms
Today’s customers live in a connected world and are well informed when making a purchase—before they even walk into a store. In a time when customers are shopping on their terms, retailers need to find ways to better serve and provide them with amazing in-store experiences! To best engage customers, retailers must empower their employees to provide excellent customer service. This is where point of sale (POS) can become point of service—using rich clienteling capabilities in the Microsoft Dynamics modern POS solution.
Engage connected customers
Customers are connected and informed and want shopping choices. They want the option of going to a physical store, browsing on a tablet at home, or shopping on-the-go using a smartphone! E-commerce and social features in Microsoft Dynamics for Retail provide today’s retailers with an opportunity to engage and connect with customers through an omni-channel shopping experience. Retailers can easily connect with friends and followers and can gather purchasing intentions and preferences on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Easily plan, execute, and measure campaigns from start to finish. Bring your marketing vision to life—engage customers with personalised, multichannel campaigns, build pipeline, and demonstrate the impact of your marketing. Features include content and spend management, execution planning, campaign nurturing and automation, media buying and planning.
So how can this work for you? Take Kathmandu, for example. As an adventure and travel brand with 140 stores across New Zealand, Australia, and the UK they saw an opportunity to expand. If they could better understand their customers they could expand into new markets. They also needed to optimise their inventory across all their stores, and focus on enhancing their Summit Club customer loyalty program. Leaders were able to gain better customer insights, service customers better, and enhance the customer experience all with Microsoft Dynamics.
Find a Dynamics retail partner to work with you on the best solutions for your business.