Retail Today Interview


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Retail Today Interview

  1. 1. The Q312 BMI India Retail Report to mine extensive customer profile andforecasts that total retail sales will transaction data to recommend exact,grow from Rs22.5 trillion this year to focused and targeted coupons,Rs28 trillion by 2016, a rise of nearly a promotions and campaigns across allquarter. Little wonder then that channels,” explains Shijo Sunnyretailers are investing in technologies Thomas, of Fujitsu Consulting CRM to ensure that they retain “These are delivered throughand grow their customer base. integrated campaign execution toolsThese are exciting times for retail that deliver personalised messagesCRM, with innovations and through email and mobile media.breakthroughs delivering immense Promotions can also be deliveredpotential to retailers as they seek to through proximity-based devices,bring newexperiences to customers wherein stores broadcast promotionswhile building stronger engagement to shoppers’ mobilephones within awith their brands. defined location. Mobile furthers theNew technologies like clienteling, real- shopper experience by enabling stocktime engagement and customer ordering, product information,lifecycle management are giving a augmented reality, mobile paymentspositive boost to sales and marketing and coupons. Retailers haveinitiatives. CRM has developed from a extensively implemented loyaltysimple process of keeping customers management in order to invite repeatinformed to its role today, which is custom.centred on making customers feel “The next level of CRM applicationsspecial — the foundation of the retail provides integrated loyaltycode. CRM applications equip retailers management, allowing shoppers toto manage, engage, influence, earn and redeem loyalty pointsmotivate and analyse their customers uniformly across all channels.across all channels profitably. “To dothis CRM technologies allow retailers
  2. 2. Social CRM technologies are also create and manage an end-to-end increase its impact exponentially,” heplaying a big role in capturing customer engagement programme adds.customer feedback on product or . CRM applications at the most basicbrand experiences. The sheer volume level ensure that customer profile andof data generated by social media transaction data is centralised andinteractions requires distillation by accurate. This helps retailers totechnologies that handle big data provide efficient and consistentanalytics. customer service while creating a seamless customer experience. These”Tablets and smartphones are great applications also help retailers toclienteling tools to proactively engage derive trends and insights fromcustomers by offering them customer data, resulting in a betterpersonalized services while they are in understanding of habits and shoppingthe store. “These can add an additional patterns. Retailers can then focus "These solutions are a great way to5-10 per cent to annual sales," asserts more attentively towards multiple combine all your marketing and salesAneesh Reddy, cofounder of Capillary subsets of their customer population activities and maximise revenue perTechnologies. “Many retail stores by creating a large pool of repeat customer effectively," says Reddy.across the world have implemented business. “Retailers who use CRM havethis successfully by putting these witnessed a five- to seven-per centinstruments in the hands of their sales On a Cloud growth in sales within the first six to 12staff, allowing them to access a Cloud technology has enabled retailers months of implementation. Using ancustomer’s entire purchase history by to rapidly adopt CRM with minimal integrated approach, retailers cansimply entering his or her information investment in infrastructure. Top-of- identify and connect with customersand then helping with known the-line products, such as SugarCRM, over social platforms, make them theirpreferences. In many restaurants, the offer subscription-based solutions on brand ambassadors and incentivisestaff are using these devices to check public and private Clouds; the end them for mentioning their brand inwhat customer has ordered in the past users need nothing more than a web- posts, sharing your posts or generatingand recommend dishes which will be browser to access the system. Cloud likes.”more appealing to them.” According to technology not only ensures data The rich data information gained fromShashi Saurav, of Sales Babu, “CRM security and built-in disaster-recovery this can be used by analytics todirectly affects retail supply chain mechanisms, but it also allows for a generate powerful insights that shouldmanagement [SCM] because a anytime-anywhere access to users further help with personalisedcompetitive market requires a highly across the entire retail and distribution advertising and better loyalty rewarddisciplined supplier base. CRM has chain on a range of devices including offers. Add a customer lifecycle modelchanged the game when you focus on laptops, PCs, mobile phones and to this data and you have a very potentsuppliers because SCM is based on tablets. One recent example of this plan to reach out and influence yoursales order booking, which gives great technology is SoCoMoLo (Social Cloud customers throughout the year. Reddyclarity in product movement and also Mobile Location). says that while a plain bulk campaignmakes a company focus on can generate three per cent in sales, astreamlining its secondary sales at customer lifecycle based campaign hasretail stores, and dealer management.” the potential to at least double this figure. “And this is just the beginning;One for Consumers integrated CRM can add many otherWith so many channels of engagement customer engagement initiatives andavailable, retailers are fast adoptingintegrated CRM solutions to help them
  3. 3. “A Cloud-based CRM application, The value of CRM is easily measurable cross-selling opportunities; or possiblyintegrated with POS systems, allows a by looking at each customer’s lifetime increasing new customer acquisitionretailer to make sure that a sale is value by taking into account all of his by 50 per cent by reaching out to aconsummated by offering real-time or her transactions. In addition to new target audience.contextual offers and suggestions that lifetime value, customer capital can be You can evaluate the effectiveness oftake into account the customer’s prior measured by including activities such your CRM by measuring the additionalhistory and social media activity. as reviews and ratings, social media sales it generates. “To demonstrateAnother benefit in having a Cloud endorsements and recommendations, this, we use Test & Controlsolution is that it allows the retailer to and this improves customer equity. methodology to measure the impact,"expand in a much more cost-effective These factors form the basis of says Reddy. “In this process, a group ofmanner," says Salil Godika of Happiest calculating ROI, and retailers can use customers with the sameMinds. Retailers can also look at them to set benchmarks in light of the characteristics are identified and splitintegrating niche Cloud CRM CRM investments they have made. into two groups — a test groupapplications to augment their core “Calculating the investment side of ROI containing most of them and a controlrelationship management capabilities. is comparatively easy," says Indraneel group with the remainder. The testFor example, a retailer using its ERP Fuke, director of Bhea Technologies. group is exposed to communicationapplication’s CRM module can “One needs to factor in recurring designed using an integrated CRMintegrate it into niche CRM costs, such as software licences and approach, while the control groupapplications for reviews and ratings, subscriptions, and onetime costs, like does not receive any targetedsocial media integration and customer CRM implementation, hardware — communication and relies instead onanalytics. Cloud CRM solutions ensure which are zero for Cloudbased CRM — conventional methods of messaging,that even small- and medium-sized and training costs.” However, like newspaper & TV ads, to influenceretailers harness the benefits of their calculating the return side of ROI their purchasing decisions. Thecustomer data at attractive and requires a little more effort. There purchasing behaviour of these groupsflexible pricing options. Platforms from needs to be clarity over the business are then evaluated for a definedCloud CRM providers, such as objectives a retailer sets out to achieve period on parameters like rate ofSalesforce, not only offer retailers fully through CRM — these objectives could response per campaign, frequency ofscalable Software-as-a-Service CRM, be set at increasing customer visits, average bill value and basketbut also a platform to develop its retention by 30 per cent through being size, and their contribution to totalcustom CRM applications. more responsive to feedback; or sales. This test can be conducted increasing the wallet share of existing across a number of clients, and weReturn on Investment customers by a quarter by identifying have seen an average increase of 5 per
  4. 4. cent in sales from the group exposed Loyalty Factor For Ranjit Satyanath, a seniorto integrated CRM.” Technology has added new channels of technology manager at Shoppers Stop: customer interaction, and retailers “CRM is an integral part of our leveraging new systems are finding business. We run a loyalty program they can reach even distant customers called the First Citizens Club, and three as a means to grow their business. “It quarters of our top-line revenues is said that 70 per cent of buying come from its 2.5 million members” decisions are made even before the Shoppers Stop developed the first contact with the retailer through deployment of its bespoke CRM over social media,” says Kranti Kiran its ERP system in-house. “This helps us Avadhanula, director of CRM solution track the buying behaviour of our management at SAP. “Companies that customers, and also helps us source are able to better manage their brand products based on what the market perception in social media are able to wants. Likewise, we also run speed up their business growth. promotions based on what our Retaining an existing customer is far consumers need, rather than doing more economical than gaining new generic promotions. As a matter of ones; thus, by running loyalty reward importance, our CRM product provides programs, companies can defend their us with feedback from customers. “We customer base and ensure repeat built a program whereby we give business.” customers three times the loyalty Spring Air uses CRM to build customer points for purchases made during the loyalty and gain a complete view of its Diwali promotion period. This helped customers, says Ashok Sharma, the customers build a large reservoir of regional CEO of the sleep supplies points, and saw phenomenal success retailer. “CRM helps is to manage last year; we see no reason why we budgets, time bounds and target cannot repeat it this year.” audiences for promotional activities In order to manage the relationship that stimulate purchases. We also use with consumers, the company rolled retail CRM to automate routine out a mobile app last year that is operations, such as printing cards and designed to make promotions letters, and send e-mails, and to create available to customers when they need monitoring dashboards to ensure that it, rather than when the company customer needs are being met. It can wants to communicate it to them. define the most valuable customers, forecast sales for different product groups and analyse statistics.”
  5. 5. Harminder Sahni, managing director of retail major Globus, with a footprint of says Meheriar Patel, Globus Stores’sWazir Advisors, says: “Technology for 36 stores across the country, uses CRM devices is becoming developed with a partner for fuelling For Dinesh Kumar, director ofincreasingly popular CRM. The mobile its loyalty program. The cards are Browntree Retail: “Our CRM approachphone becomes the loyalty card, available in silver, gold and platinum has helped us build the trust ofmeaning that customers dont need to categories and form a central customers in our brand as they arecarry another card in their pockets. All repository system for the company. aware that we listen to their queries,transactions are conveyed through the “Around 60 per cent of our business and that any problems with regards tomobile, and the retailer saves a lot of comes from our repeat clientele, and service or product will be addressed.the costs for filling forms, card therefore loyalty is a big bet for us and CRM has made a significantissuance and replacing old or lost we are constantly looking to innovate. contribution to our growth over thecards. Also the service provider offers In fact we will be making an three years we have been in and management of data, and announcement soon about a new Providing products on request, solvinganalytics, again saving a tremendous loyalty program that will enhance the issues in a given time frame andamount of costs for the retailer. customer experience even more. responding to queries promptly hasCapillary is the market leader in this While I can’t disclose much now, we given us tremendous increase inspace and offers CRM services as will have features like a customer footfall.” CRM is certainly theSoftware As A Service. A retailer pays a being able to check their points on a technology that is win-win, forrental charge on a monthly basis for mobile device, and we are also retailers and customers alike.each store using the service.” Fashion planning to introduce prepaid cards,”