“We are striving to reach break-even,” said Mark Ashman, CEO – HyperCITY Retail, with a tinge of urgency in his face. The occasion was the announcement of HyperCITY Retail (HyperCITY) partnering Oracle for their Oracle Retail solutions. And, you will not be wrong in guessing that the two are somehow connected. This is a classic example of where things are headed – CEOs expecting technology to deliver on-ground results.
Customer experience is among the top impact areas that CIOs are targeting with their technology deployments. This becomes all the more relevant in the retail segment where customer experience is at the core of business. And, now with the government nod to FDI in retail competition too demands a level of customer service that goes over the par. Broadly, the retail solution (including Oracle Retail Point-of-Service, Oracle Retail Central Office and Oracle Retail Back Office applications) is targeted to help the 12-store hypermarket chain integrate and optimise its retail store operations and get better business insights – all this leading to enhanced customer experience.
Flexibility Of ‘On The Fly’ Promotions
Customer service is the key differentiator to survive and thrive in the retail business. The success factor herein is the ability to design fit-to-purpose campaigns and target them to the right customers at the right time, and on the go. This becomes possible through precise customer information on hand and historical customer data analysis that technology enables.
HyperCITY has 40,000 products with 20 categories and 40 sub-categories. According to Veneeth Purshottaman, Business Head-Technology, HyperCITY Retail, “The role technology plays is to bundle promotions of these products to fit the customer preferences on the basis of history and actionable intelligence.” The Oracle Retail applications allow HyperCITY to manage dynamic promotions of 40,000 products. It enables the hypermarket chain to run more direct and fit-to-purpose promotional campaigns, which can be run during different times of the day and to select group of customers, like for instance its Discovery Club (DC) members under its loyalty programme. The solution can come in handy during peak season when the stores have high footfalls.
At the same time, high footfalls are not something very consistent. But, there will be some customers who will be making frequent visits to the hypermarkets. Grabbing a larger share of those customers by connecting them with customised campaigns is highly crucial. HyperCITY leverages its existing pool of DC card holders and sends them promotional offers based on historic patterns.
A key feature of the solution is the quick relay of customised promotional campaigns (through mailers, mobile and electronic indicators at the POS terminals) based on customer insights. The feature also helps to come up with the right product combinations to be sold together.
The solution also facilitates clearing the stock that has remained unsold exceeding a certain time limit. These items can be sold fast with targeted promotional campaigns at the most relevant time of the day when they are more likely to be sold.
“The Oracle solution is of larger relevance among other solutions as it allows us to send promotions on the go compared to a few years ago when it took us more time,” says Purshottaman. One has to look back and understand the pains from the past in order to understand the potential benefits. Hitherto, at the end of the day employees of every store had to note the closing inventory and run promotions on the same the next day. Thus, the promotional campaigns were planned on the basis of the closing inventory. Whereas, now it has the ability to run promotions ‘on the fly’.
Now after integrating the solution across all the twelve stores, HyperCITY has an automated centralised store-wise transaction repository as compared to its earlier system where transactions had to be manually aggregated and then summed up together.
The customer of today is spoilt for choices and spoilt by the individual attention and customised offerings. How best they can bet on the right products, to the right customer and at the right time through the use of technology can help retail organisations break into the clutter of customer experience. However, as the customer service management levels of tomorrow move a notch higher, game will need to be played on a far more sophisticated plank, betting even further on a technology driven customer insights game plan.
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Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 23:51:21 IST