The experience economy is here for good and will drive the economy as we know and interact with it but for retailers, intelligent data and analytics are the way forward – transforming the customer journey into something that is deeply personalised and customised. In the modern age, retailers are facing the unprecedented challenge of reconciling the multiple channels of commerce and management provided in an online context and unifying that with the world of ‘bricks and mortar’ stores. But for retail companies that are using big data insights and analytics, Forbes reports a 60% potential increase in operating margins.

SAP has identified five strategic priorities necessary for retail companies to transform their business, as outlined in the 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail. Here I will discuss them in the context of Bridge for Retail, SAP Gold Partner Keytree’s innovative package solution for retailers.

Vivien Wang

Digital Transformation Strategist at SAP

“Physical stores will remain an integral part of the retail shopping experience, but they will be dramatically transformed to offer an array of experiences. By 2025, we expect the majority of retail revenues will be based on insight derived from customer data, predictive analytics and the ability to monitor customer use with sensors.”

Achim Schneider – Global Vice President of Retail at SAP.

Be customer-centric across the value chain

“In 2025, retailers will be able to create deep data and predictive insights from data generated at every customer touch point – physical, digital, and social.” – 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail

Full visibility of in-store and online interactions are captured in one place with Bridge for Retail, enabling store staff to provide the best-tailored customer experience, both in-store and online. On a deeper level, these insights will drive a forward-looking understanding of consumer trends, enabling retailers to stay one step ahead of the curve. In plain English, have in-store today what your customers demand tomorrow.

Serve the segment of one

“In 2025, retailers will use large data management platforms to gather big sets of sales, service and marketing data to build a 360-degree customer profile and understand and predict individual and contextual customer needs.” – 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail.

Bridge for Retail consolidates customer and merchandise data on a tablet, offering a unified view of the business between HR and finance, with a common interface and a single source of truth. As a packaged solution, Bridge for Retail provides customised offerings and optimises the retailers’ existing processes allowing for single-item sourcing and delivery, with the end goal of providing an immersive customer experience.

Implement digital supply chains

“Consumers will expect their needs to be met automatically. Consequently, retailers will become more vertically integrated, connecting the end-to-end supply chain to automate replenishment of consumer demand. Consumers will expect transparency into the supply chain, with a focus on sustainability.” – 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail.

Bridge for Retail offers a broad functional scope across the supply chain, both digital and physical, from finance, sales, purchasing, inventory and manufacturing to quality assurance and maintenance. Retail functionalities are also integrated, encompassing products, listings, allocations, merchandising distribution and POS integration – presenting the business with an end-to-end connected digital supply chain that delivers new levels of speed and efficiency as well as superior value to your shoppers and consumers.

Run smart stores

“Consumer-centric retail stores will use experience management technology to turn their customers into advocates, their employees into ambassadors and their brands and products into obsessions.” – 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail.

The crafting of the ultimate consumer experience starts by empowering the frontline sales staff – leveraging real-time data from the customers, the products and the inventory. Bridge for Retail enables employees to focus on selling by automating and eliminating time-intensive, mundane tasks such as stocking and paperwork. On the bottom line, how retailers engage with customers can make a fundamental difference to a store’s sales performance. Retailers with happy, knowledgeable staff will provide the perfect in-store experience that enhances the retail brand, retaining the original customer base and attracting new ones.

Develop new business models

“In 2025, the majority of retail companies’ revenue will come from services developed from the insight from consumer data. New business models will include subscription, pay per-use or outcome-based models.” – 2019 SAP Industries White Paper for Retail.

Bridge for Retail provides a cloud-based solution based on SAP enterprise software, paid for by a monthly subscription. The package will enhance revenue, increase profitability, maximise the use of stock including third parties, reduce back-office costs and provide a comprehensive customer experience – plus it can be implemented in less than 12 months while strategic, actionable insight can be gained in a matter of weeks.