Retail brands know that they need to offer personalized services with distinct differentiation to build loyalty. Studies estimate that 71% of customers feel frustrated if a brand fails to offer a tailored shopping experience that is personalized to their interests. Retail brands need to deliver targeted and consistent messaging, an elevated experience, and optimized fulfillment for customers irrespective of the touchpoint leveraged by the latter to engage with the business. But given how quickly trends change, retail success in the future could depend on how well businesses can predict the demands and dynamics of customers and make radical changes to their operations in real-time.
This paradigm shift will be driven by data. And success will depend on the availability of a wide range of datasets from multiple customer-facing and operational enterprise applications.
When the technology ecosystem is SAP, we can claim our fair share of lessons that have helped us understand where the future lies for retail brands. Here’s the story of a project and what it taught us.
A large convenience store chain in the US leveraged SAP POSDM in ECC for their sales insights. Insights were derived directly from POS feeds and deployed to other SAP or non-SAP systems. However, with POSDM becoming obsolete owing to the end of support for the solution by SAP a change was needed. The customer decided to migrate or in other words upgrade to SAP CAR. We managed the transition, and the engagement was a resounding success.
Let’s use this as a reference to understand why retail brands need to migrate to SAP CAR if they are still relying on the legacy POSDM approach.
Let us examine the 5 major benefits that can be achieved by a retailer when they upgrade to SAP CAR:
Centralized decision framework
With SAP CAR, SAP retail customers transition from POSDM to POS Data Transfer and Audit (POSDTA). This creates a centralized data repository and insights hub that helps embed different data channels into a unified management system. It eliminates redundancy, reduces data fragmentation from different POS and online channels, and enhances granular analytical support. This, ultimately, enables retailers with faster and more responsive decision-making capabilities.
Availability of real-time insights
When SAP CAR comes in, businesses get access to real-time master data from the ECC. This helps them bring more agility to their business practices. It also equips sales and inventory teams with better knowledge of how to plan their schedules. In the traditional POSDM approach, there were scheduled processes that offered insights for different business units from the master data at defined intervals. That could be once a day or a couple of times a day. This was a challenge in the context of modern retail experiences, where every function needs to act quickly to deliver resilient and engaging experiences for shoppers at any time and on any channel.
Boost inventory efficiency
SAP CAR weeds out several inefficiencies from the operational landscape of retailers. Real-time data extraction and timely analytics allow businesses to identify the sources of delays or inefficiencies faster and earlier in the retail lifecycle. By knowing exactly where to look and at the right time, businesses can direct targeted efforts to quickly resolve any challenges that may be creating roadblocks in inventory management. That enables accurate on-shelf availability for every item that is in demand from different customer segments in different markets. Thus, the overall customer experience becomes better as the delivery becomes more responsive and inventory management gets directly aligned with the latest demand trends.
Multi-channel data analytics
With POSDM there was no standard solution that could differentiate between POS sales and online sales. This prevented the implementation of multi-channel data analytics which could have uncovered the true potential of the business from various data signals. However, SAP CAR eliminates this challenge by having in-built support for differentiating between different kinds of sales data be it POS or eCommerce. Further granular breakdowns such as the volume of online business coming in via smartphones and that of PCs are also now possible. When taken for analytical processing, such finer and unique data points greatly enable better prediction and value recommendation abilities for businesses from their analytical services or tools.
With better access to real-time customer data, businesses can roll out promotions that synchronize with the demands of user groups and even formulate special pricing strategies to draw in more demand with attractive offers. The faster these promotions make it into marketing channels, the quicker will be the ROI for retailers.
Our engagement brought together disparate customer-facing applications of the retailer into a powerful unified ecosystem that helped them deliver exceptional omnichannel experiences to consumers for every interaction irrespective of the channel. The solution became a game-changer allowing the retailer to harness real-time accurate insights and predict their progress roadmaps. They learned to adjust strategies on-the-fly to ensure that they stayed ahead of were minimally impacted by future disruptions like the COVID 19 pandemic. To get more in-depth guidance on transforming your retail experiences to match the expectations of today’s retail consumers, Get in touch with us.