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Retailers Need to Optimize Mobility

November 2nd, 2012 Sandeep Walia No comments

Retailers Need to Optimize Mobility, Social Media, and Multi-Channel Opportunities to Remain Competitive

Retailers Need to Optimize Mobility

Retailers are struggling with multiple issues. I’m often asked what the biggest challenges retailers are faced with. To me, the first is multi-channel strategy; they’re trying to figure out how to provide a consistent experience to their customers across different channels such as in-store, web and mobile. Part of this is also how they can differentiate themselves from the Internet-only retailers by leveraging their brick and mortar investments.

The second challenge is mobility. It comes down to essentially how they can adapt a business to provide for and serve the customers that are growing in number that use tablet and mobile phones or smart phones and expect everything that a retailer can offer served up on that format.

And the third biggest challenge is simply survival. The competitive landscape is completely transformed and retailers have to work harder at survival by changing the game. Essentially what worked in the past is not going to work in the future.

As it relates to mobility, it is a challenge but it’s also an opportunity. Mobility opens several doors for retailers to better market to their customers. It’s only a challenge if retailers don’t take advantage of it and their competitors do. The reality is that more and more consumers have given up their desktops and laptops and are just using a tablet and smart phone as their primary computing devices. That will continue and will become mainstream. Very often customers are in-store looking at prices or online and then deciding to make a purchase, even if that’s in-store. And then there are location-optimized promotions. So for example, text messaging type promotions for consumers within 30 yards of their store and doing tailored promotions that are proximity-based.

Closely related to mobility is social networking and how to promote your products and services through campaigns. Having your own company pages, facebook.com/retailer, and then putting feeds in your channels is important. It also means running campaigns that are relevant to the customers. This could be stories or relevant content pages of crowd-sourcing campaigns. However, it also means running campaigns that are relevant to the customers. For example, Dodge recently ran a campaign for best music bands and tied it to the Dodge Dart. The music band that won would get a chance to make the music for the Dodge Dart. Customers now were voting for their favorite music as well as plugging into Dodge’s channel and the launch of Dart.  The cost of an effective crowd sourcing campaign can be very low compared to results you achieve.

The complete text of this podcast can be found here.

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, POS, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to mid-market and enterprise businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify is winner of the Microsoft Partner of the Year award in 2012 and 2011. Ignify offers Microsoft Dynamics AX, Dynamics AX for Retail POS and the Dynamics CRM Loyalty Management solution for retailers and to several other businesses. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011 and 2010. Sandeep was ranked in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in the Microsoft Dynamics Top 100 Most Influential People List by DynamicsWorld. Ignify has offices and team members in Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, Washington, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Philippines, and Indonesia.