If retailers want to be successful today, they need to do one thing above all else: to focus on engaging with customers and their needs. This customer-centric approach – also called clienteling, makes modern interactions between retailer and customer possible. Rainer Gläß, CEO of GK Software AG, explains how retailers can optimally focus on and support their customers.
Mr. Gläß, can you explain in more detail how retailers can benefit from new opportunities of customer loyalty with a clienteling solution?
When we talk about the digital transformation of retail processes, clienteling is a quintessential part of all of these developments. Clienteling places the customer in the center of all considerations and facilitates the universal information exchange and interaction between customer and retailer. Clienteling is therefore a completely new retail solution category. Here the customer is accompanied and optimally supported during all stages of the buying process. The previous barriers between the online store and brick-and-mortar business are completely dissolved to offer customers the best of both worlds in a seamless process.
Our clienteling solution provides all the available information on the customers, the products or inventory of an entire company in one application. This is made possible with an innovative app concept. It provides the customer with a perfect shopping experience. After all, the goal of clienteling is better service, strengthening customer loyalty and ultimately generating more sales revenues.
What role does the mobile factor play with the customer approach and loyalty today?
Today, a modern customer approach without the integration of mobile devices is inconceivable. Customers expect to be able to call up information about products, availability, services etc. anytime and anywhere. And they want to be able to buy immediately and have the option to have products sent to them or to pick them up right away at the nearest store.
I believe that the mobile customer approach offers great potential for retailers. Those, who manage to get their app onto a customer’s smartphone, have a significant competitive advantage. For the customers to subsequently actively utilize such an app, it needs to offer a real added benefit of course – from always current information to interesting coupons all the way to mobile payment.
Which new solutions will GK Software introduce at EuroCIS 2015?
GK will present our new solution suite architecture for omnichannel retailing. It covers the entire bandwidth of potential devices in the store – from the traditional fat client to thin clients all the way to the increasingly sought-after hybrid versions. The various cloud alternatives including the Hana Enterprise Cloud are also new. Then there are the completely new clienteling solutions of course. We will present our clienteling solution with apps such as the hybris omni-channel store connector by GK and the realtime decisioning engine by our partner prudsys, which makes it possible to provide product recommendations at the POS just like at the online store.
In addition, we are going to introduce a new architecture, with which all central solutions and services are applicable on SAP HANA or in cloud environments. In doing so, we are covering the full bandwidth from traditional fat clients to ultra-thin clients as well as hybrid alternatives of all devices. We also showcase our new retail merchandise management solution, which is now available for both iOS and Android.