What is the vision of the organization for 2025 in terms of tech deployment?
We are following a ‘mobile first and cloud only’ approach. Technology is more than a support function for us, it is more than an enabler presently. In fact, technology is a core part of our overall business strategy. From aconsumer standpoint, we are highly centered on key cities where our main consumer base is located. We are especially focusing on regions where the brand is significant. For us, the role of technology is very much invisible; there are numerous backend operations included, which eventually pass on the experience to the consumer. For instance, if you are a runner and you need to be a part of Adidas Runner, at that point our endeavor would be how we can rope you in by means of significant engagement through personalized mailers, offers, etc.
So, what role does technology play once the customer walks in? Does technology help you in generating in-store conversions? What are the main challenges when it comes to in-store technology?
Technology plays an extensive role in mapping the consumers’ journey. The role of technology is not confined to communication alone, butlies in enhancing the in-store experience as well.There are numerous endeavors that go into making people understand the esteem of the brand and technology plays a crucial role there. When the clients walk into the store, being a retailer, we not only have to guarantee item accessibility in terms of size, color etc.; but we are also committed to offering a great experience overall. In terms of challenges, we are working towards reducing the overall transaction time. Based on our internal analysis, our observation is that customers tend to spend 30-40 minutes in selecting the product they want to buy; but once done, they tend to get impatient with long queues for payment/checkout. In fact, there are numerous companies working towards enabling frictionless checkout. So far, we have introduced our mobile app in this direction. We’re looking at UPI as yet another enabler.
What is the role of technology in mapping the store performance?
There is a part of technology that isalways working in the background -- whether it is assortment software which helps merchandisers, or category guides that map the performance of each category at the store. The role of technology spans the entire journey - right from planning the assortment to bringing the data history to deciding on new ranges and many more.
So, there are numerous softwares which people utilize in the background to plan a customer’s entire journey. Technology also helps our partners in buying the products for their stores and it also helps them in planning and purchasing, which ultimately allows stocking the store with right kind of products.
Once the store has the products they require, of the next step is making sure they’re fully conversant with those products and offer the right advice to customers. We provide partner training through videos and different IT devices and we map back how a particular sales executive leveraged the training during interactions with customers to try and make the training process even more effective.
Have you introduced the click and collect model yet?
We are a retail company leveraging modern technologies to create superior customer experiences. Our endeavor is to make people buy the right product and at the same time, we want them to experience the brand. In fact, we have introduced a feature particularly in the ‘running’ category, the essential usefulness of this technology isto make our clients aware aboutaboutthe available shoes through virtual screens once they walk on the treadmill introduced inside the store.