Philippine Retailing 2019 Philippine Retailing 2019 Q4_Digital - Page 5

He said that the challenges faced by local retailers is largely related to the infrastructure in terms of both digital infrastructure and physical infrastructure due to the number of islands in the country, and the need to reach their products in good shape across all these islands and on time. "I believe these challenges also will be overcome over a period of time as we can see from the growth in the e-commerce industry in the Philippines." "Marketplaces bring value to customers in terms of the variety and comparison, however if you look at the UK which has led the omni-channel charge, there is a trend of customers moving back to mono brand sites because of the comfort they have with the quality of product that is being provided, the service around the product as well as the ability to trust returns, exchanges, refunds etc." Going Beyond Technology These he learned based from experience in working with some of the biggest retailers in the country including Wilcon and Stores Specialists Inc (SSI), among others. When asked about, what companies should consider in going digital, Mr. Ahuja replied that digital transformation is a very big word and it covers many areas of business. "Our clients typically work with us on the demand side, which means all the way from the point of sale, Customer relationship management, Omni-channel Promotion Planning, campaign management, inventory management and customer experience. This is very important today because we believe that while the retail industry is scaling the ladder of omni-channel and unified customer experience, the customers already there, and has already become an omni-channel customer." "So I think, the first thing that we would like customers to consider is the level of commitment that they have in their management team to take on this challenge. Digital transformation should start from the focus on the customer inwards towards the processes that serve the customer," he continued. What's in store for 2020 and Beyond? "The percentage of online retail will increase over a period, like in the US, which already crossed 10% and in China, it's almost 30%." He said that this indicates that there is room to grow and it may finally stabilize the next 10 years at 25 to 30% globally but most of the demand for products will still be offline. According to him, retailers need to have a view that they need to provide transparency to customers by having a unified pricing policy both offline and online on their own sites as well as marketplaces, as well as unified promotions and loyalty program to leverage the huge opportunities for both offline and online. "So basically, it's the fact that the service levels created by online retail will now need to also be adopted by offline retailers if they would like to grow and serve the same customers, who are used to online service levels," he shared. In 2020, we will see more and more retailers enter the e-commerce domain and challenge the dominance of marketplaces, according to Mr. Ahuja. 3 omni-channel solutions to its customers and build long term strategic partnerships spanning decades. "In the Philippines, our clients typically work with us on the demand side, which means all the way from the Point of Sale, Customer Relationship Management, Omni-channel Promotion Planning, campaign management, Inventory Management and customer experience." According to Mr. Ahuja, there are over 100,000 retail associates who use ETP Systems to serve 200,000,000 consumers, selling USD 18,000,000,000 of merchandise in the current year. "Our primary value has been to deliver what we commit and focus our research & development and delivery of innovative solutions that bring real business benefits to our customers in these times of digitization and great change," he added. "At the end of the day, retail is a part of the consumer industry. Brick and mortar retail and e-commerce are basically just sales processes, we also need to provide service to customers both during the sales process and after sales. So, all of these business models need to be challenged along with the technology to support them and this can only be done through mindset change or change management right from the top." In offering an amazing customer experience, retailers need to remember that both experiences need to be similar in online and offline settings, except that in the case of offline shopping a consumer has more sensory rewards like, a human being to talk to and help you, the smell, like in a bakery or perfume store, the ability to touch a fabric, the 3-dimensional experience of seeing a shoe from different angles or light, the ability to try a dress or suit etc. He added that most customers are willing to take a bit more trouble to go to the store for their experiences, however they would also like to see they get the same price and promotions as the online store. Three Decades of Innovation and Commitment As an Omni-channel Retail Software company serving market leaders in 24 countries across the Asia Paciļ¬c, ETP is committed to consistently deliver enterprise grade Our primary value has been to deliver what we commit and focus our research & development and delivery of innovative solutions that bring real business benefits to our customers in these times of digitization and great change. 5