Interview • 18.05.2015

“Many touchpoints increase customer loyalty“

Interview with Roland Fesenmayr, CEO of OXID eSales AG

To utilize all omnichannel options, all channels need to be connected by a...
"To utilize all omnichannel options, all channels need to be connected by a comprehensive management structure", says Roland Fesenmayr.
Source: OXID eSales AG

In omnichannel commerce, retailers can reach their customers in many different situations. Nevertheless, brick-and-mortar retailing remains an important part of the customer journey. In this interview, Roland Fesenmayr, CEO of OXID eSales, explains how retailers can successfully address their customers at very different points. 

Mr. Fesenmayr, what options do retailers have in times of omnichannel commerce to reach their customers at every point of the customer journey?
 

An exemplary customer journey today includes all channels and looks something like this: the customer gets information on a garment at the online store and puts it on the wish list of the retailer’s app, which the customer also uses while on the go. Then when the customer visits the store and identifies herself with her loyalty card, the sales associate can have the desired piece of clothing ready to be tried on and perhaps also chooses a few matching pieces that are automatically added to the wish list. Of course, the entire process can also be done at an in-store terminal. 

The customer subsequently doesn’t need to buy the products directly at the store, but is able to complete the purchase online at home for example and have the purchase shipped to her. This seamless process, which includes the information, order, and the actual purchase, is what makes an omnichannel retailer. However, since no two business models are the same in omnichannel retailing, every retailer needs a custom solution that is tailored to his market segment, his products, and his target market. 

What are the specific challenges retailers face with this type of business model? 

To utilize all omnichannel options, all channels need to be connected by a comprehensive management structure and ideally be controlled by a standard IT solution. This facilitates an integration of the product, customer and order data that was collected at the various points. The easiest option is a responsive design that automatically displays the data on each surface in the optimal format. To do this, however, the retailer first needs to create a shared database; only then will he be able to offer services such as click&collect, availability queries on all channels or an integrated return process.

What tools does the retailer need for implementation? 

The use of a comprehensive platform lends itself to this of course. There are already several solutions today that integrate multiple channels and automatically adapt the contents to the used end device. We also offer a development tool specifically for the mobile area, with which retailers can program their own app with comprehensive features. It is essential that all solutions are connected to a comprehensive backend system. This is the only way data can be retrieved across all of the channels – regardless of whether that’s via an app, at an in-store terminal or the cash register. 

How can a retailer ensure data consistency is maintained in all systems? 

When we implement this type of project, we first conduct a comprehensive analysis of the existing system architecture, and then develop a data model together with the retailer. The analysis clearly defines what system is used in which area – for instance, PIM in the online store, an inventory management system in the warehouse and point of sale software at the POS. These systems are subsequently connected to the overall system via the respective standard interfaces. 

With OXID eShop POS, you introduced your own system that can connect the channels. Can you briefly explain this solution? 

OXID eShop POS is a system for kiosk terminals that is based on a client-server architecture. All data-intensive product information such as images and videos, for example, are locally stored on the POS system. Since data doesn’t need to be first retrieved online, this system offers excellent performance and high-quality data. A data connection is only established when relevant information about prices or availability of an article is being retrieved. 

Of course, this is above all about usability and thus a great user experience. This is why the PayPal-QR Shopping app is being used as a payment method, where customer information such as the shipping address is automatically available. The entire system can also be connected to POS systems so that checkout can also take place there.

OXID considers kiosks as a “bridge between the channels“. How important are these terminals when every customer obtains the same functionality on his/her Smartphone? 

A kiosk terminal simply offers a completely different world for presenting products. Since data is locally stored, I can also use full HD videos for my product presentation for instance. This is not quite as easy to do on a Smartphone. What’s more, sales associates can utilize the large kiosk monitor to support counseling situations. 

This also correlates to the user habits of customers. I always carry my mobile device with me in every situation to quickly get information. Due to their form factor, however, these mobile devices are less suited to get a truly good impression of a product’s look. That’s why a Smartphone functions more as a supplementary source of information. 

Can these types of in-store terminals also prevent showrooming? Perhaps, the impulse to look for products in other stores is reduced when the customer browses on the terminal at the retailer’s own store... 

The pivotal question here is to what extent brick-and-mortar retail engages in digital transformation and is able to connect the channels. The more touchpoints retailers offer and the closer they are connected with each other, the less likely customers will feel inclined to shop around at the competition. This is how retailers can prevent showrooming by offering their own products on terminals at the store and with their own mobile app. Retailers simply need to offer customers a clear benefit. 

Interview by Daniel Stöter, iXtenso.com

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: 91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical...
25.07.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

91% of SMBs think customer reviews are critical

Survey about online customer reviews on platforms

Uberall, Inc., a location marketing solution for businesses, released new data on how small- and medium-sized businesses feel about online customer reviews across platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Instagram, Google and more. For the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Of local heroes and global players
04.07.2019   #online trading #digital marketing

Of local heroes and global players

An overview of online marketplaces

Amazon and eBay – many retailers heavily rely on these top names. Yet there are other online marketplaces that could offer useful features. After all, the easy solution isn’t necessarily the perfect fit for ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Innovation in sustainable packaging design and materials...
08.07.2019   #sustainability #packaging

Innovation in sustainable packaging design and materials

Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs intensify collaboration

The demand for sustainable packaging among consumers and brand owners all over the world is growing at an exponential rate, which in many cases drives a strong need to replace plastic packaging. Strong partnerships are required to bring about the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: British consumer behavior: ethical and Instagrammable...
06.08.2019   #marketing research #customer analysis

British consumer behavior: ethical and Instagrammable

Report tracking spending across major consumer markets

As Brexit rumbles on, British consumers continue to spend on brands and businesses that successfully tap into the Holy Trinity of current consumer behavior: the ‘experience economy’, the booming health and wellness movement, and the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys...
11.09.2019   #pos marketing #customer analysis

A pearl among commodities: encouraging impulse buys

How to make the most of wait times

It’s wonderful if customers come to retail stores to buy things. It’s fantastic if they buy more than they planned to purchase. This offers many opportunities, especially for brick and mortar retailers as surveys show: customers are more ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital natives value brick and mortar stores …...
11.07.2019   #consulting #customer satisfaction

"Digital natives" value brick and mortar stores …

… more than their parents or grandparents

Despite clear differences in expectations among shoppers of different generations, almost half of retailers (44 percent) have made no progress in tailoring the in-store shopping experience according to a recent study conducted by Oracle NetSuite, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: loadbee closes gap between industry and trade...
24.09.2019   #online trading #sales promotion

loadbee closes gap between industry and trade

How online shops profit from fully automated manufacturer information

What promotional content convinces in the moment of the purchase decision? 51 percent of online shoppers are convinced by videos. In general, 92 percent of the respondents of a representative survey (Source: inRiver) states that these and other ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “What do you have that nobody else has?”...
16.09.2019   #data management #digital marketing

“What do you have that nobody else has?”

Exhibitor statements from the halls of DMEXCO 2019 on marketing trends and technology

We from iXtenso were visiting DMEXCO 2019 and looked around for the latest opportunities and technologies for marketers. We asked some companies what makes their solution unique – here are some answers. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Choosing the right marketplace for your business: A profitable niche...
17.06.2019   #online trading #marketing research

Choosing the right marketplace for your business: A profitable niche product is key

"Platform strategies are critical for success," says Dr. Kai Hudetz of the IFH Cologne (Institute for Trade Research)

Ebay or Amazon, Zalando or Otto? Retailers have many options when it comes to an online marketplace where they can sell their merchandise. Success for retailers hinges on making good choices.Dr. Kai Hudetz, CEO of the IFH Cologne, gives tips on what ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Overspending is common when shopping online
25.06.2019   #online trading #customer analysis

Overspending is common when shopping online

Report on digital spending and its impact on American's credit card debt

About 2 in 5 (42 percent) of consumers admit blowing their budgets while online shopping in the past 6 months, according to new research from CouponFollow, an online couponing platform. The new report surveyed over 1,700 American consumers on their ...

Supplier

loadbee GmbH
loadbee GmbH
Nikolaus-Otto-Straße 13
70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
HappyOrNot
HappyOrNot
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln