Interview • 01.08.2014

"The future definitely lies in the intelligent link of channels"

Interview with René van der Horst, Area Sales Manager (CE), Pricer AB

René van der Horst: Today’s customer is flexible and virtually always online...
René van der Horst: "Today’s customer is flexible and virtually always online with his various mobile devices."
Source: Pricer

Online and offline channels need to merge to fulfill the needs of mobile and informed customers. In this EuroCIS interview, René van der Horst, Area Sales Manager (CE) for Pricer AB, talks about the problems online and offline retailers encounter while developing new channels. He explains how a comprehensive omnichannel strategy helps in facing those challenges.

Mr. van der Horst, what role does the linking of the different distributing channels play for a retailer today?

The future definitely lies in the intelligent link of channels. A modern retailer needs to follow this trend, because the modern customer is used to getting as much information as possible about a specific product at anytime and anywhere.

Of course, this is a challenge for retailers. Many are still working with relatively old-fashioned back-office systems. Even though they are trying to make the best of the situation and present themselves in a modern way towards the customer, if they don’t have the respective data available and are not linked, they are not able to send information and sales offers very easily to the customers. Many retailers work hard to quickly modernize their systems. However, customers are already a step ahead and expect the respective information and services from every retailer, because they have been spoiled by the services of industry trailblazers.

When a customer calls up a retailer’s webpage with his/her Smartphone, he/she finds everything he/she needs there: information, pricing and oftentimes recommendations about similar products that many customers appreciate a lot. The customer is also able to contact his/her friends via social media at any time and easily ask them their opinion on certain products. Many people are increasingly guided in their buying decision by such references than by information provided by the retailer.

Do online and offline retailers benefit equally from implementing an omnichannel strategy?

Of course, this first depends on which industry sector a retailer is in and also on his/her positioning in the channel mix. It is often harder for previously pure offline retailers to take the step towards omnichannel. Online retailers on the other hand are already experienced with the mechanisms of this channel. They know how to supply their customers with information and services and get their product to the customer. In the offline sector, these retailers try to offer customers the same shopping experience in the store.

Of course, you can also say that both win new customers and therefore develop new sources of revenues by expanding their range of services and products with new channels.

Which demands do customers pose on retailer services in today’s omnichannel world?

Today’s customer is flexible and virtually always online with his/her various mobile devices – whether that’s at home, at work or while traveling. Customers are used to access information and retail services anytime and anywhere. Today’s customers also expect the exact same service from brick-and-mortal businesses. A retailer, who doesn’t make this happen, will eventually lose these mobile and informed people as customers in his/her stores.

Media-Saturn AG in the Netherlands has made the right step in this area. Media-Saturn wants to strengthen the linking of channels with a new strategy and is quite successful so far. Pricer is also participating in this project and has installed its electronic shelf labels in the stores. First results make us confident that online revenues as well as sales in the stores will continue to show positive development. Prior to this, Media-Saturn had a rather tough time in the online markets especially in the Netherlands and tackles this market more deliberately than before with the new strategy.

The reason why Media-Saturn is so successful in this area is due to the new transparency in pricing in particular. When the customer can very clearly see that he pays the same great prices online as in the store, he will also like to return to the brick-and-mortar business. After all, this is where he can see, touch and try the products. For many customers, this is still an integral part of their shopping experience today. A pure online retailer is simply not able to provide this.

What’s critical in any case is that the customer is able to retrieve his/her information on the internet at any time. If he/she frequents the store to take another close look at a product, the retailer can close the sale with a skilled consultation. This way, the retailer is offering the best possible connection of advantages between online and offline shopping.

How can ESL use support the retailer’s omnichannel strategy?

I want to once again mention Media-Saturn as an example. It is one of those companies that entered online retailing comparatively late. It became clear to company management that the online channel needs to be an equal sales channel next to the store. It became obvious that you need to expand information and service choices and develop online business, if you want to lure more customers into the stores again.

The ESLs by Pricer are an important part of this strategy. They are extremely fast and can be easily managed by the head office. With their help, the retailer is able to ensure that customers receive correct and transparent pricing at every touchpoint, online or offline. When the customer regains trust in price transparency again, it also prevents showrooming.

After all, this is the fear of many retailers: for customers to come into the stores, try out the products and then buy them afterwards online from another retailer. A well-thought-out omnichannel strategy helps the retailer to boost the customer’s trust in the retailer’s own range of products. It is therefore definitely the right way to meet the current challenges.

Interview: Daniel Stöter; first published on EuroCIS.com

Supplier
Logo: PRICER

PRICER

Bergkällavägen 20-22
19270 Sollentuna
Sweden

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Mobile shoe closet on the road
27.09.2019   #sales promotion #fashion

Mobile shoe closet on the road

Luxury brand Tamara Mellon with first-ever traveling shoe store

Tamara Mellon, direct-to-consumer luxury brand, is taking their innovative retail concept on the road with the launch of the mobile TM Closet — the first-ever traveling shoe closet.Kicking off in Boston, the TM Closet will be located in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: VKF Renzel takes over exclusive distribution of EasyCubes...
23.10.2019   #product presentation #goods illumination

VKF Renzel takes over exclusive distribution of EasyCubes

The sales promotion specialist VKF Renzel took over the sole distribution of the
EasyCubes product presentation system for the DACH region with effect from
23.09.2019

After VKF Renzel was already involved in the successful product launch, this is now the consistent further development. ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Vast majority of consumers plan to return holiday gifts...
03.10.2019   #pos marketing #personalization

Vast majority of consumers plan to return holiday gifts

“Retailers need to seize the moment."

During the upcoming holiday season 77 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to return a portion of their gifts, with nearly 20 percent expecting to return more than half of their presents (sorry grandma!). This is both a blessing and a curse ...

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: Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty...
12.08.2019   #customer satisfaction #customer retention

Return on experience: The new kind of customer loyalty

US retailers benefit if they keep pace with rapid rise in customer expectations

New research conducted by alternative payments provider Klarna across 2,000 US consumers and 250 retail decision makers, reveals that retailers are struggling to retain their customers as consumers today increasingly have zero tolerance for a poor ...

Thumbnail-Photo: POS TUNING supports Grips&Co
26.09.2019   #sales promotion #product presentation

POS TUNING supports "Grips&Co"

POS TUNING is committed to promoting young talent in the retail

Since the magazine "Rundschau für den Lebensmittelhandel" launched the Grips&Co competition, the annual cult event for junior staff, HR specialists and brand industry has been taking place for almost 40 years. Two days of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …...
19.09.2019   #consulting #customer satisfaction

90+ year-old manufacturer redesigns its stores …

… making window and door shopping easier, more personalized and enjoyable

Each year we hear about the increase in online sales, and the talk of the demise of brick-and-mortar stores. But, brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere – if they adapt. And Pella Windows & Doors is adapting.Rather than ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Mood Media launches hospitality trend book
22.11.2019   #trend research #personalization

Mood Media launches hospitality trend book

Four key trends highlighted: immersion, community, customization und convenience

Mood Media, the world’s leading in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the Customer Experience, launches its second trend book, exploring the ever-changing nature of customer experience in the hospitality sector looking at ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 75 % of millennials abandon in-store purchases...
14.11.2019   #customer satisfaction #brick and mortar retail

75 % of millennials abandon in-store purchases

Zebra study: out-of-stocks drive shoppers to online

Zebra Technologies Corporation today revealed the results of its 12th annual Global Shopper Study, the industry’s only market tracker that analyzes the attitudinal behavior of shoppers, retail associates and retail executives and examines the ...

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. ...

Supplier

loadbee GmbH
loadbee GmbH
Nikolaus-Otto-Straße 13
70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen
Mood Media GmbH
Mood Media GmbH
Wandalenweg 30
20097 Hamburg
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
VKF Renzel GmbH
VKF Renzel GmbH
Im Geer 15
46419 Isselburg
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven