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: Customer Story: How the Johan Cruijff Arena scores with self-service...
31.05.2019   #self service #artificial intelligence

Customer Story: How the Johan Cruijff Arena scores with self-service

CCV helped develop a smart self-service soft drinks dispenser.

Johan Cruijff ArenA, previously known as Amsterdam ArenA, has a capacity of 55,000. As the largest stadium in the Netherlands, it has hosted global sporting events such as the 1998 Champions League Final and the 2013 Europa League Final. The ArenA ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Good news for brick and mortar retailers
08.03.2019   #brick and mortar retail #in-store marketing

Good news for brick and mortar retailers

71 percent of shoppers are spending more in-store than online

Both men and women are spending significantly more in-store than online during a typical shopping visit according to a new report, by First Insight, Inc. The company, which recently surveyed consumers on shopping habits, purchase behavior and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Designer Outlet Croatia as hybrid retail destination...
04.04.2019   #customer counting #shoppingcenter

Designer Outlet Croatia as hybrid retail destination

Building footfall and counting shopper traffic

Designer Outlet Croatia, majority-owned by Ingka Centres has enhanced shopper traffic performance by adding an aspirational, 'hybrid' retail destination to the existing IKEA Store in Zagreb supported by the implementation of a traffic ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Stores with employee background checks favored...
17.06.2019   #security #customer satisfaction

Stores with employee background checks favored

Sterling’s 2019 ‘Retail Industry Screening’ survey

Sterling, expert in background and identity services, today released the results of its 2019 ‘Retail Industry Screening’ survey. An inaugural initiative, the survey examines Americans’ perspectives, experiences and concerns related ...

Thumbnail-Photo: GfK study: Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU...
14.06.2019   #marketing research #trend research

GfK study: Brick-and-mortar retail in the EU

Highest 2019 growth in Romania and Lithuania

The majority of European consumers are currently subjected to opposing forces. On the one hand, this consists of uncertainty over Brexit, trade conflicts and weaker growth prospects in important export markets such as China. But on the other hand, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The customer is always right? Two customers might spell trouble!...
09.05.2019   #consulting #brick and mortar retail

The customer is always right? Two customers might spell trouble!

How salespeople can handle customers who bring company along

Customers rarely shop alone. Most of them shop with family or friends. The other person might not always be in a good mood, patient or friendly. Can the salesperson simply ignore the other person in these instances? How should he or she handle this ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital food retail: customers expect more personalization...
07.06.2019   #personalization #food delivery service

Digital food retail: customers expect more personalization

New research sponsored by precima shows retailers must act quickly to develop a detailed understanding of shopping missions.

The fast-changing dynamics of the food retailing environment continue to challenge companies to keep pace with fast-changing shopper demands. The latest of these shifting shopper requirements involves their behavior on digital platforms and is ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Footwear market expected to grow rapidly
15.03.2019   #trend research #brand management

Footwear market expected to grow rapidly

Application insights, latest trends, developments, and forecasts to 2021

Global Footwear Market is expected to grow at a significant CAGR in the upcoming years as the scope and its applications are rising enormously across the globe. Footwear is a garment worn on the feet to protect and comfort against adversities of the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Beware of price promotions: “Don’t teach your customers to be...
27.05.2019   #sales promotion #price labels

Beware of price promotions: “Don’t teach your customers to be bargain hunters!“

Neuroscientist Kai-Markus Müller tells us about the impact of pricing

In a conversation with iXtenso, Professor Kai-Markus Müller, CEO of The Neuromarketing Labs gives great insights into how products and prices affect the brains of shoppers. How does he know? He is a neuroscientist and can look inside the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Award-worthy product presentations – Point of purchase displays...
08.05.2019   #pos marketing #displays

Award-worthy product presentations – Point of purchase displays

The 2019 POPAI Awards finalists in our photo gallery

This year’s POPAI Awards finalists prove that retail displays can do more than just grab the attention of consumers.Today’s displays not only reflect the overall customer journey, but also focus on storytelling and digital elements.The ...

Supplier

CCV Deutschland GmbH
CCV Deutschland GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
iXtenso - Magazin für den Einzelhandel
Celsiusstraße 43
53125 Bonn