Retail IT vendors debate impact of digital tech on market

Xpandretail’s Vic Bageria and Veeam’s Rick Vanover discuss how digital technologies are changing the world of retail

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Retail IT vendors debate impact of digital tech on market Vic Bageria, CEO & CVO of Xpandretail powered by Sàvant.
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By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  August 18, 2017

ACN: Could share some insights on your recent rebranding and how it is affecting how your service is delivered?

Vic Bageria: Sàvant Data System’s rebrand to Xpandretail powered by Sàvant is a huge milestone. It has allowed us to communicate to the market that we are still the leading voice in our industry as we continue to grow.

The rebrand not only has created a new interest in the market with our existing customers, but also opened up channels to the SMEs and startup community. With the rebranding, it has allowed us to put forth new solutions, such as Xpand-Indexing that was developed in-house and reflects the current market dynamics.

Through Xpand-Indexing, we are able to provider retailers with data and reporting on geographical footfall data for expansion for their business(s) in GCC region — which is one of the newest solutions.

ACN: How have you continued to develop your capabilities over the past year?

Vic Bageria: We have conducted in-house quarterly surveys, feedback forms and continued to listen to our clients to understand what works for them and what does not. By doing so, we have been able to implement new innovative solutions which are not in the regions market, delivering the best fitting service to our clients by delivering unique catered solutions and not just a product which best fit their business requirements.

ACN: While retail hasn’t traditionally been a great adopter of technology, from your standpoint, how are you seeing end-user demand changing?

Vic Bageria: With the impact of innovative technology taking place in the market today, end-users are in high demand for a one stop solution shop, where all their needs can be met as the market has been flooded with third party solution providers and resellers. Retailers are also getting overwhelmed on how you decide where to allocate their hard-earned IT budget. With many areas to consider – hardware and software solutions, mobile deployment, payment processing, cloud-based apps, security — the golden question for retailers also is where are the competitors likely to be investing their IT funds? As now we are witnessing more investment plans from retailers in the omni-channel, cloud-based solutions, mobility, and security.

ACN: While the importance of data has been realised in different ways from industry to industry, to what extent has retail begun to see the value of data and analytics?

Vic Bageria: Today, the impact of data and analytics goes far beyond organisational boundaries and underpins many of the most important decisions and growth for retailers. Retailers are realising that data and analytics are delivering better, faster decisions for their business. Driving rapid investment, as it is enabling retailers to understand and design a clearer path to delivering a unique customer shopper experience through data and analytics.

ACN: What sort of insights can retailers gain from analytics and in what ways can this impact their overall strategy?

Vic Bageria: Data and analytics solutions are enabling retailers to leverage data from their internal systems, such as Point of Sales or POS, Inventory, ships/receipts, loyalty and ERP, as well as, which includes weather, market share data, and census/demographic data. Combined, these sources help to provider better visibility into individual customer purchase patterns with relevant contextual background information. These same analytics can be used to identify trends and forecast demand.

ACN: What would you say are the current IT trends driving retail and how will that change in the coming couple of years?

Vic Bageria: Retail has always been a data-intensive industry. Customer engagement is only as effective as how well you know the customer and how well you are equipped to act on that insight across your channels. The retail industry is in a state of explosive growth. Retailers are combining customers’ preferences, habits and context to deliver personalised experiences.

As the Internet-of-Things (IoT) converges the digital and physical worlds, it is creating new channels to reach deeper into people’s lives. This will result in an interconnected environment in which businesses build products and services specifically for the individual. Retailers are starting to adopt this Internet-of-Me trend into their businesses through personalisation strategies for both products and delivery channels.

Additionally, retailers with physical stores now have greater visibility into stock through digital supply chains. This makes it possible to offer more personal choices in fulfilment to improve the overall customer experience. Connecting data from smart appliances, wearables and other IoT devices to digital systems helps businesses to understand how customers actually use their products and services.

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