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02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

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17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

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03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Stores must fight Technology with Technology

Posted on: 14 April '14

In my most recent blog post I started off by noting how last year, Internet mogul Marc Andreessen proclaimed that the retail store is dead. I will return to him again, and touch upon another point he made: that “software eats retail.”

It was a provocative and witty statement, but I feel ultimately software will not eat retail but “fuel” retail. For one, as retail futurist Doug Stephens pointed out during our recent webinar on The Future of the Retail Store, physical retail stores will survive for the simple reason that people don’t shop purely for consumption and acquisition of items. Shopping is a cultural and social experience. How else can you explain celebrities going to stores when they clearly don’t need to? Or the lines that form outside retail outlets when hot new products are released? Shopping isn’t a burden – it’s a remedy to cabin fever, or a temporary escape from parenting, and ultimately a way to interact with the world.

But the larger point I’d like to make is that the leading retailers out there will save the store through smart use of technology, and by using data as a fuel source that creates customer loyalty and drives future growth. In other words, software won’t eat retail; software will instead feed retail by allowing retailers to connect with their customers on a more personal level, and by making the store of the future a smart, connected place.

Software Feeds Retail

At Mindtree, we’ve found that while some organizations have invested in digital solutions for analyzing data, typically they create too many independent tools and the work happens in silos or within single departments, leading to multiple, confusing insights across teams. When these retailers work with us to build the framework to unify all of these tools and their legacy data systems, the results are more powerful than they had imagined.

Our Integrated Customer Insights framework creates a truly integrated data store, and runs the data through a proprietary schematic mapping process that allows your team to apply clustering, segmentation, predictive modeling, and various analytical algorithms tailored to your business goals. This will give you a true 360-degree view of your customers, allow you to derive “consumer personas” that you want to target, and set up what we call “the next best action” for each of these personas. With the trigger alerts functionality, you can finally give your customers a personalized, unified experience across every channel.

These experiences will be memorable: having a promotional offer, for something on your shopping list, get sent to your phone the minute you walk into a store; getting a text message from a customer service expert offering to come help you with questions or concerns while you shop; seeing the price of an item you want go down on a digital readout after you scan it with your phone.

Smart data won’t just help you with customers. It can also help you with assortment planning – getting your inventory right the first time, help you restock at just the right moment, or help you scale up certain items based on data about the weather, big local events, and more. Data can also help take the friction out of retail – technology throughout the store can sense things like crowded departments and long lines at the register, and trigger alerts to send employees to those areas and get customers processed faster.

If the thought of letting software feed your retail growth intrigues you, I would urge you to watch a recording of the full webinar – to get a complete picture of the wide range of possibilities.

Radha heads the Digital Business group at Mindtree, which includes Digital, Mobility, DAS and SaaS packages. She is responsible for designing and delivering broader digital solutions for Mindtree's clients globally. During her tenure, she has played a decisive role in laying out the strategic roadmap to transform Mindtree and make it ready for 2020.

  • Gopal Chakravarthy

    I think Ms. Radha analysis is incredibly insightful in a complex industry. Having worked and seen some Mindtree products, they are top of the line. I worked on Dun and BradStreet’s Promoman and Spaceman products for the retail industry. Mindtree stepped it up a notch and this is no small part to the energy, thought innovation and leadership Ms. Radha has shown at Mindtree.

    Radha R was well known at IBM for being a top sales manager and it is no surprise she has risen to the top at Mindtree.