By Bernadette Wilson
Solutions providers need to be in the business of enabling better relationships and experiences.
The customer experience your retail IT clients offer has become a major factor in their competitiveness. Shawn Harris, Zebra Technologies’ North American retail and hospitality industry lead, explains, “In 2015, retail winners will remain focused on [read: obsessed with] improving the shopping experience for their customers. We now live in the ‘Age of the Customer,’ and lip service about being ‘customer-centric’ is no longer acceptable.”
Harris cites Forrester Research revealing 62 percent of shoppers expect a mobile friendly web, 42 percent expect a mobile app, and 23 percent expect location specific experiences. “Business leaders are listening, with 23 percent saying improving the shopping experience is a top priority for their stores,” he adds.
Randy Clark. SVP of marketing for Vantiv, points out this has an impact on the solutions VARs and managed services providers (MSPs) can sell. “We’ve moved from an era of where the point of sale (POS) manages ordering, payments, inventory, and reporting to an era of better consumer experiences through enabling digital commerce.”
“Today’s shoppers want to interact with retailers anytime, want more personalized shopping experiences, consistent experiences across channels, and to self-serve in store,” continues Clark. “Resellers who can help retailers meet these new shopper expectations while simultaneously satisfying the needs of the merchant to attract and retain customers will be most successful … It’s not about software, technology or developer tools. It’s about helping merchants grow their businesses by better servicing and engaging their customers at the point of sale, whether that is at a traditional POS or in-store remote mobile payment. We’re in the business of enabling better relationships and experiences.”
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