- arvato Systems and its partner companies bundle competences in SAP CAR to improve omni-channel processes
- Presentation of integration scenarios at the SAP Retailers Forum in July 2015
Customers today expect to have a wide variety of products to choose from as well as receive targeted information and content in real-time over all channels and on any device. This is why omni-channel is the future of retail. Studies by several well-known research institutes demonstrate the importance of the concept, which links traditional sales in brick-and-mortar retail stores with classic eCommerce, mobile apps, and information from social media. The ‘Retail Trends 2020’ report produced by KPMG and the EHI Retail Institute forecasts, for example, that multi-channel approaches will become increasingly important in the coming years. This assessment is based on the fact that brick-and-mortar retailers are entering into the online business more and more while online retailers are increasingly opening up their own local stores. GfK and the EHI Retail Institute conducted a study titled ‘Shopperverhalten im Umbruch’ (Shopper Behavior Changing Radically), which found that tomorrow’s customers will value those retailers that make their lives easier with automated processes, technical innovation, speed, and efficiency. These developments hold challenges for retailers as well as new strategic options and opportunities. This means that companies that actively design their services and tailor them to meet the needs of their customers will be able to increase sales.
SAP CAR: The Heart of Successful Omni-Channel Sales
Wherever different sales channels are used in parallel, the points of interaction for the customer comes must be optimally combined and consolidated. This requires efficient software technologies. Arvato Systems, CAS AG, and IOT GmbH have entered into a strategic partnership in order to provide such solutions. The aim is to provide the best possible support to retail operations in the implementation and ongoing optimization of custom-tailored omni-channel solutions. The focus is on the SAP Customer Activity Repository (SAP CAR) and SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (SAP CEI) applications. These solutions enable customer, sales, and inventory data to be merged into a single matrix. This creates an integrated, customer-centric overview that makes it possible to contact consumers in a uniform, cross-channel, and real-time manner, providing recommendations and thereby improving brand perception. To do this, SAP CEI analyzes data collected from customer interactions in various online, mobile, and in-store transactions. This is then supplemented with data from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter to create a vast pool of consolidated information. Using these insights into consumer behavior, retailers can make basic strategic decisions in terms of targeted customer contacts, thereby positively influencing customer satisfaction as well as turnover. At the same time, SAP CAR can also provide real-time analysis of large datasets and make this available across all channels. This is vital to making access to real-time inventories both efficient and profitable, both for online shops and brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Bundled Omni-Channel Expertise
arvato Systems and its partner companies support these complex processes as well as perform the analysis and integration of data into existing SAP architecture for the customer. Customers benefit from additional forward-looking services. arvato OMS, an order management system developed by arvato Systems, enables, for example, further integration of call center activities and logistics service providers. This also enables ‘click & collect’ functions for efficient cross-channel commerce. Furthermore, there are plans to expand services on the platform that can be supported with loyalty programs and campaigns. Retailers will take a closer look at the various integration scenarios at the SAP Retailers Forum being held on 6/7 July 2015 in Mannheim, Germany.
The three partners have complementary strengths in terms of the know-how and the products they bring to the table, making it possible to offer retailers comprehensive expertise when it comes to omni-channel solutions. For instance, arvato Systems bring its expertise to bear as a global specialist in enterprise software and eCommerce solutions, as well as in the operation of large ERP solutions and online shops. IOT GmbH focuses on the analysis, integration, and implementation of omni-channel requirements in mail-order retail. CAS AG supports local retail stores in the planning, integration, and optimization of omni-channel processes. It has extensive practical experience in the rollout and migration of SAP CAR. The three partners have worked together in the past on successful projects for various customers.
“We are convinced that there is no other way to offer omni-channel sales in the SAP architecture than through SAP CAR and CEI,” says Axel Sacher, Senior Manager for Retail at arvato Systems. “In a sales world where integration and automation are decisive factors for success, we are excellently positioned thanks to our strategic alliance with CAS AG and IOT GmbH. We collectively have an in-depth understanding of all of the requirements for the various sales channels, and at the end of the day, all of our customers benefit from this.”
Dirk Blum, CEO of CAS AG, also emphasized the advantages of the partnership: “Omni-channel retailing is an interdisciplinary challenge. It is necessary to pool expertise in order to implement omni-channel processes in a targeted and effective way.”
“SAP CAR customers benefit from the cooperation between arvato Systems, CAS AG, and IOT GmbH. The synergies between our experience in theory and practice enable highly effective omni-channel processes. This opens up a new chapter in omni-channel retail with SAP CAR,” says Amo Niemietz, professor at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences and CEO of ITO GmbH.