Sourcing Advisory

Revolutionizing Customer Experiences Through SMAC

Kevin S. Parikh

The relationship between consumers and enterprises has never been as intrigued as in the 21st century. As digital technologies augmented by SMAC are creating new touch points for enterprises to awe their consumers, we are witnessing the evolution in consumer experiences. Social, mobility, analytics, and cloud are the nexus of forces, which will reshape how consumers experience a brand.
Hointer, a clothing store in Seattle, defies the concept of traditional retailing by embracing the idea of an intelligent store using “SMAC”. Deployed on the cloud, the “Omni-cart app” allows customers to make an in-store purchase in an unstaffed store. The application provides recommendations to customers based on their purchase history, social interactions, and mobile/web check-ins at different stores. It suggests a similar outfit based on customer data with a tap on their mobile phone. Customers only need to scan the QR code of an outfit and the app suggests proceeding to the trial room. The digital kiosk within the trial room further assists consumers with customized options to fit in and discard the rejected clothing. With this, the store not only has challenged traditional retailing but also created a unique customer experience for the connected customer of the twenty-first century by providing a no-queue purchase and nullifying all negative experience of a brick and mortar store. SMAC is empowering customers with right data at the right time, in order to assist them in their decision-making process.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, while interaction between consumers and enterprises generate large volumes of data, there is a significant demand for analyzing and interpreting the available data from multiple perspectives to catalyze and enhance customer experience and arrive at better decisions. Most internet users have experienced that their actions on the internet today, such as undertaking a keyword search, are recorded and analyzed for possible usage patterns. When customers shop on a retailing website, in addition to logging the purchase, every action performed on the site is recorded and analyzed for behavioral insights. Marketers are busy understanding their consumer purchase decision and customizing their customer offerings through royalty cards on mobile, check-in badges, social media interactions and suggested purchase, obtained from humongous data freely available on various technology platforms. With close to 50% of the mobile phones in the US and the UK market being Smartphone, mobile presents a huge opportunity to tap customer data and improve their experience through customized offerings. With the growing demand for current and updated information through connection to internet from anywhere and anytime, has made analytics important in our day-to-day life to draw the correct inferences from available data. Amazon reported 30% revenue from its analytics based recommendation engine. Futuristic technologies are transforming the way we live our daily life. Gadgets like Google-Glass allow us to interact with internet through natural language and voice commands while displaying and transmitting information in a smartphone format. Nike+ FuelBand is an activity tracker that is worn on the wrist allows its wearers to track their physical activity, steps taken daily and amount of calories burned. It integrates the information from the wristband into the Nike+ online community and phone application, allowing wearers to set their own fitness goals, monitor their progression, and compare themselves to other members of the community. Such innovations have started taking the customer experience to a different plane allowing real-time interaction between human, devices, and data, enhancing quality of living.

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