By Rob Garf
In the keynote sessions, our CEO, Tom Ebling, and our COO, Jeff Barnett, declared that the only way to address current commerce challenges, serve today’s consumers, and seize the tremendous opportunity is to establish a single technology platform to manage consumer interactions and transactions across all channels.
Without a doubt, omni-channel excellence is the goal for most retailers, but as we all know, delivering that omni-channel experience is a complex undertaking that spans the entire enterprise. And, those that have tried to do this by standing up individual applications on disparate technology – even if you are buying them from the same vendor – know just how hard it is.
It will be much easier to achieve on a single platform, Jeff asserted, built on open architecture in the cloud and propelled by one interlinked community sharing and innovating together. This is Demandware’s vision. We are determined to lead the way to one highly-personalized brand experience for the consumer – everywhere – that’s generated, managed, and mined for precious data through ONE commerce platform for retail.
And nowhere is this need more apparent than in the retail store. As Tom pointed out, the NRF – our industry’s largest trade organization – surveyed technology and business leaders to explore this exact subject. Their report, Digitizing the Store, shows that 70% of retailers will refresh their existing POS, 40% want a single platform, and twice as many retailers plan to leverage ecommerce over traditional POS for their next-generation store software – making ONE platform the de facto standard for tomorrow.
Imagine what’s possible when everything in your retail world is linked and communicating on ONE platform. Leading CEOs are asking for it. The NRF has confirmed it. And we’re making the ONE platform dream into a reality.
Jeff laid out the plan to extend our one platform for managing, orchestrating, interacting and transacting across the entire consumer operation. Our strategy is focused on three interrelated areas – Commerce, Intelligence and Experience. And it’s built on the Demandware Cloud that ensures reliable, secure, and scalable way to meet the demands of your growing business. Jeff detailed the components:
- Commerce: Extend the cloud-resident data and processes – product, price, inventory, order and customer – across all consumer touchpoints. Our recent acquisition of Mainstreet Commerce to deliver the “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere, service anywhere” experience, and the general availability – and roll out by SOLSTICE – of our Digital Store Solution are two prime examples of investments in this area. Jeff also explained that we have our sights on virtual point-of-sale to support ALL STORE transactions on one platform.
- Intelligence: Aggregate data across the platform to leverage the knowledge and insights of our retail community, our partners, our marketplace and our consumers to tap into the possibilities of one platform in the cloud where everything is connected. In 2013, our cloud platform handled approximately 150 million registered shoppers and managed more than a quarter of a billion items sold. This gives our community the opportunity to gather and operationalize insights to identify trends, benchmark performance and personalize experiences. Think about it for a second. We could provide our community with the equivalent of Nielsen or IRI for the digital age!
- Experience: As we continue to master commerce – and turn data into currency – we complete the virtuous cycle by taking the consumer experience into a whole new level of ease, function and instant gratification. Our goal is to orchestrate dynamic content that empowers you to express the essence of your brand in ONE connected way across every channel: web, mobile, and store. Jeff provided examples of clients like Deb Shops, CPO Commerce and House of Fraser who are optimizing the user experience, notably via mobile.
Built in the cloud, Demandware created a virtuous cycle of Commerce, Intelligence and Experience that serves as a retail perpetual motion machine that makes it all work together… faster, easier and more efficiently and reliably than ever.
The Next Ten Years Look Bright in the Cloud
Whether clients are reaching further into retail or further into manufacturing, we are all vertically integrated. Jeff concluded by proclaiming that it’s time rise up and soar in today’s new retail reality, and he assured our community that it’s all possible in the cloud, and on Demandware’s ONE platform.