Innovation

Brick and mortar retail digital transformation is powered by mobile device data

Stephanie Dismore, vice president and general manager, Americas Channels at HP Inc., explains how mobile devices and big data are shaping how retailers understand their customers.

Shoppers are changing the way they buy products, causing the retail industry to change the way they sell their products. TechRepublic met with Stephanie Dismore, vice president and general manager, Americas Channels at HP Inc., to discuss why brick and mortar retailers should understand the importance of mobile devices and embracing omnichannel. Below is a transcript of their interview.

Dismore: Omnichannel is really driven by this shopper and user where they want an experience. They want an experience in store, online, and now even mobile. As IT decision makers, we're supporting those that are enabling this new experience. We need to make sure that we're creating an experience where shoppers want to shop.

They're no longer just shopping in brick and mortar. They're no longer are just shopping online. We're finding now that shoppers are shopping where they want to be no matter what time of day, whether that's on their mobile phone, whether that's on their desktop or notebook, or whether that's walking and going into a brick and mortar store. So it's critical for us to create a seamless experience across all three vectors.

SEE: IT leader's guide to achieving digital transformation (Tech Pro Research)

Patterson: This, of course, makes a lot of sense. What are some examples or good ways that retailers are creating a seamless mobile and retail experience?

Dismore: Yeah, so if you think about it, if you break it down to the simplest viewpoint, you could say, "Hey, as a shopper walking into a brick and mortar, I know, as I take in the data, that that shopper has already gone on their mobile device or computer, they've already started their shopper journey." Data's king. How do we take that data, and how do we enable that experience through the offline and online world? As I go, if I'm able to capture that data from their online usage, as they walk into the offline store, the brick and mortar store, we're able to capture more sales and retain higher customers. That is the critical element.

If you look at retailers like a Walmart, for example. Walmart created their app, so they have a pay app right now, where they're starting to get the data from their customers. It's driving retention, and they're able to take that data and start to market to them both online and offline when they're in the brick and mortar. There are other examples, too. If you go to different vectors ...

Let's go to clothing. Take a Neiman Marcus, for example. Some of the things they're doing ... in fact, they won the innovation award at NRF this past year for some of the cool things that they're doing. They have an app called Snap. Find. Shop. If a shopper sees something that they like, they can take a picture of it, they put it into their Neiman Marcus app, and Neiman Marcus can then show them their product, or how they can buy that item or something similar. That's a great example of retailers really stepping up their game to create just what we're calling an experience for that shopper to say, "Hey, this is true value to me, and this is showing me ... " Taking the offline, online experience and incorporating into a seamless journey for that shopper.

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Image: iStock/oatawa

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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