Digital transformation initiatives are crucial for success in today's retail industry. Here's an example of how one technology is changing the game.
Sportswear retailer Under Armour reported ringing in more than 7,000 transactions in three days using groundbreaking point of sale (POS) and mobile selling solutions. With retail technology solution company Aptos, Under Armour sold a whopping 47,000 items after augmenting their existing POS capabilities with the Aptos ONE Store Commerce mobile selling application.
At Under Armour's July 2019 Sample Sale in Baltimore, the retailer hosted a three-day pop-up style event, giving customers the opportunity to purchase exclusive and discounted Under Armour apparel, footwear, and accessories.
A large-scale, fast-paced event such as this annual charity event required systems that could keep up, which is why Under Armour adopted the patent-pending Aptos ONE platform. The sportswear retailer already used Aptos's POS solution, but at this event, also tested out the cloud-native, mobile-first application.
SEE: Special report: Data, AI, IoT: The future of retail (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
More than 8,500 US brick and mortar stores have closed down so far this year, with the total predicted to hit 12,000 by the end of 2019, Coresight Research found. If stores want to keep their doors open, they must face reality: Technology drives the future of retail.
The majority of retail executives (72%) agreed that artificial intelligence (AI) is now a "competitive necessity" in retail, an Oxford Economics report found. As online shopping, automated pickup stations, and cashier-less shopping have gained ground, physical stores must embrace technology to stay competitive.
"The state of retail in the age of digital transformation can be described in one word: Disrupted," said Nikki Baird, vice president of innovation at Aptos. "There are a few retailers out there that have embraced the disruption and are working to more closely embrace technology as a strategic part of how they enable customer experiences, but there are many more retailers who have not yet come to grips with the level of change required to survive, let alone thrive."
Some major brands that have successfully undergone digital transformation efforts include Sephora, Lowe's, Walmart, and Home Depot. Under Armour, however, can now be added to the group.
With brick and mortar stores at risk of extinction, Under Armour is using innovative methods to stay relevant.
What is Aptos ONE?
Cloud technology is one of the top digital services leading digital transformation in retail, with Aptos ONE falling into that category. This platform unifies services across every touchpoint in retail, through the cloud, and on mobile devices, Baird said.
"With Aptos ONE, retailers are no longer constrained by their IT infrastructure when it comes to delivering "phygital" experiences across touchpoints," Baird noted. "A retailer who offers omnichannel in store alongside product configuration, kiosks for customer interactions, and employees with mobile devices, might literally have four different user experiences and underlying solutions – on top of traditional point of sale. Aptos ONE gives retailers the power to deliver all of those experiences from one platform."
With Aptos ONE, employees are no longer tethered to the store. "Because the offline resiliency is so powerful, a store associate can literally walk out of the store with the customer while transacting, and even when the wifi drops, they would be able to complete the transaction with no visible impact on the user experience," Baird said. "This capability is particularly interesting for retailers looking to expand their pop-up and event strategy, where they set up a store at a marathon or a concert, for example."
Some of the biggest benefits to using this technology include faster deployment of updated systems and better platform resiliency. Retailers are able to test ideas, within the system, before implementing, making innovation more accessible, Baird noted.
The success of Aptos ONE was evident in the amount of sales Under Armour was able to conduct in such a short amount of time. Best of all, the solution only took six weeks total to deploy—from ideation to implementation.
"One of the most exciting aspects of Aptos ONE leading up to the Sample Sale was how quickly we were able to stand it up," Gerald Charles Jr., Under Armour's vice president of global IT operations and strategy, said in the release. "The consensus from our [employees] was that Aptos ONE Store Commerce is intuitive, requires very minimal training, and is designed in a way that removes barriers between associates and customers, resulting in seamless, sophisticated, and efficient interactions."
Aptos ONE is only the beginning for these technologies, as more providers come out with services and more retailers jump on board.
For more, check out How US retailers can protect themselves from targeted cyberattacks on TechRepublic.
- Digital transformation: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- Digital transformation: An IT pro's guide (TechRepublic download)
- Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (TechRepublic Premium)
- What is digital transformation? Everything you need to know about how technology is reshaping business (ZDNet)
- 5 best standing desk converters for 2019 (CNET)
- Best to-do list apps for managing tasks on any platform (Download.com)
- Digital transformation: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)