The retail experience is digitally transforming, and retailers must jump on board to stay competitive.
TechRepublic's Macy Bayern spoke with Mary Clark, chief product officer and CMO of Synchronoss, at Mobile World Congress 2019 Los Angeles about digital transformation and its effects on the retail industry. The following is an edited transcript of the conversation.
Mary Clark: It used to be that I would constantly go to a store to buy something. The advent of Amazon and the opportunity to look something up online and e-commerce in and of itself has progressed to such an extent that now a brick-and-mortar experience is entirely having to change, and it has to change in a way in which to continue to attract in consumers but they have to also change the way in which they're entirely interacting with you. Their engagement strategies as it relates to what is their web presence? What is their app presence? We're looking at something called RCS technology. What we're talking about really is conversational commerce where through the implementation of a new messaging platform for example that's going to have a dramatic change on the way we interact with brands.
SEE: Digital transformation: An IT pro's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
If a brand new store self-identifies as a brick and mortar store that can't do it anymore. They have to think about, "What is my relationship with you as an individual? and what are the technologies that I'm going to be bringing to bear to make that experience and that relationship with you really be one-to-one and relevant? And things like RCS, things like the way in which we are changing just the entire digital interaction with you." So the in-store experience is as seamless and frictionless as possible. What is the way in which competitively and constantly you are getting value for dollar raising up the opportunity for the consumer to get that value exchange? These are strategies that as a retail, as a retailer they have got to go beyond and push out of the envelope of really their comfort zone and embrace technology.
I mentioned RCS, so Rich Communications Systems is what it is. I think about having an app on my phone that is everything: It's my friends, and it's also the brands that I interact with all the time, all in one place. I project out say two, three, four years we could be looking at a circumstance where I'm constantly communicating with brands that I want to, they are giving me value, they are recognizing my in-particular interests and preferences, and they are designing almost to me as one consumer. That's the end state that we have to get to and the technologies that are coming to bear now through digital transformation and the examination of a true consumer journey all the way through and leveraging what I'm really, what's most commonly being referred to as conversational commerce is really going to be where we end up. That's going to be where the consumer changes the face of retail simply because of the way we as individuals want to be treated.
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