STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 31


Tuesday

31

Mobility
Continued from page 1

showing that 56 percent of all American
now have a smartphone; 35 percent have a
tablet computer. Although these devices are
complementary, they are not interchange-

Engagement
Continued from page 1

model. "We didn't have the opportunity
to build distinct store or e-commerce
systems," Smith said. "A single architecture gives us the opportunity
to deliver seamless transactions and
monitor one system for allocation and
merchandising. ... Overall, we gain one
view of our operations and guest."
By integrating architecture that delivers this single version of the truth, retailers are well on their way to building
engagement enterprise-wide. The first
area of attention for many is customer
engagement: Retailers are striving
to deliver more personal, high-touch
shopping experiences, regardless of
the channel consumers choose to visit.
This requires retailers to understand
who their shopper really is, an effort that
is made possible by integrating customer
touchpoints and analyzing behavior
across each one. "The key to customer
engagement is to gain a well-rounded
view of the customer based on how she
interacts with all of her preferred touchpoints," said Michael Kingston, SVP
and CIO of The Neiman Marcus Group.
Successful customer engagement
is only possible when there is collaboration between information technology
teams and other lines of business. This
is especially important as omni-channel
efforts increase.
"Success begins with good relationships," Kingston said. "We want
our lines of business to work well together, and keep everyone involved in
key decisions. This includes evolving
the role of the CIO. ... CIOs need to
expand beyond technology decisions."
Deciphering the best way to interact with shoppers will remain a
business priority. A commitment to
driving this change can be the selling
point needed to engage talent with indemand skill sets.
"Recruiting talent is always a challenge," said Etienne de Verdelhan, CIO
of L'Occitane en Provence. "Key candidates have primary business knowledge
and strong IT backgrounds. What will
drive enterprise change is individuals
who can use these skill sets to define
how to do business in the future."
For some companies, this means
creating a more diversified IT team.
"Fifty percent of the population is
women, but only 26 percent of women
work in IT. The percentage is even
lower in retail IT," Sherlock said. "You
can't have the best engaged team if you
only recruit half of the available talent."

Fred Argir

able. Smartphone use peaks between noon
and 5 p.m., for instance, and tablet usage
between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The panel had some useful words of
advice for retailers assessing their mobile
strategies. One cited by everybody was
"keep it simple." In the design for eBay's
original mobile product page, the "buy it
now" button was below the fold - users
had to scroll down a page to get to it. "We
moved it to the first page and made it big,"
Cypher said, "and got an immediate 30
percent jump in sales."
"Whatever you do," said Wu, "be
deliberate about it. If you have an idea for
an app, make sure it solves a problem."

This was echoed by Cypher, who said,
"No tech for the sake of tech. If there's
not an ROI - not immediately, maybe,
but eventually - or it doesn't solve a pain
point, don't do it."
Summing up lessons learned at Toys
"R" Us, Argir said, "Find the most impactful opportunities. Converge your teams
- don't have multiple people solving the
same problem. Measure the customer
experience. And plan to fail."
Noting that this last bit of advice is a
bit counter-intuitive, he said, "If you spend
two weeks building a line of code and you
put it in and it doesn't work, throw it away
and move on."


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014

STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 1
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STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 4
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STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 31
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