Interviews

The Solution Merges The Customer’s Digital And Physical Worlds

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kamal_chandramohan-1Today, consumers are increasingly looking for ‘Smarter’ experience in all aspect of their lifestyle.  Retail is one such area. After the boom in e-commerce, and the growth in m-commerce, consumers are looking for that something ‘extra’. An experience where the retailers are ‘Smart’ and create an experience that takes cue from their online buying behavior and translate that into an offline experience as soon as they enter the physical store. This is where Aspire Systems’ latest ‘Phygital’ Retail Solution, PRIOS, comes into the scene.

According to the company, ‘PRIOS’ is a cost-effective, scalable solution that can be leveraged by mid-sized to large scale enterprises looking to amplify customer experience for their brand.  The solution will create a new customer engagement paradigm, breathing new life into retail in four trends that are shaping tomorrow’s retail market –  in store mobile experience, data driven personalization, empowerment of store associates and enhanced self-service. Kamal Chandramohan, Practice Manager – Mobility at Aspire Systems tells HPC Asia how PRIOS will make the retail experience ‘Smarter’.

How would you define Phygital Retail Solution? How did Aspire develop this, what trends in retail set up you saw that pushed the company to develop such a solution?

Phygital Retail Solution is any solution that blends a customer’s physical and digital worlds into a single retail world. Using a Phygital Solution, a customer can start his/ her retail journey from a digital media like E-commerce and move to a physical store seamlessly and complete it there. Phygital is Omnichanel 2.0. It’s not about order online and pick up in store. It’s more than that. It’s about getting inspired online and getting reminded about that product in store and then deciding to buy it in store.
Everywhere we see the rapid emergence of e-commerce which has pushed the physical store sales down. M-commerce have accelerated this trend where people especially millennials can check out products wherever they are and whenever they want. But there are several surveys and studies that tell us that customers really like to buy products after they can touch and feel it in a physical store. This is the big irony in retail today. People want to do instore buying but they are end up buying Online. This made us realize that the real reason for this trend is that the physical stores are not digital enough. The retail customers really expect the CX of the physical stores to undergo a massive transformation and this lead us to build PRIOS.

What is PRIOS? What makes it stand out from other digital retail solutions?

PRIOS is a Phygital solution and it’s aimed at improving the CX instore. Till now, retailers have been looking at addressing this with existing solutions, like analytics, location based services
etc. With PRIOS, we are bringing digital, IoT and big data together within a framework to integrate with in-store solutions in order to enhance the overall customer experience. What makes PRIOS really stand out is that it solves multiple problems. It unifies the physical and digital shopping experience by enabling a consumer’s digital journey into the store, in a very contextualized and personalized way. The solution merges the customer’s digital and physical worlds. It acts as a platform for the customers to receive instore product recommendations and promotions. It helps customers search for products, locate them, add to store cart and checkout all by themselves instore. It empowers store associates with better customer insights and product information.

With smart technologies being all the rage, how does PRIOS make a retail outlet smart really?

There is an evolving customer behavior. It’s a fact that the smartphones have brought about a revolution in terms of how people book a cab, check in to a flight, make payments, communicate with family and friends and even do their shopping. Every Business needs to understand this. The Retail stores also need to understand this change in user behavior and user expectation of the customers. PRIOS helps Retail outlets address the same issue. It makes the outlet truly digital by offering several unique features.

How do you see this improving the overall consumer experience for the retailer?

Consumer Experience is Consumer Delight. PRIOS ensures there is a seamless transition from Ecommerce to Physical store. It predicts what the customer would like to buy when the customer enter the store and then provides instore navigation to locate the product and then let the customer do a self-checkout. This removes the typical wait times a customer faces in a store and thereby would exponentially increase Consumer Experience.

What kind of retail set up are you targeting with your solution? Do you think traditional Indian retailers are ready for such a solution?

We have a version of PRIOS for different Retail stream like Electronics, Fashion Apparel, Grocery and Restaurant. Indian retailers know that the Indian customers are heavily dependent on smartphones and the smartphone sales are seeing explosive growth. This has indirectly led to the growth in ecommerce sales and has started affecting the store sales. Indian retailers realize this and they are looking at ways of improving the CX in stores to bring the smartphone users back into their store by making the shopping experience attractive to them and PRIOS perfectly fits in here.

Are there similar solutions in the market currently? If yes, how are you pushing PRIOS’s USP?

There are solutions in the market that solves one or two problems but there is no single solution in the market that can solve a variety of problems that PRIOS can. PRIOS is modular and hence can be implemented in parts or as a whole. PRIOS can also be customized to suit any Retailer. And on top of this, PRIOS comes from the house of ASPIRE Systems, which has around 20 years of experience in building products and solutions to ISVs and Enterprise customers and armed with expertise in a variety of technologies. We have all round capability to do integrate PRIOS with any of the existing Retail systems and also make any desired customization.

What is going to be Aspire’s marketing strategy to push PRIOS in the market here?

Aspire is working with various retailers to showcase the benefits of digital in-store experience. Aspire is working on proof- of –concept demos for retailers who have brick & motor stores. Demo is available for retailers who want to have a peak on the future digital retail in-store.

BIO: As the Practice Manager in Mobility at Aspire Systems, Kamal Chandramohan calls himself the evangelist of digital transformation through mobility. He is responsible for helping existing and prospective clients to adopt digital transformation technologies to be future ready in the ever-changing business scenarios. Chandramohan is an expert in disruptive mobility technology and works with clients to build their mobile strategy.

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