Back to Blog

Demanding customer journeys

Demanding customer journeys

Demanding customer journeys

After many years of experience in developing technology that digitizes fashion and sports stores, I have witnessed a tremendous evolution of new solutions and providers for retail, and how businesses struggle to choose the best for them. Long gone are the days when stores had a single supplier covering all software needs. There is no software company, or company for that matter, that can be the best at everything. That's why concepts like best of breed, composable architecture, and MACH have emerged, where retailers choose the best SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in their niche.

Whether you are a small retail chain, a trendy wholesale with a small flagship store, or an established global brand with numerous stores, you have in common the goal of delivering excellent customer experiences, whether the customer is online or in-store. And it demands a lot from the technical solutions you have, and you must choose ERP, POS, customer loyalty, CRM, recommendation engines, PIM, OMS, shipping solutions, etc.

The problem is that these solutions are often not 100% integrated, leading to the absence of features you would like to have in place, such as click and collect or online ordering with in-store pickup. This, in turn, results in missed revenue.

Only the best is good enough

As a retailer or brand, you likely already have many specialist systems such as POS, ERP, CRM. But have you chosen the best solutions in each field, or have you had to choose solutions with built-in integrations with each other? Best of breed is about having the freedom to choose the systems that are best for your business now. As your business grows and the market offers more new solutions, needs will change regularly. The companies that perform the best are those that are agile and can adapt quickly, and that's where the best of breed mindset fits perfectly.

Are standard integrations good enough?

Most app providers have integrations with each other, forming a common solution architecture for retailers. The challenges with standard embedded integrations are primarily threefold:

  1. Fewer possibilities: Each provider developing integration with another must keep the complexity as low as possible for scalability. Therefore, they often end up integrating only the most essential features. This results in missing out on opportunities offered by the apps because the integrations are not comprehensive, such as click and collect, bonus points in the customer club, order in-store, etc.
  2. Dependency on others: There are many smart retail solutions out there, but if they do not integrate with your specific applications, you must wait for an integration to be developed, or worst case, it may never happen, and you won't have access to that solution.
  3. Caught in the middle: As a company depending on multiple software companies making up your customer journeys, you often find yourself caught in the middle when issues arise, with each party pointing fingers, often due to a lack of clarity on how integrations should work and who is responsible for resolving issues.

Integration as a service

During my period as a co-founder of Front Systems, I experienced these challenges among retailers and brands, both small chains and global brands. This is why I established Weavo with Simen, - we want to fix those challenges both for the customers and the app vendors (SaaS companies).

We offer integrations as a service, fully integrating your applications so you get the most out of them. By having us as an integration service, you can avoid being dependent on standard embedded integrations and finally gain the flexibility you need.

In summary

Shopping behavior evolves, physical stores undergo changes, and new software becomes available regularly. This continuous development is unstoppable. To keep pace, you must embrace changes in your software strategy - be flexible, agile, and quick. You don't need to overhaul everything at once. Best-of-breed involves finding solutions that boost sales, streamline operations, and provide a superb customer experience.

With fully integrated applications for your business, you can ensure an omnichannel experience that meets customer expectations now.

Talk to us about how - we are experts in retail.

Haakon Skavhaug-Flender