Winning at the Checkout - Concord eBook

Learn how your retail business can ring up real change that makes both dollars and sense - online and in-store.

SECTION 1: Changing retail experiences

Adding up the change in customer expectations

55% of consumers include digital channels as a primary buying method3

The pace and expectations of retail shopping have changed. Today's consumers want the flexibility to shop how, when, and where they want. Increasingly, consumers are using digital channels as part of their shopping experience.

27% hybrid

Brands Should Be Everywhere Most consumers now use a combination of online and in-person channels throughout their shopping journey based on what makes the most sense for them at the time. For example, they may learn about a pair of shoes on social media, go to the store to try them on, and buy them online. Because the shopping journey is so fractured, you're missing out on crucial touchpoints if you're not selling across digital and in-person channels.

45% In-Store




SECTION 1: Changing retail experiences

A Holistic Experience

Near Instant Gratification Not only do customers want it all, but they also want it right now. The pandemic created an increased demand for restaurant and grocery delivery services. Despite the slow return to normal in some areas, many people have retained a preference for rapid delivery services that can quickly deliver orders—sometimes in mere minutes. If consumers are willing to head to the store, they don't always want the burden of doing their own shopping. Instead, they choose to buy online for in- store for curbside pickup. When customers shop on their own, they still look to technology to streamline their checkout experience with self-checkout, contactless payments, and other payment innovations.

But it's not enough to sell through numerous channels. Customers want all touchpoints in their shopping journey to feel like parts of a cohesive whole. They expect a brand's personality, messaging, and product offers will be consistent across the mobile app, in-store displays and online store. They want to seamlessly pick up where they left off when switching between channels. Consumers also expect retailers to cater to their unique needs—for example, providing quick checkout in some situations and a richer experience in others.



SECTION 2: Opportunities

Digital opportunities provide more place to win

The changing customer journey means more opportunities for retailers of all sizes to compete at the checkout. After all, even small brands can be big online. The following are trending opportunities for companies, both big and small.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications have been around for twenty years. But it’s become increasingly important that companies of all sizes have a robust mobile presence.

“Companies in the past, specifically smaller companies, believed building a custom mobile application may not be worth the investment. But now, users expect brands of all sizes to have their own applications. Fortunately, small to mid-size retailers are usually pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable and valuable a custom mobile app can be for their business,” said Kaustubh Goswami, Retail Product Manager at Concord. But there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for every retail business. What works for your business depends on your customer needs and business goals. Popular types of retail apps include discount and deal givers, loyalty programs, digital wallets, price comparison helpers, and vendor portals.



SECTION 2: Opportunities


DAta Integration & Security

A single product can have hundreds of attributes. So is it any wonder that the best vendor platforms are designed for highly accurate data management and integration? The information pulled from a vendor portal can help retailers make informed decisions about their vendors and vice versa.

Retailers can quickly identify key vendors through the vendor portal. This allows retailers to create mailing lists

to address thousands of vendors with ease and efficiency," said Tarun


User Experience

Viramgama, Director of Global Operations at Concord. “Plus, it’s easy for retailers to see how many vendors opened an email or clicked a link.”

The easier it is to use a vendor portal interface, the more likely it is to provide value to the business-vendor relationship. Interfaces that are easy to navigate create a shorter learning curve and quicker platform uptake. Efficient design features encourage organizations to focus on their goals and spend less time troubleshooting new technologies.



SECTION 3: How technology can help us

It Helps to Have Technology in Your Pocket

How can retailers meet the higher needs and expectations of customers? Technology helps connect with customers and create operational efficiency.

Personalization Personalization across channels enhances customer experience, builds loyalty, and drives growth. The average consumer now uses stores, online, and mobile devices throughout their shopping journey—and they expect you to be aware of their behaviors across channels. This makes the process more complex for retailers. Success necessitates collecting and combining data from across channels and using the insights to create a cohesive omnichannel shopping experience. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can provide greater insights into buyer behaviors and preferences. Based on the collected information, you'll be able to understand what your customers are viewing, buying together, and other vital pieces of information. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with built-in AI can be an easy entry point into hyper-personalization, helping you to achieve one-to-one connections at scale and engaging mobile-first customers in a cookie-less world.



SECTION 4: The importance of data

Using Data to Ring in the Sales

On its own, stellar technology isn't enough. You also need to cultivate and leverage high-quality data to win at the checkout.

Higher Quality Data Data management issues can cost retailers thousands of dollars in customer dissatisfaction, operational inefficiencies, and ineffectual decision-making. Improving data quality is a process that involves understanding your data and addressing issues at the source. It also helps to provide a data-driven culture where people are encouraged and rewarded to identify and fix data issues. "An important way to combat data communications issues is to limit the possibility for making errors, which can emerge from something going unnoticed like junk data," Tarun Viramgama, Director of Global Operations at Concord.



SECTION 5: developing your digital strategy

Ensuring Success is in the Bag (and in the Shopping Cart)

To ring up success, you don’t need to have grand plans or start with an expensive, complex digital solution (but it doesn’t hurt if you do). The important thing is to get started—and the first step is putting together a plan.

Step 1: Determine Customer Needs “Technology is most powerful when it’s solving a business need or opportunity. Sometimes it’s the business need that spawns a new technology, and sometimes it’s a technology that spawns new business opportunities. Regardless of which comes first, the environment is created by listening to customers,” said Dave Doherty, President and COO of Digikey. So, when determining your digital and mobile strategy keep the customer top of mind. What are the habits of end-user? How are they currently interacting with your brand? Are there situations in which your competitors are providing a better experience? What are the places of friction in the customer experience? “Strong analytics allow that listening to happen, even if it’s in absence of traditional direct-to-customer contact. You can’t be afraid to reinvent what you do. Holding a competitive advantage in a process or model that is not where your customers are headed is useless,” added Doherty.



SECTION 5: developing your digital strategy

Hearing Aid Company Rings Up Real Change

Technology is at the forefront of shaping the evolving buyer’s experience. But sometimes, winning at the checkout means using technology to transform the products that people buy. Minnesota-based Starkey, is using emerging technology to change the customer experience through its new Livio AI hearing aid—the first hearing device to use embedded sensors and artificial intelligence. The digital technology in Livio AI automatically optimizes the acoustics to ensure a better listening experience and sound quality in both quiet and noisy listening environments. And from a safety standpoint, the sensors can detect falls and provide text alerts that contain a physical location to trusted contacts via text message.

Step 2: Dream Big This is the fun part. How can digital technology improve or streamline and enhance your customers' experiences? A mobile shopping app? Enhancements to the shopping experience to support BOPUS? A new vendor portal? Expanding your loyalty program? Or something completely different?



SECTION 5: developing your digital strategy

But that’s just for starters. The Livio AI hearing aid is used with the company’s Thrive Hearing mobile app to truly transform the customer experience. Key features and benefits:

By motivating hearing aid users to be physically active and socially engaged, Starkey is transitioning hearing aids from single-purpose devices into multi-purpose, multi- function ones that provide a gateway to overall health and well-being,” said Dave Fabry, Chief Innovation Officer at Starkey.

Access to real-time translation, transcription, and voice command features, making it easier for users to interact with others.

Engagement tracking to measure social engagement, including metrics on usage, other talkers, and listening environments.

Activity tracking to monitor physical activity such as steps, exercise, and standing throughout the day.

The possibility to get minor adjustments to their hearing aid through a virtual appointment.

The ability to stream phone calls, podcasts, navigation instructions, and music directly from iPhones and some Android phones directly to the hearing aid.



SECTION 5: developing your digital strategy

Step 3: Prioritize your Digital Goals

Step 4: Define Project Scope Before kicking off any project, you'll also want to take time to firm up the project scope to help keep your eyes on truth north as you move ahead. It's way too easy to fixate on minor enhancements, deviate from goals and miss project deadlines. "While focusing on the technicalities, you need to remember that your goal is to optimize the customer experience," said Goswami.

Once you've dreamed up your list of possibilities, it's time to move on to the next fun part— deciding what opportunities to move forward. It helps to look at your goals in terms of difficulty and impact. Quick wins are great, but you also want to prioritize more complex initiatives with the greatest return on investment. "Creating a hierarchy of user and business needs provides a clear view of objectives and can help you develop mobile and digital strategies that engage customers and keep them coming back," said Kaustubh Goswami, Retail Product Manager at Concord.



SECTION 5: developing your digital strategy

Step 5: Find Your People Successful digital transformation and innovation require the right skill sets—and engagement across the company. "Finding evangelists throughout the organization to help spread the message on why the change is underway and what it really means—why we're doing it, what's the impact is going to be, what's the outcome going to be, and how they'll be a part of it—I think that's a critical component to the strategy," said Matt Gilliss, Executive Creative Director at Goddard Systems. Depending on your in-house resources and skill level, you may wish to hire a strategic partner with cloud- based application expertise. Software development service providers like Concord can enable infrastructure transformations and provide scalable, secure cloud solutions. With the right tools, retailers can position themselves to develop a successful app while keeping costs manageable.

Step 6: Launch and Refine

The journey toward digital transformation is paved with constant analysis and testing. Testing functionality and user experience through soft and hard launches are essential. By continuously monitoring performance, you'll be able to refine the customer's experience with your digital brand. Doherty recommends that you don't fixate on financial metrics such as return on working capital or inventory turns as much as you measure customer-facing service metrics such as in-stock rate and same-day ship. "If you take care of the customer, the financials will follow," he said. But even when your solution is "perfect," it may still need to change. For example, loyalty solutions are often iterative because organizational goals transform as retailers mature—as your company changes, so can your customer base. "A mobile solution is never truly complete—it's always evolving," said Goswami.



SECTION 6: conclusion

We Can Help You Ring Up Success As a leading software development service provider for global retailers, Concord focuses on enabling digital transformation and evolution for every type of retailer or every size. Here’s how we can help you pocket real change with new technologies, automation, analytics, governance, and enablement throughout digital domain touchpoints across the entire customer journey and lifecycle:

Our Capabilities


People buy in vastly new ways. Harness the power of scalable technology for your B2B, B2C and D2C commerce needs. We’re experts at implementing solutions for connected commerce, live commerce, BOPIS, contactless checkout, curbside pickup, and more. We implement and extend all of the major commerce platforms (Mobile App, POS, and OMS) and are experts in SaaS, PasS, and IasS. Furthermore, our association with Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and many others, ensures that we have the expertise and support to be a Strategic Cloud Partner.


From analysis and integration to management and development, our data solutions power customer experience and the success of your business. Leveraging best practices for data quality and integration, we can help you achieve a 360° view of your customer and their interaction with your brand, online, in your app and even in your store.



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