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    Software AG Aims to Unify the Retail Customer Experience

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    Five Best Practices for Customer Experience Management Programs

    A big problem for retail stores is creating a solid digital marketing strategy. Brick-and-mortar stores often don’t have the technology savvy of their online-vendor cousins, so they struggle with creating a seamless framework that allows them to consistently reach customers both in store and online.

    With that issue in mind, Software AG has crafted a Customer Experience Management Solution Accelerator for Retail based on its webMethods suite of integration tools. As the first in a series of accelerators, Theo Hildyard, director of solution marketing at Software AG, says the goal with this offering is to give retailers everything they need to become a digital entity, especially to those with existing brick and mortar operations.

    Hildyard says that retailers are looking beyond their websites to figure out how to incorporate technology to optimize everything from the experience the customer has inside their stores to the amount of time it takes to deliver a product from the warehouse. As such, Hildyard says retailers need a framework for integration that enables them to unify all those business processes in a way that creates a superior customer experience.

    Rather than focusing on the Web only, Hildyard says Software AG’s offering is designed to combine both Web and physical retail assets in a way that enables organizations to track customer-defined preferences and past transactions and combine that information with location, weather, traffic and social-media information to push relevant offers, create instant promotions and build marketing campaigns. Hildyard says actually making that occur requires an integration platform that spans every IT system from the Web to the warehouse.

    Like a lot of vendors, Software AG is making a concerted effort to target chief marketing officers that are investing more in IT these days as part of a mandate to improve the customer experience as a key differentiator to rival stores. While the degree to which those initiatives will succeed is not wholly dependent on IT, it’s pretty clear that almost all of them can’t get started without help from the tech department.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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