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BPM can pay off in day-to-day retail operations

Ben Farrell
August 30, 2012

The retail world is changing. Customers using smartphones, tablets and similar mobile devices no longer shop the same way they did just a few years ago. This presents stores with many new ways to reach out to consumers and help them find the products they want. However, this process involves accessing a variety of data types and can be complex. To make the most of how technology is changing retail, companies would do well to invest in BPM for retail.

The full implications of business process management software in day-to-day retail operations are clear when considering a technology as simply as QR codes and how they are impacting retail environments.

Customers can scan the handy two-dimensional barcodes with their smartphones or tablets and be immediately connected to the mobile web, where they can access video about a product, customer reviews and sale information. QR codes can also be tied to geolocation applications, which let consumers show off where they are at any time so they can meet up with friends or simply brag about their shopping excursions.

Retailers using social mining tools can track when consumers chime in about being in one of their stores and give their thoughts on the experience. This allows retailers to more actively tailor their services to the specific customers in the store because they suddenly know much more about an individual.

However, making full use of these tools depends on BPM or similar solutions that sift through social media data pertaining to people who have already made a purchase, are talking about the possibility of going shopping or about their experience after the event or are actively in or near the store. Each of these information sets can be valuable, but sales associates cannot sift through them in real time and still focus on customers. However, using this software to automatically decide which social media posts are relevant to different processes ensures employees get the information they require, when they need it, leading to major improvements in sales and customer service.

QR codes are only the tip of the data iceberg in the retail sector. The convergence of cloud, social media and mobility are revolutionizing retail by giving organizations access to much more information about consumers. BPM software solutions provide companies with the ability to use that knowledge effectively and improve processes.