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Application Platforms Helping Retailers Keep Pace With Industry Evolution

Joshua Hoffman
March 6, 2015

The retail industry is changing as consumers look for new ways to interact with merchants. On the surface, many of these changes look like they primarily impact the consumer - increased smartphone use, mobile shopping, mobile payments, etc. - but the end result is an environment in which retailers need to adjust. Process improvements play an integral role in helping merchants adjust their operations to support new consumer behaviors, an advance that is becoming more effective as BPM tools begin to function as application platforms.

"BPM solutions can to streamline operations so users can focus on meeting customer demands."

Looking at the changing retail sector

A recent Consumer Goods Technology report explained that a variety of tech trends are having a sweeping impact on the retail industry, and one of the most dominant trends is shoppers engaging with retailers through a wide range of channels. Last year was a period of change in the retail sector, as shoppers interacting with retailers through the Web, on mobile devices, through social channels and in stores became the norm. This has led to significant pressure to stay on top of the user experience in each of these channels, but it has also created a need to adjust background operations to support multi-channel engagement.

According to the report, the retail industry is moving toward a situation in which merchants can identify shoppers based on channel and provide them with customized, individual messaging. The goal is to create valuable content for each channel that engages customers actively during their shopping process, something that few retailers have achieved, but that many are working toward by eliminating internal operational silos that get in the way of cross-channel engagement.

Retail Application Platform

BPM solutions can help retailers interact with customers more effectively.

Responding to new shopping patterns

People are buying their goods in new ways, and stores increasingly need to fine-tune their processes to empower employees to interact with consumers more effectively across a variety of device types. This is where the evolving nature of business process management solutions really comes in hand. BPM systems are increasingly equipped with code-free application customization features, allowing non-tech users to seamlessly build process management features into apps and services.

Allowing BPM systems to serve as application platforms empowers users to customize services to meet customer demands with ease, allowing them to streamline internal operations so users can focus on meeting customer demands. This potential for innovation is fueling BPM industry growth, as a study from Research and Markets predicted that the sector will rise a compound annual growth rate of approximately 17.9 percent from the period of 2014 to 2019, with the consumer goods and retail industry among the markets fueling this expansion.