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Process Improvements Can Drive Customer Experiences in Retail - Triad Retail Media Shows Us How

Ben Farrell
November 8, 2017

Change is sweeping through the retail industry. Where the sector once depended on stores filled with a wide range of products meant to offer customers variety and a large volume of options, 59 percent of consumers are now more interested in an inviting ambiance, PricewaterhouseCoopers found. To this end, retail stores are becoming showrooms. At the same time, 39 percent of consumers use social media to seek inspiration for purchases, pushing retailers to focus on new advertising methods built around storytelling. To further complicate matters, 35 percent of those polled by PwC said their smartphones will soon become their primary shopping tool.

Very simply, the lines between the physical and digital worlds are blurring in retail. In response, brands must become more flexible and responsive across multiple channels as they work to create positive customer experiences. Through this digital transformation, the temptation is often to use digital tools to improve specific experiences, such as a checkout or ordering process, a Cisco study found. Retail industry stakeholders that want to get ahead need to move beyond isolated digital projects and focus on digitizing operations and equipping their people to drive value.

When employees are engaged and efficient, they are better positioned to meet customer needs. In a demanding, fast-moving sector, this type of responsiveness is key. This is where Triad Retail Media shows the potential of using digital platforms to empower workers to operate at their best, creating better customer experiences.

How Triad Retail Media Transformed Around Digital

Triad Retail Media is a custom content and marketing agency that builds its brand around offering media that can work in today's high-tech world. The entire ad philosophy behind the company is using media to make shopping easier. Its content reaches more than 150 million unique visitors each month, which adds up to more than 13.6 billion shopping visits per year.

"When employees are engaged and efficient, they are better positioned to meet customer needs."

The retail media organization is supporting some of the most prominent brands in the sector. Walmart, eBay, ASDA, CVS, Toys R' Us and Sam's Club are all customers, and these large retailers come with industry-leading demands. As some of the largest brands in the world, these brands face incredible pressure to constantly innovate and create better customer experiences across all channels. This trickles down to Triad Retail Media, as the agency consistently needs to deliver content faster and at a higher quality in the past.

Increasing content delivery speed while also improving quality can leave IT teams scrambling to keep up with customer demands. In the case of Triad Retail Media, the IT department knew it needed to help elevate great customer experience functionality and make it elite.

The company came to Appian in large part because of the Records feature of our platform. The Triad team was excited about the ability to not only build out records, but also customize experiences across screens and setup custom workflows and business processes on a client-by-client basis. These capabilities made Appian a natural choice, and the relationship created results quickly.

Before Triad Retail Media turned to Appian, all of its processes were built around email. In a complex work environment where workers have to balance a high volume of projects across a wide range of clients, employees were tasked with using standardized subject lines including due dates and process titles. The goal was to turn an employee's inbox into a task queue. With Appian and its Records module, the company could build its processes and communications around a central, single source of truth for client and project data.

When operations are boiled down to their core form, Triad Retail Media is able to deliver value largely by creating a holistic record from the point of making contact with a retailer or advertiser out through invoicing and billing. These data points are relevant to employees and customers alike, making clear lines of documentation and communication critical in supporting a diverse array of processes. By putting everything from initial contacts to invoices into a formatted record, all stakeholders could easily get the information they need. The days of backtracking through emails trying to look up details about a project disappeared.

This transformation around Records took Triad Retail Media three months from concept to deployment. It would have taken twice as long to make a similar transition without Appian. The results have been staggering. In particular, the company has:

    • Reduced how long it takes to perform many processes by as much as 30 percent

    • Eliminated approximately 40,000 emails from its servers and backend systems

    • Created better customer experiences because clients don't need to contend with an influx of emails to manage projects with Triad Retail Media

In practice, Triad Retail Media represents what is happening in the retail industry as a whole:

    • Consumers are pressuring retailers to operate more quickly, creatively and responsively

    • Brands are forced to gather and use a wider range of information in line with operations to keep up with customer expectations

    • Organizations that empower employees to work at their best lay the foundation for better customer experiences

Pushing Into the Digital Future of Retail

Whether your organization is a retailer or a company that supports the retail sector, the new customer pressures created by digital technologies will likely impact how you need to operate. When consumers want brands to become more responsive, those retailers need their partners to keep up.

"Consumers are pressuring retailers to operate more quickly, creatively and responsively."

With this in mind, organizations that want to get ahead can look at Triad Retail Media as a shining example of what digital transformation really means. The company was already working using digital technologies. The problem was that the processes and procedures behind those technologies hadn't changed. Email, spreadsheets and similar solutions simply bring paper files onto screens, they don't empower workers to maximize the value of digital.

Appian can help organizations in the retail sector take the underlying technologies that support their business and align them with the processes workers need to complete to keep pace with customer demands. Better customer experiences often begin with empowered employees, and Appian can give you the tools you need to create a truly digital workforce. Want to learn more? Check out our Triad Retail Media customer video here.

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