The rise of online stores and e-commerce in South Africa has changed consumer expectations.
They now expect to have faster checkouts and more delivery options, for items to always be in stock, and for stores to recognise them and anticipate their needs.
Yet, shopping in physical stores still has its appeal from a tactile and social point of view, as customers enjoy browsing in shops with friends or family and like to see and feel what’s on offer before they buy it. They still want their in-store shopping experience to rival what they experience online, however, and to a large extent, these expectations are not being met.
“Some brick-and-mortar stores have begun trying to integrate these features, with aspects of IoT, facial recognition, and targeted marketing,” says Leon Coetzer, redPanda Software UK CEO.
“There are many innovative solutions available in the market, but very few that provide a platform like Connected Solution that can consolidate all these offerings under one umbrella.”
CONNECTING THE PHYSICAL WITH THE DIGITAL
To address this, redPanda Software has developed Connected Solution – an integration platform that extends to physical stores and optimises customer experience, operational efficiency, productivity, and marketing feedback needs.
“It is a platform that extends into brick-and-mortar stores, bridging the gap between our physical and digital worlds,” Coetzer explains.
redPanda Software’s platform can provide valuable analytics, such as heatmaps of the customer’s in-store behaviour and personalised buying habits.
“We see this adding a lot of value in customer experience for retailers, who will be able to better understand each customer and provide them with personal recommendations and tailored promotions,” says Coetzer.
Being able to identify customers as they walk into the store also enables retailers to track the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
“Our platform allows marketers to close the loop by pinpointing the moment a customer buys something in-store as a result of an advert that was pushed to their mobile device,” Coetzer explains.
The platform also allows physical retailers the ability to offer consumers connected services they would normally expect online, such as personalised offers, varied payment options, and more.
BEYOND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Besides profiling clients and enhancing the customer experience, redPanda Software’s Connected Solution enables stores to digitise their operations, allowing them to monitor their employees and keep track of stock.
redPanda Software has also partnered with blockchain experts and Absa Commercial Payments on its payment integration, ensuring that the system is secure and PCI compliant. Absa Commercial Payments is a division within Absa Card, providing companies with the ability to manage their payment acceptance requirements.
“The solution provides a lot of functionality out of the box, but we can customise any endpoints for the customer specific to their needs in order to unlock value,” said Coetzer.
“We come from an enterprise software development background, so customisation is what we are good at, and with Connected Solution we are aiming to put the power back into brick-and-mortar stores.”