A plethora of options creates more discerning consumers

The digital revolution has leveled the playing field. Innovative entrepreneurs continuously burst onto the scene out-of-nowhere, and those that are successful are able to attract and delight millions of users with amazing user experiences that were just recently hatched in their proverbial garage. As a result, consumers now have more options, and this has made us more fickle. Just take a look at the mobile app economy with almost a million experiences on Apple’s App Store or Google Play. All of these apps are available to inform, entertain, or empower us – within a few taps – and the majority of them are free. We’ve become experts at judging these experiences, and almost subconsciously, we are able to identify and those that will become part of our daily lives, relegating the others to the app graveyard.

The bar has been raised, and it’s a fierce competition to capture consumer mindshare in order to earn and maintain that prime real estate on their homes screens. Whether it’s two entrepreneurs in a garage or a Fortune 100 corporation, the key to success is the same. Simply delivering a sexy user interface (UI) will no longer suffice. Today’s finicky consumers also demand experiences that are personalized to them and relevant to their current context.

For example, when joining a loyalty program, downloading an app or sharing personal preferences, they’re inviting a brand into their life. They understand that company now has the ability to track their individual behavior on a deeper level, and as long as they will somehow benefit, they are okay with this. According to a recent Accenture study, 75 percent of online shoppers prefer retailers that use personal information to improve the shopping experience and 65 percent like to receive offers to their smartphone based on past purchases while in-store. Surprisingly, however, Aberdeen has determined that “60% of best in class companies (already using mobile marketing) aren’t yet using customer behavior information to target and segment messaging through the mobile channel.”

Innovative companies engage with consumers via personal and relevant experiences

It is not an easy task, but it’s one SAP is helping our customers tackle so that they can deliver better experiences to their end users. In order to develop a holistic view of each consumer we begin with the various databases, the systems of record that provide valuable baseline information such as age, geography, past purchase behavior, shopping preferences, and more – the richer the data, the better. Then, we start to understand the context by layering in sentiment data, valuable information and signals that consumers are constantly creating on social networks – comments on your brand and products and those of your competitors, narratives of their daily activities, and hints of their intent to buy.

Finally, to bring it all together, include in-the-moment data that smart mobile devices provide. The basics include the consumers’ general location, the time of day and day of week, and actions they may be taking (such as scanning or searching for products). But at a more advanced level, we can tap into the consumers’ precise indoor location to know exactly where they are in your store, or perhaps more importantly, if they are in a competitor’s. This is really just the beginning of these mobile contextual signals. In the future, innovative companies will leverage every sensor on these devices, the microphone, accelerometer, altimeter and more. The following are some exciting examples of how SAP is helping businesses engage their consumers in innovative ways.

STM Merci transforms the rider experience

This might sound daunting, especially when you consider it requires an elegant and immediate orchestration of large data sets, both structured and unstructured, coming from a variety of sources. However, SAP’s leading big data, analytics, cloud and mobile technologies elegantly bring it all together. For example, the CMO of La Société de transport de Montreal (STM) – the 4th largest public transit organization in North America – came to us with a challenge. He sought to transform the user experience for his 1.2 million daily riders by providing more information and value in order to shift ridership to off-peak hours, increase the frequency of public transit use and encouraging fare optimization.

The end result – STM Merci – a mobile app that reached #1 in the Canadian App Store lifestyle category within 48 hours. Equally impressive – 50 percent of the app’s users are completing their profiles and preferences leading to a better user experience which translates to higher conversion rates for offers presented by STM’s merchant partners. Using SAP Precision Marketing, the teams were able to:

  • Create a complete, dynamic view of the STM’s riders by combining information stored in back-end systems (consumer profile, preferences, history) with real-time data about the consumer’s current context (who, where, when, what)
  • Deliver personalized, relevant, and geo-localized offers straight to riders’ mobile phones, by taking the contextual identity of each rider and then selecting the  optimal promotions from STM’s ecosystem of merchant partners
  • Provide access to insights on consumer behavior and performance of offers, at any moment and any level of detail, to help optimize marketing campaigns

Watch Pierre Bourbonnière, STM’s CMO tell the story in his own words.

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Bigpoint personalizes the gaming experience

Bigpoint sought to enhance its Battlestar Galactica Online game in order to increase player loyalty and engagement, in order to maximize monetization and improve marketing ROI. With 9 million registered users and 5,000 events per second, Bigpoint required a real-time solution that could analyze and act upon massive amounts of data. Itchose SAP Precision Gaming, is comprised of a suite of cloud services which:

  • Deliver personalized offers and messages in real-time based on deep insights into each player’s  playing and purchase behavio
  • Improve the game design with comprehensive visualization and analytics of terabytes of game data
  • Quickly and accurately predict the most cost effective marketing channels, customer acquisition campaigns and highest value players

Watch Bigpoint discuss how SAP Precision Gaming will help it increase revenues by 10-30%.

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But don’t forget… employees are consumers too

We’ve become accustomed to amazing digital experiences, like STM Merci and Battlestar Galactica Online, in our personal lives. However, when most people get to work, it becomes painfully clear that their company’s business software isn’t typically associated with a beautiful experience. To the detriment of their employers, productivity diminishes as employees suffer through these tools.

But, that’s not how it has to be. Imagine if companies could delight their employees with simple, consistent experiences whether they’re using a desktop or mobile device. And, throw away those complex manuals. Just like the best consumer apps, the interface would be incredibly intuitive and easy to use. By personalizing their unique homepage, each employee would quickly access the apps they use most in their daily work.

Well…you can stop imagining. This is available today, and it’s called SAP Fiori (https://experience.sap.com/fiori). The real beauty of SAP Fiori lies in its fast access to information that people need to do their jobs every day – anytime from anywhere. For example, not everyone is a procurement specialist, but with SAP Fiori everyone can easily find the items they need to order, with an Amazon-like search experience, and quickly check on its status. Plus, the process will no longer get delayed when managers are on the road. With a full suite of approval apps, SAP Fiori makes it easy for managers to review and approve purchase orders, travel requests, expense reports, timesheets, and more. When there’s a need for more information, managers can access real-time, accurate budget and spend information on their departments and projects.

Most importantly, SAP Fiori is designed to leverage companies’ existing IT investments. This ensures they’ll get these consumer-grade experiences into the hands of their employees much faster, with the greatest efficiency, and without disrupting their existing systems.

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