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Platform Solutions for Retail: How to Get it Right

Retail businesses are big, complicated entities with a lot of moving parts. Platform solutions are tailor-made for them.

Myplanet
Myplanet
Feb 20 · 9 min read

1 — Customers

“The customer is always right.” Whether or not you agree with the message, this core tenet of retail offers an important kernel of truth to apply when working on platform engagements: The customer has to be at the heart of everything.

“Journeys are flexible, changing, and now more than ever, driven by the customer: how they prefer to connect and engage, when and how they buy, and their purchase drivers. The sales and service organization of the future has to be prepared to deliver a consistent experience, with the agility to serve the customer as they prefer to be served.” — Katherine Jones, Director of Platform Strategy, Myplanet

Retailers looking to make and establish connections with their consumers need to think beyond transactions and understand that their customer’s journeys don’t begin or end in the ways we typically think. The whole purpose of platform thinking — and of bringing this long-view digital approach to a retail setting — is to help answer for a complex, years-long relationship in a meaningful, sustainable way. Getting to know the details and nuances of the customer experience from every angle is the first step.

2 — Search and Inventory

The next step is to start digging in and making improvements where it counts. And since search is the lifeblood of any commerce experience, starting there makes sense for just about every retailer on earth.

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Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

3 — Data

Of course, no search or inventory effort would work without a comprehensive and intelligently planned data set. If search is the lifeblood of retail, product data is the beating heart at the centre of it all, keeping the system flowing.

4 — Change Management

Finally, having a plan in place for how to implement and socialize change is crucial. Where it gets trickier (and infinitely more important) for retail is that retail is inherently distributed.

Conclusion

A platform-style overhaul is a big undertaking (that’s kind of the point). Retailers looking to engage in this kind of digital transformation need to be aware of the challenges and potential pitfalls. If they consider these four elements at every stage — from choosing a partner to help develop their platform strategy through to launching it with their staff and customers — they’ll be in great shape to create a successful, future-ready suite of digital offers that will serve their employees, their customers, and their business for a long time to come.


Myplanet Musings

Thoughts, ideas, insights, and more from the Myplanet team.

Myplanet

Written by

Myplanet

We’re a software studio. We specialize in creating digital experience platforms using best-in-class technology to support seamless, data-informed journeys.

Myplanet Musings

Thoughts, ideas, insights, and more from the Myplanet team.

Myplanet

Written by

Myplanet

We’re a software studio. We specialize in creating digital experience platforms using best-in-class technology to support seamless, data-informed journeys.

Myplanet Musings

Thoughts, ideas, insights, and more from the Myplanet team.

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