Top 5 retail trends 2017-2018
- Flexible stores
The number of traditional stores is decreasing but there’s an increase in non-traditional concepts like pop-up-stores and mobile stores.
- Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI chatbots that facilitate mobile commerce are on the rise. They are continuously present during the customer journey.
- Mobile wallet
More and more it is possible to pay by using a mobile phone. People barely carry cash anymore. Mobile wallet is the future.
- Virtual and augmented reality
Although invented in the USA, the APAC region takes the lead in VR. Huge investments are made in creating the best VR shopping experience.
- Voice control
Besides the widely used search commands, voice control services like Siri of Apple, Alexa of Amazon and Allo of Google will more and more be used for purchasing and payment.
Legacy systems major show stoppers for innovation
Today’s consumers are demanding. If they see something they like, they want it right away, same or next day latest. The above trends are developed to accommodate these demands. If you cannot deliver, you lose business. Supply chain optimization is key.
However, all of these trends require massive data exchange, advanced integrations and a high degree of flexibility in order to process high amounts of orders, enable easy payment, fast delivery and manage customer care. Legacy systems are major show stoppers that slow down innovation in this fast changing and highly competitive market. In order to stay ahead retailers, have to modernize these legacy systems and embrace new technology.
Smart retailers have taken steps to transform their legacy environment and open the doors for innovation. See some examples below.
Associated Food Stores
For over 25 years Associated Food Stores ran the core system of their business on a Unisys mainframe. The move to migrate these systems to a Microsoft SQL environment saves them hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. They now run the same core systems on two virtual servers. Check out the case study.
Brabantia is a privately owned Dutch company which manufactures and sells items for the home such as waste bins, laundry racks, food storage containers and other products.
The nightly scheduled batch procedures on the NX4600 machine was running out of the capacity and was declining the operational on-line performance. Therefore, Brabantia needed a migration to directly solve their batch capacity issue. After the migration, they only use half of the capacity of the NT machine and with the on-line reporting of AMT LION they are able to service users with operational information fast. Their business applications run just as stable under Windows as they used to do on the mainframe. But now they are much more flexible in linking to external applications and can easily provide their legacy applications with a web interface. Check out the case study.
For years Toolbank was using a Unisys A-series mainframe to run its ERP system. Concerns regarding the long-term commitment from Unisys in combination with the constraints of the mainframe, which was holding back the enhancement and development of the platform made Toolbank decide to migrate its mainframe to open systems using Asysco Migration Technology. A good decision, as it turns out. Not only did they achieve ROI in under 3 years, as anticipated, but they have also been able to integrate modern .NET screens with the application as well as API interfaces for Excel. Users are happy and the applications are future-proof. Check out the case study.