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Interview with Ivano Fossati, COO & Head of CoE, SAP CX EMEA South
Since it was founded in Germany in 1972, SAP set out to transform the way companies do business, through amplifying the potential of information technology. With nearly 390,000 customers under its umbrella, the company is at the forefront of business intelligence, cloud computing and producing the predictive analytics that are necessary to enhance the businesses and marketing profiles of the enterprises of tomorrow.
SAP has recently announced its plans for international growth in emerging market economies such as Brazil, India, Russia and especially China, how does fashion fit in to SAP’s global business?
We have many clients in the fashion and luxury business, who use our marketing and commerce data to understand to whom and how they can best propose their goods.
How do these fashion clients interact with your software?
Our software tools help them retail momentum trends and where they can direct their omnichannel customer experience.
How is technology altering the way humans interact with the retail world?
It can start with perusing an online magazine, taking a picture of a QR code and being
redirected to a website, where, with augmented reality, the individual can place items in his or her cart.
Roles of the physical and online stores are merging faster than ever before. How is that advancing?
Today, the moment you walk into a physical store, your customer identity is recognisable and the moment you are recognised we know what you viewed on the website, pages you visited on the online magazine, and we know what you are looking for and what a store can propose to you.
Is this eradicating the need for shopping malls and boutiques?
No, actually in-store interaction is better than machine interaction because of the human being. Our technology helps to connect all the different channels and provide a unique customer experience targeted to the consumer.
I’ve never been made aware that a store knows everything about me or that they know my identity. Why is that?
If you are talking about Italy, then yes, that is the case for the most part. If we are talking about other countries like the Noridcs, UK, US, technologies like this are more prevalent. In Italy, there is still a desire to keep these online and offline channels disconnected mainly due to internal organization. Augmented reality is more of a reality in Asia, where people own an average of 2.5 devices. They are totally addicted.
What will be the main driver of
By 2020, which is basically tomorrow, the main driver, will not be the product itself, it will be the customer experience. It will all be about making customers feel unique… customers will also easily be identified by CCTV cameras and proximity sensors.
That sounds very “Big Brother”…
Stores are already using CCTV HEAT MAPS to verify how to better structure their stores, in order to where to place their latest collections. We also help companies do things like this.
What other groundbreaking innovations are on the horizon?
SAP collaborates with 3rd party companies to provide in-store personalisation, in which the customer, for example, can place his or her feet in a scanner and build a customised shoe, complete with colours and styles. The machine is directly connected with the production facility.
Made to measure is a hot topic right now, especially in fashion. Do you have any data that proves it is on the rise?
Research shows that people are willing to pay 15 percent more to have something unique. This really surprises me… but apparently women, for example, would pay a lot to have a Swarovski crystal studded, where they want, on a shoe.