Key Take-aways from the 2018 Customer Experience Innovation Forum for Retail

Posted by Thomas Martin on November 13, 2018

Utopia Global was a proud sponsor of the 2018 SAP Customer Experience (CX) Innovation Forum in Dallas, Texas. Bringing together hundreds of SAP customers in the retail, consumer products and wholesale distribution industries, the CX forum focused on sharing practical solutions and best practices to solve the most pressing challenges facing the community.

Customer experience in retail, consumer products and wholesale distribution extends before, during and after the point-of-sale. The 2018 conference content focused on integrated supply chains, inventory management, procurement and how to effectively develop a digital road map to deliver an exceptional experience for all consumers. At the heart of the content was a robust discussion on the role of data in driving competitive advantages. Critical to the entire value chain, is the effective use of technology. Foundational to the use of any technology, is a reliance on clean, accurate and comprehensive data, governed for long term integrity.

The Utopia retail team spoke with dozens of companies onsite with critical data questions in these five areas:

The Rising Role of Machine Learning

From raw material procurement, to manufacturing, to the point-of-sale and beyond, companies are eager for best practices for managing the exponential growth of data and effectively leveraging that data for use in AI and machine learning environments.

Managing Data within Vendor Portals

Customers wanted to learn more about effective best practices for managing vendor portals within URL based solutions, how best to download and enrich data between the vendor and themselves outside of the firewall and the best mechanisms for sending data back and forth across various interfaces.

Creation of a Truly Omnichannel Experience

It’s 2018 and new data categories emerge seemingly by the day. Their perceived levels of importance influx hourly. With the explosion of customer data, we have found that companies are finding an increasing need for solutions that allow them to govern vast arrays of customer data to drive an effective omnichannel customer experience.

Maintaining a Single Source of Truth

Companies in the retail, consumer products and wholesale distribution spaces are wrought with the challenge of maintaining a single source of truth. Disparate systems, carve-outs and third-party solutions create a source of truth nightmare. Our retail experts fielded multiple questions around how best to migrate, integrate and effectively control data coming from both internal and external sources.

Unique Data Challenges in Distribution

Distribution companies are linked to their counterparts in retail, however, they face unique data challenges focused on the integrity of their supply chain and logistics networks. We found that customers are eager for solutions that allow them to better track and manage logistics data across multiple customer companies to find areas to increase efficiency, and ultimately profitability.  

Looking Forward

Our team of retail experts were excited by the energy of the event and one thing was very clear... data is what connects consumers and the organizations that serve them. The future is bright for retailers who can harness and leverage it to create the best possible customer experience.

Topics: Retail & Fashion