In your eyes, what is the future of E-Commerce?
For us at Anatwine, the future of E-Commerce is all about the connections between customers and fashion retailers and the brands they sell. It is about enabling retailers to offer a standardised customer experience and the perfect stock mix, whilst allowing brands to sell more and expand into new markets. Getting this right means both retailers and brands can efficiently grow and provide consumers with a hugely improved experience including access to a large range of products, tailored to the customer at the right time, at the right place. In my opinion more and more companies are progressing towards sophisticated stages of personalisation. In a market increasingly dominated by the quality of the overall customer experience, from personalisation through to delivery, no retailer wants to be left behind.
What about omni-channel? Do you think retailers have finally reached the desired goal of offering a seamless service?
From our perspective and from the brands and retailers point of view, the very nature of omni-channel is simply “connected channels”. But the question stands, why is omni-channel so important?
Omni-channel is all about providing a consistent and better customer experience and this should extend to the stock files. Retailers need to be offering the right products, at the right time, in the right place, in order to ensure a positive and seamless customer experience. The old wholesale model used in isolation can’t keep up with the omni-channel environment and I believe that now is the time for change. This approach will drive engagement, market perception and profitability, but the benefits of real-time merchandising supported by a consistent experience for the customer is hugely financially rewarding for both brands and retailers.
What retail innovations do you think we can look forward to in 2016?
I think that when people look back at 2015 and 2016 in 5 or 10 years time, it will be a time that both people and organisations remember as really being the beginning of getting to grips with machine learning and personalisation. I think retailers and brands are starting to fully understand the effects that machine learning and technology can have on driving smarter decisions and presenting better solutions for consumers and retailers. If you take a look at the evolution of E-Commerce, it has steadily improved, but now is the time for retailers to embrace advanced technologies to drive unseen levels of personalisation.
And finally, what are the challenges facing online retailers in the months ahead?
I think E-Commerce has grown so fast that the infrastructure supporting it has not always been able to grow at the same pace. So, I believe some of the biggest challenges retailers have to look at, given the growth of this channel, is making sure they have the infrastructure and technology in place to continue to offer a consistent customer experience.
If you have any questions for our CEO, Chris Griffin, don’t hesitate to ask. Tweet us @Anatwinegroup to get them answered!