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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Vodat to set unified comms scene

Monday June 21 2010

Head of specialist retail communications provider will address industry audience about how to unify communications, e-commerce and payments

Head of specialist retail communications provider will address industry audience about how to unify communications, e-commerce and payments


Mike Bielinski, chief executive of Vodat International, will outline how multichannel retailers can improve the customer experience through unified communications, e-merchandising and a unified payments service, in his presentation at the Retail Bulletin Customer Loyalty conference, held at Cavendish Conference Centre, London on 22 June.


Bielinski will reveal how unified communications will provide businesses a single payment service for all channels, which allows both online and in-store transactions to be cross-referenced securely. This technology will allow customers to purchase in one channel and redeem/exchange/refund in another. It also provides a complete audit across channels and ultimately provide better choice for the customer.


Offering customer seamless comms


Bielinski said: “Cross-channel retailing incorporates the notion that all of a retailer’s sales channels must be seamlessly linked and present the same face to the customer. It’s generally agreed that customers want to interact across a retailer’s channels. They want the same products and range to be available across the channel and the same products/range to be available regardless of which channel they choose to shop via.”


Retailers should look to use unified communications to support this development. It involves breaking down the barriers to communication so that people using different modes of communication, different media and different devices can still communicate to anyone, anywhere, at any time.


According to a recent customer survey 75% of consumers are now using two or more channels to browse research and purchase products. Bielinski added: “This highlights the need for tighter integration across the channels. This will enable retailers to close the sale earlier and strengthen the customer experience. Taking a unified communications approach is a key aid to achieving this aim.”


E-merchandising offers competitive edge


Bielinski will outline how retailers must look to utilise e-merchandising. He argues that retailers must look to differentiate their business from competitors that are only a click away. He explained: “Retailers must have the ability to inform shopper about offers with threshold messaging to alert shoppers to discounts they are near to achieving. If they add ‘Web chat’ and ‘Call me’ buttons via unified communications it will give consumers an even better shopping experience.”


Bielinski concluded: “This approach will help businesses operate more effectively in an increasingly competitive market. Ultimately, unified communications will helps organisations to respond better to customer interactions however they occur, e-merchandising will help retain customers and increase sales at the shopping basket and unified payments will provide customers with more flexibility and retailers more control on how customers pay for goods across all channels.”