Shopping is one of Singaporeans’ favourite pastimes, and with the island-state’s reputation as one of the hottest shopping destinations in Asia, it comes as no surprise that Singapore has over a hundred shopping malls and over 21,000 retail establishments spread across the island.
Beyond the locals’ love for shopping and the island-state’s ability to attract an increasing number of tourists, the volatile retail environment today is putting pressure on brands to compete more aggressively than ever before. Brands will need to look at harnessing the power of technology to combine the best of digital and in-store for more personal, seamless and differentiated customer experiences, while retailers who don’t ride the waves of change may soon find themselves outpaced and outmatched in the increasingly competitive marketplace.
Recently, Microsoft spoke to 1,494 business leaders as part of the Asia Digital Transformation Study on the priorities that drive their need to digitally transform in today’s dynamic business environment. Among the choices presented, engaging customers emerged as their number one priority, underscoring the crucial role of customer experience in driving brand differentiation, loyalty and profitability for brands on the road ahead.
Here’s a look at how PUMA, one of the world’s leading sports brands, is harnessing the power of data, to transform the customer experience across their retail stores in Singapore.
Transforming PUMA’s Customer Experience with Microsoft Azure
PUMA is one of the world’s leading sports brands, specialising in designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. For over 65 years, the brand has been producing some of the most innovative products for the fastest athletes on the planet, with the aim of becoming the fastest sports brand in the world and the coolest sports brand out there for consumers. With a distribution network spanning 120 countries worldwide, scalability and cost-effectiveness are often top-of-mind concerns when considering new technology solutions in its digital transformation journey.
“As part of our efforts to improve the customer experience, we used to conduct mystery shopping audits at our stores, which is a long, cumbersome process that is not scalable. Each time we embark on the exercise, we need to contact customers to go to our stores and collect feedback after that, taking one to two weeks to complete the entire process. And as we continue to grow our retail presence, conducting two to three mystery shopping audits per month across all of our stores becomes a tedious exercise that has become quite difficult to manage,” said Jerome Rouch-Sirech, Head of Retail at PUMA South East Asia.
“I was looking for a cost-effective solution to the problem and CloudCherry really met that first criteria. The CloudCherry Customer Experience Platform, built on the Microsoft Azure cloud, allowed us to collect customer feedback in real time, doing away with the cumbersome mystery shopping audits. The platform was also very user-friendly and mobile, which was helpful for me as well as for my team who are on the ground most of the time. In addition, I saw the commitment of CloudCherry as a partner as they were willing to customise the solution based on PUMA’s needs and improve the platform based on our feedback, which was very important for us in a dynamic retail environment,” added Jerome.
“The good thing is that anyone who has customers needs CloudCherry. Our vision is to make the world a more delightful place by helping them track, measure, analyse and understand the customer experience that they are delivering,” said Vinod Muthukrishnan, CEO and Co-Founder, CloudCherry.
“We started our first formal engagement with Microsoft when we joined the Microsoft Accelerator in 2015, and we started the company built on the Microsoft Azure Stack. Azure became our choice of cloud, and we used a lot of the development frameworks by Microsoft, including machine learning, and envisioned integrating Dynamics at some point in time,” added Vinod.
With a keen and dependable partner in CloudCherry, PUMA implemented the CloudCherry Customer Experience Management Platform across all its retail stores in Singapore, paving way for customer feedback to be collated and analysed in real-time, empowering PUMA’s retail team on the ground to take immediate action to improve and rectify any customer issues.
“With real-time insights from the Customer Experience Management platform, this helps us to understand our customers a lot better, and faster. With intelligent insights at our fingertips, it allows us to fine-tune our staff training programmes and operations based on this information. In addition, we can leverage the platform as a recognition tool for our staff, praising them for the good job done in delivering a great customer experience and incentivise them accordingly,” said Jerome.
“A superior customer experience remains a differentiating factor in today’s dynamic retail environment. Armed with real-time insights from the platform today, we can now go one step further to work on improving staff quality, creating a better look and feel at our stores, enabling interactivity and getting the right products in to help us stay on top of our business,” added Jerome.
“When we help consumer-facing brands deliver delight to their customers, it makes our own lives better. The greatest satisfaction is to have happy customers, who are in turn delivering delight to happier customers!” said Vinod.
For more information on how you can get started on the digital transformation journey with Microsoft, visit the Microsoft Azure page.
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