Several retailers, including two start-ups, took to the stage at Sapphire Now to present case studies demonstrating the impact of SAP’s in-memory analytics software, HANA, in the retail industry.
Kingfisher, one of the world’s largest DIY chains outside of the US, implemented HANA on a co-innovation project with SAP last year to consolidate real-time data along with legacy transactional data in order to speed up supply and back room processes and improve overall personal customer experiences.
“With this type of technology, we are able to make accurate sales forecasts, send these forecasts to our suppliers and eliminate previous issues,” said Peter Yip, CTO, Kingfisher.
Ray Sikka, CEO of start-up company Sensitel, believes that it’s impossible for retailers to know exactly what customers are doing when they enter a store.
“Retailers don’t usually know what’s going on in their stores – why has someone entered the store? What was their experience like? Did they ever come back? Are they a loyal customer? These were some of the challenges retailers were facing before we developed StaffCaster, based on HANA,” he said.
“StaffCaster uses real-time analytics to provide data which can be used to position staff members in the right place, at the right time for customers coming in, and provide them with the knowledge on that customer in order to be able to serve them in the best possible way.”
Sikka said the solution was developed in order to ease the task of the store manager by offering them feedback in real-time. For naturally converting real-time data, HANA was the best platform,
Rick Dutta, CEO, Nexvisionix, explained that retailers are not only trying to see analytics but also leverage and act on those in real-time, and this is why HANA has been so widely adopted in this industry.
“HANA really provided us with two things; on one platform it let us plan for business with our analytics – this is what retailers are looking for – being able to plan ahead, and predict the future. The second was real-time intelligence – what data we’ve already collected, merged with the data being collected now, analysed, de-constructed and used pro-actively in business,” he said.
During the keynote of day 2, Jim Snabe said that previously, in retail, the products were the assets. However, now the most valuable asset is the data surrounding each product. The product that can supply you with data which lets you know who is buying, when they’re buying, why they’re buying and if they’re going to come back and buy again.
“This is the future of retail, the future of business – imagine the impact on people’s lives,” he said.
Joe Lipscombe is reporting live from Sapphire Now in Florida – follow @Computernewsme for live updates.