Engineering: leader della Digital Transformation

Digital Retail & Fashion

Five questions to...
Paolo Fiorella

Our Technical Director for the Fashion, Retail & GDO, Pharma & Process markets tells us how an increasingly customer centric digital transformation is changing how people buy and the customer-business relationship in e-commerce.

1.

TODAY WE CAN TALK ABOUT CUSTOMER CENTRIC DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND THE ADDED VALUE THAT DATA GENERATED BY CUSTOMER INTERACTIONS BRINGS TO ALL BUSINESS SITUATIONS. HOW MUCH HAVE E-COMMERCE AND OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT BECOME BUZZWORDS IN THE BROADER CONTEXT OF DIGITAL COMMERCE?

More than two years after the start of the pandemic, it is certainly clear that changing purchase methods and customer-business relations, which express the need for flexibility, simplicity and integration of physical and digital channels, are now structural and will continue to evolve.

The need for companies to ensure continuous contact, sales and service for their customers has triggered multiple digital touchpoints that need to be managed in a mutually reinforcing way and integrated with physical channels.

In this scenario, e-commerce and omnichannel customer engagement have become buzzwords in the broader context of digital commerce, which today involves B2C companies (Digital Retail & Fashion) as much as B2B companies (Digital Industry). All of which with the aim of optimising and integrating processes to turn contacts into sales opportunities.

To help evolve the customer-business relationship and help companies in the paradigm shift from being product- to customer-oriented, a process that companies have already undertaken for some time and that the pandemic crisis has clearly accelerated, an integrated digital ecosystem is required. This will provide a holistic view of the customer to keep pace with the explosion of digital channels and, more generally, respond to rapid developments in the customer journey.

I believe, however, that everything must crucially be undergirded by a customer-centric and data-driven omnichannel strategy that enables the construction of a truly integrated digital ecosystem that considers “data“ as a corporate asset and therefore a real driver in achieving business objectives and consolidating or improving the company's competitive positioning.
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2.

THE TREND INVOLVES B2C COMPANIES AS MUCH AS B2B COMPANIES. HOW HAS THE USER EXPERIENCE CHANGED IN THIS AREA AND WHAT TRENDS ARE WE CURRENTLY OBSERVING?

We have certainly moved on from a phase when companies implemented somewhat basic solutions, which were not integrated or only partially integrated. These could be considered tactical attempts to respond to specific needs, which resulted in the construction of additional application and data silos and which certainly didn't enable organisations to design integrated processes.

There were various different reasons for this, including cultural immaturity, lack of skills, limited budgets and lack of a customer-centric omnichannel strategy.

Today we are certainly in a new phase, companies are more mature culturally and particularly appreciate that it is no longer an option but a strategic must to ensure your organisation can offer digital solutions to respond to changing consumer purchasing habits, make internal processes more efficient and enable collaborative interactions to develop both inside and outside the company.

With regard to future developments in this area, the focus will increasingly be on the need to respond to the demand for flexibility and customisation including in logistics-related aspects. In-store delivery or click and collect could become a determining criterion when choosing between one brand and another.

Offering more purchase options will be the winning strategy, and the same applies to payment methods. The so-called "buy now pay later" concept will be increasingly popular. Now available on most digital payment services. A further trend I would like to point out is that of social commerce driven by young and very young consumers.

3.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN TOOLS/METHODOLOGIES TO RESPOND TO THESE TRENDS?

Some players have gained a leading position in this market and have a wide range of solutions to fully meet the needs of digital commerce with B2B, B2C and B2B2C business models.

We at Engineering have developed, with Digitelematica's Marketsuite a specific response to the needs of customers wishing to invest in digital innovation, especially those in the large-scale retail market, where optimised management of logistics processes to support the consumer purchasing process is strategic. I mentioned social commerce earlier, and in this regard I refer to Facebook Shops, shoppable posts on Instagram and shopstreaming.

We must also consider augmented reality and virtual reality as two emerging technologies for digital commerce, where we position ourselves with a view to enriching the user experience on digital channels with immersive content.
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4.

ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SOLUTIONS TODAY TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF B2B DIGITAL COMMERCE IS CPQ. WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

CPQ (configure, price, quote) solutions are an important part of the digital commerce ecosystem in B2B scenarios.

These solutions enable sales teams to configure, evaluate and provide customised and accurate quotes quickly.

Well-structured product and service configurations, a variety of models and complex pricing rules require solutions that can support companies as they seek to simplify and speed up quotation processes in line with company rules and procedures.

These solutions integrate with the CRM applications responsible for managing customer-company relationship processes and help provide a holistic view of the customer.

Precisely in light of the relevance of these solutions within the Digital Commerce initiatives, we have developed a partnership with Bit2win, through which we also offer the CPQ (Configure, Price and Quote) platform within our portfolio of solutions to enhance, enrich and complete the capabilities of Digital Commerce and provide users a truly omnichannel shopping experience.

5.

THE CRM & DIGITAL CX CONSULTING SERVICES UNIT YOU HEAD BRINGS TOGETHER A DIVERSE TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS. HOW IMPORTANT IS INTERDISCIPLINARY INPUT IN TACKLING AND SUPPORTING AN EFFECTIVE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PROJECT?

It is certainly extremely important to have a multi-disciplinary input to bring value to our customers facing a digital commerce challenge.

Business and process competence is needed, which is fundamental in the sharing of customer-centric and data driven strategic choices, in the envisioning and assessment phases, and in the delicate adoption and change management phase.

Knowledge is required of the main solutions and technologies available on the market and their ability to construct a truly integrated digital ecosystem.

Governance skills are needed to be able to lead customers in digital transformation initiatives with a high impact on organisation, processes and technology infrastructure.

I believe that a successful digital commerce project cannot do without this mix of skills.
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Paolo Fiorella

In 30 years of experience in ICT, Paolo has held several roles: Technical Director, Delivery Manager, Project and Program Manager.

Today he is Technical Director for Fashion, Retail & GDO, Pharma & Process markets and he's responsible for the consulting structure in Customer Experience Management.

Contact us

marketing@eng.it
Tel. (+39) 06-87591