The technology and digital capabilities needed to create the dynamic store are here. When we talk about a store that shifts to meet the daily needs of the brand and the customer, and that offers highly personalized experiences to each shopper, often retailers think the ability to create such a store is still years away. The truth is today we have that ability, and the way to enable it. Now, we need brands with the will to make a shift.
Not only is the Dynamic Store possible through ‘Best of breed’ digital capabilities, equally enabling is MACH (Microservices, API-First, Cloud-Native and Headless), the organizing principal through which the Dynamic Store of the future is set up to succeed. Attempting to innovate the kinds of connected experiences that will bring the most value to your store while still locked in a channel-specific and monolithic legacy system will be both costly and ineffective.
The Dynamic Store is The Essence of Omnichannel
Brands have been inundated with information about the importance of an omnichannel strategy for years now. Capturing customers online as well as in-store has been such an important activity that multiple digitally native companies have opened brick and mortar stores in recent years. The Dynamic Store is the ultimate omnichannel experience. Given it’s roots in fully orchestrated customer interactions, and the reliance on data from multiple sources, to provide a highly personalized experience, the Dynamic Store simply cannot be built with channel-specific technology. The concepts, technology and digital capabilities ultimately connecting the store must embrace new touchpoints, channels and constantly changing user and business expectations to meet future needs and to sustain through potential disruptions.
Equally, given the fact that the dynamic store must first and foremost be dynamic, a channel agnostic approach is the best way to realize that. For example, Dynamic Stores need to try out new experiences and see what resonates with shoppers; therefore, your platform must be ready to host a new experience on any channel that might emerge in the future. If your business is built around the physical, in-store channel, while neglecting social media shopping, the deck is stacked against you.
MACH Empowers Innovative Connected Experiences
A personalized shopping experience is a connected experience. Today’s stores rely on people navigating aisles, looking for what they want, and then purchasing it. In a Dynamic Store, every customer interaction must be capable of telling the shopper what they need, where to find it, and even how well it will pair with other purchases. To do so, the experience must be connected, contextually aware and therefore fully capable. In essence, ‘Best of breed’ solutions and MACH architectures are therefore suited to enable these experiences. It’s ability to be agile, flexible and channel agnostic make this architectural approach both appropriate and future-fitting.
Also, a MACH architecture unlocks continuous improvement. Through it, retailers can look to constantly iterate, test and change, allowing them to go to market with new touchpoints, products, content and experiences quicker than ever before. This is imperative when you’re relying on dynamic experiences constantly reacting to the needs of customers and the market. Additionally, the open and technology friendly nature of MACH allows retailers to add new and differentiating digital capabilities to their existing architecture, to gain acceleration for differentiating features. For example, the Virtual Try On innovation for MAC Cosmetics wouldn’t have been as innovation-focused and timely without MACH. With such an open architecture, we identified already ‘Best of breed’ technology to support innovative features, making the innovation less about building the AR engine and more about enabling differentiating experiences through it. MACH empowered that.
The Retail Benefits of MACH Go Deeper
With MACH’s future-proof nature, there are even additional benefits that we haven’t discovered yet. The truth, however, is that any successful Dynamic Store creation will benefit greatly from a MACH style architecture at its center. If you’re interested in learning more about what kinds of connected experiences MACH can open for your brand, Valtech’s experts are available for consultations and brainstorming sessions.