Six months on from Diebold acquiring Wincor Nixdorf, Lester J Wan talks to Andrew Phay, regional vice-president, Retail Segment – Asia-Pacific, Diebold Nixdorf, on the developments that have been taking place within the company so far, as well as Diebold Nixdorf’s newest product and solution offerings.
Could you tell Retail Asia readers what has been going on within Diebold Nixdorf in the past few months? What are some possible upcoming initiatives from the company?
Andrew Phay: During the integration, Diebold Nixdorf has been investing in senior leadership appointments. Juergen Wunram is now senior vice-president and chief operating officer (COO), continuing his position on the senior leadership team. Other appointments are that of Ashvin Mathew, as vice-president and chief technology officer, software; Reinhard Rabenstein, senior vice-president and chief technology officer, solutions; and Murat Ekinci, now chief information officer (CIO). These appointments will strengthen our expertise in the technology and solutions areas, enabling our teams to support our customers better.
In terms of consolidation, this was primarily done on the banking portfolio, as Diebold previously did not have any retail solution.
We introduced our six new connected commerce solutions at Retail’s BIG Show 2017 by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in January this year. These solutions support the four major trends in the retail industry: digitisation, individualisation, automation and miniaturisation — to transform the shopping experience for today’s consumers.
What are the six connected commerce solutions that Diebold Nixdorf has introduced?
Phay: 1. The K-One Kiosk solution was designed to digitise the in-store consumer experience by quickly and seamlessly assisting consumers throughout their visit. The versatile, tailored solution can be easily adapted to changing consumer demands, with functionality for order taking, customer service, product information, ticket and lottery sales and even self-checkout.
2. The new compact SmartPay self checkout solution enables consumers to scan and bag their items and to pay using a mobile app, credit card or debit card.
3. The recently introduced eXpress self-checkout solution can be used as an interactive kiosk or a payment terminal with a compact design that meets the industry’s demand for a miniaturised footprint.
4. The moPOS solution offers an easy and pragmatic way to integrate tablet technologies into the retail environment. The unique solution easily transitions from mobile to stationary, featuring a tablet that connects to a mobile device hub to interact with stationary point-of-sale (POS) technologies such as printers and scanners.
5. The C6010 automates cash handling by securely accepting, counting and balancing the notes as they are received by the cashier. This removes the need for a cash drawer and, more importantly, increases security and efficiency.
6. At just under 10 inches (25cm) wide, the new Extreme Self-Checkout Concept is only one-and-a-half times the width of a dollar bill. Its miniaturised footprint fits perfectly in any environment while providing the individualised experiences that today’s consumers expect.
The new concept, together with Diebold Nixdorf’s mobile application software solutions, enables retailers to connect the entire shopping experience for consumers, beginning at home in the planning phase. Consumers are then able to use their retailer’s mobile app to build lists and to receive suggestions on the fastest route through the store, as well as personalised ads and recommendations, based on their locations.
This year, Diebold Nixdorf will also be introducing new features to the TP.Net suite and we will continue to build on our services to ensure that we are providing the best level of service to our customers. We will continue to innovate and offer a complete end-to-end solution for our customers to ensure that they are supported to meet the growing requirements and market challenges that we see today.
From your observation of the current retail status, what do bricks-and-mortar stores need the most now? What do many stores or retailers urgently need to fix, put in place or to improve?
Phay: Bricks-and-mortar stores have been experiencing declining footfall and some are even predicting that bricks-and-mortar stores will become irrelevant. However, if you look at various projections from leading industry organisations, m-commerce and e-commerce are predicted to be slightly more than 10% of the total global retail sales. There are also numerous examples of which pure e-commerce retailers are now setting up permanent or pop-up stores.
One of the challenges is that the fundamentals of what a store “is” — regarding a store’s purpose and function — are in flux. Tomorrow’s stores are being shaped by the new behaviour, needs and demands of shoppers. Successful stores must deliver truly unique experiences to see increased visits, footfall and, subsequently, revenue. Retailers need to embrace seamless retailing.
Seamless retailing is essentially true omni-channel retailing, entailing a seamless experience of all channels by consumers. Retailers should be focused on customer journeys that they want to support instead of the channels.
This means, firstly, to have a seamless retail technology blueprint and deployment process. Seamless retailing must be carefully planned, and the architecture carefully built, to ensure that it has a strong foundation in technology.
Secondly, and often overlooked, are the organisational processes and sales incentives. To embrace seamless retailing, the entire organisation must embrace all of these aspects in order to make it successful.
Nevertheless, the physical bricks-andmortar store still has a very important role because consumers like to touch and try items, get additional information from the store assistants, have the option to buy and receive the items at once, and be somehow ‘entertained’ by the shopping experience. In-store mobility, as well as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), would help to lure consumers into the store.
Do you agree with the statement that “all retailers have to go online or die”?
Phay: It is definitely important that retailers need to have an online presence. In order to determine the type and extent of online presence, retailers must start with the customer. More specifically, with the customer journeys that they want to support.
For example, their buying habits, how they purchase, what they purchase, how often, when, and what their triggers are. This can then be built into their preferred customer journeys to best determine their channel strategy.
To put it in another way, the target or goal is to have more engaged and loyal customers, and retailers have to chart out the various routes (or channels) that they can achieve this. The focus must be on the goal and not on the channels. A more apt statement would probably be: “All retailers have to be seamless”.
What do you think today’s retailers need to know about omni-channel retailing?
Phay: As mentioned, retailers must embrace seamless retailing in both technology and organisational processes. Focusing on the customer journeys will help the retailer to support and deliver a unique experience, and thereby create an emotional attachment. This is the other e-commerce — emotional commerce.
Furthermore, all the retail channels have to be synchronised. This includes having consistent information across all the channels. In addition, one has to deploy powerful and fast supply chain solutions.
This goes to show that the use of technology is very important not only to strengthen the supply chain or back office processes — with artificial intelligence (AI) support, for instance — but also in terms of in-store mobility solutions including mobile touchpoints of consumers and staff, VR and AR, visual merchandising solutions, robotics and more.
What tips do you have for traditional retailers who are going into or planning to go into omni-channel retailing? How should they proceed and how would they become more “seamless”?
Play: I have four main tips for traditional retailers going into omni-channel retailing. Firstly, have a vision of the emotional relationship that you want to develop with your customers.
Next, identify the various customer journeys that you, the retailer, want to enable and support so as to build this emotional relationship.
Thirdly, identify the technology platform that is needed to support these customer journeys.
Last but not least, identify the organisational changes that are needed in order to support the customer journeys
What are some of the challenges that you observe with retailers, in relation to adopting omni-channel retailing?
Phay: Similar to what we have just talked about, for a start, retailers do not seem to know the kind of emotional relationship that they want to build with their customers. Secondly, they do not (and need to) think in terms of customer journeys.
Many retailers also have no seamless retailing technology blueprint — often we see an ad hoc, standalone implementation of technology. Lastly, sadly, the organisational processes often also do not appear to be aligned to the company’s goals.
Just one example is that companies do not give out incentives to their sales associates for encouraging online sales to customers.
Coming back to offline or bricksand- mortar store operations, how else can store owners optimise their store operations? What are some other ways that retailers can maximise the potential of their stores, or even increase footfall?
Phay: As Nash Benjamin of the FJ Benjamin Group says, “How do we do more for less? More business, less inventory, fewer people, less cost.” Operational excellence and technology play a big part in realising greater store potential and eventually footfall.
A recent example is Metro Singapore’s “Metro Never Before Crazy Sale”, where they attempted to make the sale fun and engaging by organising Bentomania, a bento making demonstration and competition and inviting the winner of Masterchef Asia to conduct a cooking masterclass, “Afternoon for foodies”. Again, building that emotional commerce with consumers is of great significance.
What is Diebold Nixdorf ’s greatest strength or advantage in aiding retailers? How can its solutions help retailers to improve their store operations using technology?
Phay: Diebold Nixdorf is one of the leading retail technology and services companies in Asia-Pacific. That alone says that we are among the best positioned in the industry to aid retailers.
Diebold Nixdorf is also a leading purveyor of “connected commerce” — we enable seamless retailing with our versatile TP.Net software application suite. When retailers’ customers come into the stores, we help to transform the way that they shop through our leading technologies and offer them choices of their preferred touchpoints.
All our strengths and solutions related to the mentioned points are wrapped up with our retail-specific services that ensure that the solutions are working in a harmonised and integrated manner, thus allowing retailers to focus on building an emotional relationship with their customers — being enabled and aided to go back to focusing on what is of core importance