From Retailer to Digital Retail Leader: APIs Drive Opportunity Explosion
As part of Home Retail Group and one of the United Kingdom’s largest retailers, Argos serves millions of customers through hundreds of stores across the UK with sales worth £3.9 billion in 2012. Recently, Argos took bold, transformative measures to respond to market disruption from competitors selling online in addition to the move by grocers into non-food product ranges. “I believe we are facing a unique time in retail,” says John Walden, Argos Managing Director. “By the end of our five-year transformation program, we will have repositioned our channels to support a digitally-led future.”
Repositioning: A Digital Transformation
The Argos iPhone app quickly established itself within the top 10 free downloads within the iTunes App Store. Today, APIs build upon this success, for instance, in delivering innovative customer touch-points within the stores. “Our APIs will underpin all of our channels, providing a consistent customer experience,” says Jeremy Gooch, Integration Domain Architect at Home Retail Group. “Our APIs were initially solely focused on our mobile apps, but we soon identified unexpected opportunities for their use in other channels and by other parts of the business,” says Gooch. “It became clear that we needed a solution to empower our APIs for the kind of scale, data security, and multichannel, multiplatform innovation fitting for our brand as a top digital retailer.”
Secure Digital Retail on any Mobile Device
Like many major retailers, Argos wants to build apps from both open and closed developer communities to serve different business needs. Mashery provides powerful automation with alerts and reporting to help digital retailers ensure brand compliance on all app developments. “We knew our strong brand could help us boost digital retail if we only could allow our customers to transact anywhere at any time,” says Gooch. “We needed a way to safely manage commerce APIs in any app or with any of our partners, and we could not have a sustainable API strategy without being able to secure every link in the chain.” Mashery comforts Argos in preventing unwanted access to APIs, partitioning usage, and protecting Argos from denial-of-service and replay attacks. By leveraging the Mashery Control Center, Argos can set alerts for transaction problems and ensure optimum API performance for its apps across all mobile devices. The seamless integration with Argos’ enterprise systems instills the Argos API platform with a powerful competitive edge in that Argos’ apps will become more intelligent and more responsive to individual customers. Home Retail Group has already developed four apps that have been downloaded millions of times, and other mobile apps are on the way.