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FASHION
The retailer's retailer 
The retailer's retailer 
 
Robots dexterous enough to sew garments, smart mirrors that offer style advice and even connected fitting rooms – the fashion industry’s reputation for innovation extends far beyond the catwalk.

At the retail end of the supply chain, the very best have merged digital and in-store experiences to meet consumer expectations for individualized shopping experiences, delivered consistently across multiple channels. That can be simple, like how your preferred color informed this site’s design, or much more complex.

How? By harnessing APIs to integrate data and craft smart, contextual customer interactions that are tailored to personal purchase history, past actions, and style preferences.

Ready to learn more? OK, let’s go.

 
Improving customer satisfaction 

 







 




 
First, let's cover some important background.

WHAT IS AN API?
It’s your one-stop shop for digital innovation – an easy way to securely expose data and services to developers so digital channels can be set up to connect systems, say a mobile app, to anything, like your product catalogue.


 















 
In a 2015 Forrester report, half of retailers identified better customer satisfaction as the top business outcome of embracing efficient, data-centric processes and becoming more agile.
For retailers, data is the key to creating consistent, of-the-moment offers and experiences that drive greater customer satisfaction and increased brand value.

Making this happen demands seamless and speedy integration of real-time and historical data.

While retailers have no trouble capturing data, most find that ineffeciencies in integration and real-time event processing limit their ability to generate insights and take action.
 

 
“Based on how customers are changing their shopping habits, we see our API strategy as a vital part of Argos’ transformation plan.”

ARGOS












Argos apps have been downloaded 2.8 million times on iPhones, 450,000 times on iPads, and more than 1 million times on Android devices.


 
















 
 



 
MACY'S
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‘Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer.’
Macy’s first female executive,
Margaret Getchell
‘Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer.’
Macy’s first female executive,
Margaret Getchell


 
Macy's, established in 1858, is an iconic retailing brand operating coast-to-coast in the US, online at macys.com, and through a Macy's shopping app for mobile devices.


Macy’s launched its website in 1998, when mobile wasn’t even really in existence. The first smartphones started to become popular around 2007. Until about 2013, desktop traffic surpassed mobile. When we saw that big increase in mobile traffic, the writing was on the wall.

We needed to prepare for a great mobile experience. We already had the architecture that our mobile experience was relying heavily on it, but at that time, people were running on a 3G, not a 4G network, especially in more rural areas. The mobile site was less frequented because it wasn’t optimized. We needed to scale those services, optimize them, and get the right data caching strategy to provide a better mobile experience. If these issues were not resolved, the impact would be dissatisfied customers, which brings down the brand identity, decreases sales, and causes higher customer turnover.
Macy’s APIs are at the center of our business, and using TIBCO Mashery, they serve a lot of internal applications. Applications are able to serve customers a lot faster, provide recommendations, and minimize the amount of time it takes to do that. Our mobile enhanced web, which has the highest traffic, is where customers are spending most of their time purchasing products. To have a great customer experience, we want to make sure our APIs are optimized.

One of the ways you do that is to eliminate hops between systems, especially when the origin server sits behind the same firewall. Because Macy’s has a lot of brick and mortar stores, we have digital in-store devices that are being served via APIs. Now, instead of going outside the firewall, coming back through it, and then back out again, traffic is just going straight to Mashery and getting responses a lot faster.



Learn more about how API management is transforming the retail industry

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER


 

 

Integrate to accumulate 


 
Data integration is a key agility layer for creating great customer experiences with technology.

But there have never been so many ways to connect with purchase-ready prospects.
Wearables, smartphones, tablets, in-store kiosks, internet-enabled POS stations, connected game consoles, TVs, and even refrigerators: consumers really are everywhere. And with each new digital opportunity comes necessary actions, new processes, and demands for change, which piles further pressure on already overburdened IT teams.
 




 
 
A tale of red tape and siloes
 
Throughout the shopping experience, there are moments where historical and contextual data could be merged to deliver a special customer experience, but the technical challenges of integrating data and acting oninsights in real time often means sales opportunities slip away.

Data siloed in separate systems across departments, stores, or regions is the biggest challenge.

Merger and acquisition activity makes collecting, integrating, and normalizing relevant data even trickier.

Furthermore, internal red tape in the form of unwieldy processes and multiple stakeholder interests can delay the vital work of turning data into insights and acting on them.

For a complete, omnichannel customer view, these silos need to be overcome and the red tape cut.


 
 

 
Out of stock, out of mind: Data integration also represents an opportunity – and a challenge – for inventory optimization. Customers expect to be able to check product availability on any device or in person, and the competition is only ever a click or swipe away.



Liberate data and business users with self service

At many retailers, IT departments hold the data controls. There are good reasons for this, such as data governance and compliance, but it often obstructs business users – who have vital subject matter expertise and frequently make critical decisions – from accessing important information.

User-friendly, self-service analytics, reporting, and dashboards can bypass this roadblock and enable the whole company to work together to build more tailored offers, more compelling product ranges, and a more profitable business.






 
 

 
Marks and Spencer uses analytics to ensure its UK stores have the right inventory at the right time, relying on intuitive data visualization to help decision-makers quickly understand the facts, derive insights and make faster decisions.
 










































“With TIBCO Spotfire, we have the confidence that when a customer goes into one of our stores, they can see the product they want and buy it. The solution helps to ensure that M&S is number one.”

Pete Williams,
Head of Enterprise Analytics,
Marks & Spencers
 



 
LONDON THEATRE DIRECT
“600% increase in ticket sales; through one API”
“600% increase in ticket sales; through one API”
 


 
Macy's, established in 1858, is an iconic retailing brand operating coast-to-coast in the US, online at macys.com, and through a Macy's shopping app for mobile devices.


Macy’s launched its website in 1998, when mobile wasn’t even really in existence. The first smartphones started to become popular around 2007. Until about 2013, desktop traffic surpassed mobile. When we saw that big increase in mobile traffic, the writing was on the wall.

We needed to prepare for a great mobile experience. We already had the architecture that our mobile experience was relying heavily on it, but at that time, people were running on a 3G, not a 4G network, especially in more rural areas. The mobile site was less frequented because it wasn’t optimized. We needed to scale those services, optimize them, and get the right data caching strategy to provide a better mobile experience. If these issues were not resolved, the impact would be dissatisfied customers, which brings down the brand identity, decreases sales, and causes higher customer turnover.
Macy’s APIs are at the center of our business, and using TIBCO Mashery, they serve a lot of internal applications. Applications are able to serve customers a lot faster, provide recommendations, and minimize the amount of time it takes to do that. Our mobile enhanced web, which has the highest traffic, is where customers are spending most of their time purchasing products. To have a great customer experience, we want to make sure our APIs are optimized.

One of the ways you do that is to eliminate hops between systems, especially when the origin server sits behind the same firewall. Because Macy’s has a lot of brick and mortar stores, we have digital in-store devices that are being served via APIs. Now, instead of going outside the firewall, coming back through it, and then back out again, traffic is just going straight to Mashery and getting responses a lot faster.



Learn more about how API management is transforming the retail industry

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER



4 key focus areas 
 



 
Technology can help retailers create a 360-degree view of their customers with accurate, real-time data gathered from multiple channels and automatically connected to a single customer profile.
Focus Area #1: Free up and integrate company data

Once important data, such as customer preferences, is organized and easily accessible, the customer experience can be tailored and improved across devices and locations.

Shoppers use different devices to make direct purchases, research products that they later buy through other channels, and engage post-purchase. Make sure your online offering is consistent and supported across different devices, and design your integration, analytics and event services to align with desired business outcomes.



 








Coca-Cola Enterprises needed to bring a solution to market fast, and can now talk about digital transformation projects in terms of days and weeks instead of weeks and months.

Focus Area #2: Understand the different speeds of data

Different types of data move and change at different speeds: master data for items, customer demographics, and suppliers changes slowly, whereas behavior and offers are highly dynamic.

Adopt integration capabilities that can seamlessly orchestrate data persistence layers with dynamic data to keep your insights up to date and relevant.
 








 








“When you have APIs, there's a lot of opportunity from a security standpoint, governance, and ease of use. We went with an API management platform to give us all of those things.”

Kevin Flowers, CTO, Coca-Cola Enterprises



 











Focus Area #3: Push yourself and your technology


The ‘segment of one’ is the nirvana of customer experience, so develop a strategy for better in-the-moment insights through advanced analytics.

This is essential to making sense of identities, preferences, behaviors, and intentions – the foundations of bespoke experiences and personalized offers.
 








 
 
Focus Area #4: Get e-commerce data under control

E-Commerce generates huge volumes of data, which is both a challenge and an opportunity.

The benefits of wrangling and integrating this data so that it can be used to inform next actions or understand trends include:


 
  • Quickly creating tailored offers
  • Improved stock management
  • Optimizing staff and resource allocation
  • Facilitating real-time customer segmentation
  • Understanding profit drivers
  • Smart, bespoke marketing and innovative digital partnerships
 



 
ASOS
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“Over 10 million active app installs.”
“Over 10 million active app installs.”
 


 
Close
 
With over 13.4 million active customers, ASOS is a global fashion destination for 20-somethings that, through localized mobile and web experiences, delivers to almost every country in the world.


An early adopter of retail technology, the ASOS app has over 10 million active installs, which has led to 69% of their traffic coming from mobile devices.
ASOS is constantly seeking to add new functionalities to their API to create the best shopping experience for their customers. They hosted an internal hack day that resulted in numerous prototypes, including a social shopping app, a portable ASOS ‘search button’ for integration onto any website, an online fashion trading game, and a Twitter search bot. The winning team created a ‘single button integration’ allowing customers to discover, save or consume any part of the ASOS experience through readers such as Feedly and Flipboard.

With Mashery’s streamlined API management, ASOS was able to incorporate new features into their app, helping them to stay both competitive and relevant with an API-based digital strategy.



Learn more about how API management is transforming the retail industry

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER


Why APIs? 


 
Accelerate your digital strategy

A digital strategy is more than just a new smartphone app; it means extending your brand across all relevant digital touch points.

This makes APIs a core part of any digital strategy. By including devices such as tablets, internet-enabled POS systems, and store kiosks in your strategy, you open the door to exciting opportunities.

APIs can smooth your developer relationships too by enabling easy data access, and decreasing development time for each new app or digital offering - often by more than 75 percent!
Transform your partnerships

Affiliates are a key part of any e-commerce program, providing fantastic opportunities to share data and generate new revenue streams. But, on-boarding new partners can often take weeks as integration plans are developed and tested.

APIs drastically reduce integration time with key strategic partners from weeks to minutes.

This increased efficiency and smooth integration experience frees up resources to focus on finding partners with new capabilities, such as self-service bar-code scanning, geo-location, group buying, and social media integration.




 
Un-silo your channels

For many retailers, a true 360° customer-centric experience has been elusive.

Until now.

APIs enable rapid and seamless data sharing between internal teams and systems. Think web, store, enterprise, POS, inventory, CRM, and mobile, all talking to each other in real-time.

That’s true cross-channel integration.
Foster innovation

Since APIs allow for safe yet easy access to underlying data and services, carefully managed APIs can be made securely accessible to a broader developer community – both in and outside of your organization.

Developers bring fresh expertise and ideas that can take your brand to new and exciting places. Hackathons, for example, are a great way to allow developers to experiment with your data and potentially create new and innovative experiences.
 
 



 
  
 
 



APIs for you 



COMMERCE API
  • Seamless purchasing
    and product fulfillment
  • Home delivery
  • In-store-pick-up for partner e-commerce or web-based sites

STORES API
  • Address
  • Geo-location
  • Store hours & phone number
 
PRODUCTS
  • Pricing
  • Availability
  • Specifications
  • Descriptions & images
Make the most important decision of your day:
adopt a secure, scalable, cutting edge API strategy
that will revolutionise your business.
Learn more in our latest whitepaper
 
DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER


 
 


 
TIBCO technology enables retailers to revitalize the consumer experience, attract and retain more customers, and create new revenue streams.

While retailers race to digitize key business processes and bring products to market in less and less time, TIBCO helps retailers to streamline key processes, efficiently manage inventory, and deliver great online commerce response times, even in peak traffic periods. We provide the framework to deliver integrated and personalized omnichannel experiences, making product discovery easy with consistent pricing and product offers everywhere.
Smart use of APIs, combined with our unique algorithms applied to real-time streaming data, allows retailers to automatically and continuously address a host of core problems: dynamic scaling, optimizing pricing, minimizing cost of goods sold, efficient fulfilment, and facilitating on-the-fly personalized customer propositions.

For nearly 20 years, thousands of businesses around the globe have relied on TIBCO technology to differentiate themselves through compelling customer experiences, optimized assets, and innovative new business models.

For more information about TIBCO, visit tibco.com





































































Heffner, R. (2015) ‘Monetizing APIs: Help Execs Think Bigger, And Drive More Revenue’, Forrester.