mobileOnline trade has transformed from multi- and omnichannel to "everywhere"- commerce, since online shopping is nowadays not only accessible via different end devices, but practically from anywhere and at any time.

Hence, the key success factor in the battle for the attention of consumers is primarily sending the right message at the right time. After all, solely the customer decides before a purchase when and how he wants to be addressed – assertive and better informed than ever.

For online retailers, it is therefore more and more challenging not only to reach many (potential) customers through an immense range of touchpoints, but to provide at the same time personalized content.

Connecting the online and the offline world

Arvato SCM Solutions just designed a newly developed white label app to make it easier - and above all faster - to enter the mobile commerce business. By means of the latest digital technologies, the Bertelsmann business unit, specialized in developing, operating and optimizing complex global supply chains and eCommerce platforms.

Arvato SCM combines the know-how of people with the right technologies and appropriate business processes, increasing that way measurably the productivity and performance of its partners. Its Arvato Commerce App Solution (ACAS) was programmed for iOS and Android systems and can make online shops available on mobile devices within just a month, without having to produce new content.

Research has shown that the readiness to buy grows more than three times when an app can be used for shopping, hence, the demand for Arvato’s white label app should be high. Still, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to shy away from the high financial and time intensive development costs, although having an own shopping app is tempting. Through their better user experience, apps have a 120% higher conversion rate.

Arvato Commerce App Solution (ACAS)

Since ACAS works as an app, it offers features that could not be easily implemented on a website, such as push notifications. Furthermore, companies that want to go deeper into customer loyalty and personalization can optimize their processes thanks to cloud connectivity and beacon marketing, a technology that sends out Bluetooth signals that the app responds to by using transmitters distributed in the shop:  It is possible, for instance, to create a wish list in the app and store it in the cloud. If this function is then released by the customer when entering the store, a shop assistant could receive a message on his/her smartphone that includes the wish list, allowing the staff to personally welcome the customer and advise them individually. That way, online and in-store retailing merge into a uniform, customer-oriented service.

With this new solution for mobile commerce, Arvato is expanding its omnichannel service offering with an elementary building block, including eCommerce front-end services, logistics, customer service and payment services, as well as its own omnichannel order management system.

Most businesses already started to link their channels with each other, offering cross-channel promotions and allowing customers to pick up online ordered goods offline. Even offers and prices are generally unified by now. But what’s still rare is finding stores where products can be ordered online as per the principle of "endless aisle”, which means using in-store kiosks to allow customers to order products which are no longer in stock or not sold in the store, to be delivered later to their homes when there is again copious supply.

By Daniela La Marca