When you think about an ideal smart home, it probably includes smart appliances like a fridge or a stove, your thermostat, light bulbs, a sound system, security system, etc. And while having all these connected devices can certainly make managing your home easier, it’s likely that that most devices come from different service providers. This means the need for multiple apps to manage all of your services, which for anyone is less than ideal if you’re trying to do multiple tasks at once – like changing your lights, audio system and thermostat to turn on when you get home. Now imagine being able control all these systems from one app – wouldn’t that make your life a lot easier? You could make changes for multiple devices at once or even allow them to send data to each other to improve your experience.
Sounds great right? Now imagine that the smart home is your business. You have all these disparate services – inventory management, loyalty, CRM, employee management, payment applications, most of which don’t talk to each other. You add in the need to leverage third-party data for more in-depth analysis and you’re looking at even more disparate services that can’t show a complete picture because different data sets exist in each system.
This creates a need for more centralized platform that enables these services to communicate with each other more effectively. Here are a few examples how merchants will benefit from a more connected ecosystem:
Better Customer Intelligence
Leveraging a more connected platform that allows your CRM and loyalty solutions to integrate with and analyze ancillary data ensures that you’re able to see a complete view of your customer set and how any why they make purchases. For example, let’s say you’re a coffee shop: by reviewing purchase history and comparing to trends in the weather you’re able to see that when it rains customers are more likely to order tea than their traditional coffee. This can help trigger additional communications to customers for deals on purchasing tea – or even reminding them that they’d like a cup – which creates additional stickiness with customers and increases revenue.
Ease of Access to More Solutions
By using a platform that enables more connectivity, you’re also opening yourself up to more solutions and services that might otherwise not be available through your provider or would take a longer time to integrate with. This especially comes in to play for SMB merchants who may be looking to add loyalty functions or other net-new services for the first time. However, rather than being limited to one option, the connected platform enables them to pick the solution that provides the right features and customer experience.
One of the biggest challenges facing any merchant is the time typically needed to integrate a new solution, which is further complicated with lengthy certification processes, like those needed for payments-related solutions. For example, imagine you wanted to start being able line bust by adding mobility payment solutions to your arsenal. By leveraging a platform that focuses on enablement and connectivity, you’re able to reduce the time it takes to integrate the solution to your system. This allows you to not only keep up with customer needs and demands but allows you to get ahead of your competition as well.
Maintaining and growing a business is challenging and can be made more so by not having the right solutions and services available. By leveraging a platform-based approach that enables the services your business leverages to connect, communicate and innovate to help you deliver a customer experience that drives loyalty and higher revenue.
Interested in learning more about Ingenico’s platform-based approach? Get in touch!
Erica Eby is the head of business development at Ingenico Group, North America