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NRF 2020: Powering the Future of Connected Retail Experiences with MuleSoft

By Ahyoung An, Senior Manager Cross-Cloud Solution Management

 

More than half of global consumers (58%) believe retailers provide a disconnected experience across channels and 60% would consider changing retailers as a result of receiving a disconnected experience. However, providing these seamless shopping experiences that consumers expect isn’t easy – almost half of all organizations surveyed have over 1,000 applications, but only 29% of those applications are integrated. 

Retailers need a new way to quickly and easily integrate data sources and applications to meet consumers at the moment of intent and build meaningful brand interactions that foster true loyalty. To do so, retailers need to unlock customer, product, and purchase history data from core retail systems, legacy applications and cloud ERP, CRM, etc., and surface that data in a way that empowers customers to have a connected shopping experience across online and offline channels. APIs, or application programming interfaces, are software intermediaries that allow these systems, applications or devices to talk to each other in a uniform way. 

With MuleSoft’s unique API-led approach to connectivity, retailers can reuse APIs to dramatically accelerate the delivery of connected customer experiences and unlock customer data from legacy systems, allowing retailers to provide new experiences including real-time inventory visibility, mobile checkout and personalized service faster as consumer preferences continue to evolve. 

At NRF 2020, MuleSoft will be highlighting how APIs and integrations power the connected customer experiences of today and tomorrow. With MuleSoft, retailers can innovate 3x faster using pre-built integration assets, best practices and recommended architectures to create new experiences on and offline. 

  • Power ecommerce with accurate inventory availability and product insights with MuleSoft Accelerator for Commerce Cloud. Retailers can unlock real-time inventory and product data from back office systems using a pre-built integration solution that connects inventory and product information management applications directly into Commerce Cloud. 
  • Empower service agents to deliver personalized service with MuleSoft Accelerator for Service Cloud. Retail IT can easily enable service agents to see real-time order history and order status information with prebuilt integration templates and codified best practices to connect external order management systems to Service Cloud. 

In addition to these new solutions, retailers are leveraging MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to innovate new omnichannel experiences. Let’s look at how Decathlon is leveraging a technology-driven approach to engage consumers as the store expands in the United States. MuleSoft is enabling Decathlon to build a foundation of reusable APIs, making it easier than ever to plug in new services and drive seamless experiences. 

MuleSoft’s API-led approach to connectivity enabled Decathlon to integrate its cloud-based order management system with mobile point-of-sale and cashless payment systems to deliver connected in-store customer experiences. With an application network comprised of a core set of 11 reusable APIs Decathlon has been able to quickly deploy technology-driven customer experiences that foster customer loyalty including: 

  • Expedite guest checkout with cashless stores that leverage mobile checkout stations. Decathlon US stores feature physical tables on wheels that enable employees to scan each piece of merchandise via mobile device and consumers to pay by card or digitally.
  • Instantly identify full basket of inventory for checkout with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. If a customer has a full basket of merchandise, they can slide the basket into a compartment beneath the mobile checkout station. Under the table, an RFID reader scans the entire basket in one go. 
  • Provide accurate and real-time store inventory powered by Tally, an inventory-checking robot that can scan every product in the store in two hours. Tally reads the RFID tags on each piece of merchandise and alerts Decathlon staff members of out-of-place items and items that need to be restocked. This automated approach to stock checking frees up time for store assistants, allowing them to devote their energy towards what they do best — advising customers.

Decathlon will be able to add new technologies, like a shipping solution, in one third of the time by reusing these APIs to integrate systems and continue to accelerate project delivery as they build their application network. 

"At Decathlon, innovation is in our DNA, and MuleSoft has been a critical driver for us to invent new customer experiences at speed,” said Tony Leon, CIO and CTO, Decathlon USA. “With Anypoint Platform, we are turning our most valuable technology assets into reusable building blocks, accessible through a repository of secure APIs. Developer teams across the entire business can access and reconfigure these building blocks, unlocking endless potential for innovation and expansion. For example, our order management project would have taken a year without MuleSoft, but we completed it in four months, tripling the delivery speed.”

To learn more about how retailers can create connected customer experiences using MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform , join us at Booth #1306 at NRF January 12-14, 2020.