Imagine sitting down in a restaurant after being shown to your table by a friendly waiter. Instead of perusing a paper menu and waiting for him to return and take your order, you make your choice and order via a digital menu on your smartphone. Your order is transmitted automatically to the kitchen and brought to your table when it is ready. Payment is also made via the app.
“This is just one example of many showing how retail transactions are undergoing a revolution thanks to the ubiquity of digital and smartphone technology,” says Company Cofounder Fausto Caprini.
“People will have certainly noticed how digital technology is entering the retail space, and this trend will only accelerate in the future.” Mr. Caprini cofounded Retex in 2010 with the intention of innovating the retail sales space, both physical and digital. “We could already see the direction of travel in retailing, and our experience over the last nine years has confirmed what we predicted would happen, namely that new technologies and new communication forms would influence and change consumer behaviour and spending patterns,” states Mr. Caprini. “Back then, we foresaw that companies would need an expert to help them negotiate the transition and implement the benefits to be had from the digital transformation.”
We foresaw that companies would need an expert to help them negotiate the transition and implement the benefits to be had from the digital transformation. Fausto CapriniCo-founder
Despite its visionary origins, it still took a couple of years before the market was ready for what Retex had to offer. Today, however, Retex has grown considerably and expects to expand still further in the coming years. “We have welcomed numerous new collaborators into the fold and now have offices in Turin, Florence and Modena as well as our head offices in Milan and an office in Shanghai,” outlines Mr. Caprini. “In the Chinese market, ‘Made in Italy’ has a special cachet, and we are there mainly to work with customers in the high fashion, luxury and design sectors.”
Retex brings in-depth expertise and experience of the retail sector to bear in the work it carries out on behalf of customers. “We offer customers two distinct software platforms to allow them to make the most of the digital transformation to boost sales,” explains Mr. Caprini. “The first is called Iconic and aims to link the customer’s social media presence and CRM system. It is a form of middleware that links back-office functions like retail planning with front-end retail software designed to harmonize brand experience at all points of contact with customers.
With the custom of more than a billion potential consumers at stake, breaking China is top of the priority list. Fausto CapriniCo-founder
The second platform is called Mytrade and is intended to automate sales transactions and the checkout process in shops. We also employ digital signage and in-store proximity marketing to strengthen the brand-consumer relationship. It allows us to plan and update original content in real time to target impulse buyers more effectively.”
However, one of the biggest prizes for Western brands is the booming Chinese market. As well as targeting the rising number of well-heeled Chinese tourists coming to Europe specifically to shop for luxury goods, the Chinese online market is a key component of current retail strategy. “With the custom of more than a billion potential consumers at stake, breaking China is top of the priority list,” says Mr. Caprini. “We help them adopt the right tone and tools, starting with online channel WeChat, the primary intermediary for relating with consumers in the Chinese online market, and continuing with Weibo, Baidu, Ctrip and so on. With our help, campaigns can be targeted in the most effective way, which in the digital age means a highly personalized customer experience. Luckily, Chinese consumers have embraced the digital revolution with gusto and are very open to engaging with Western brands.
In the brave new world of digital retailing, the world has become a very small place, with the next purchase a mere click away. However, experiences are just as important, which is why Retex’s integrated approach continues to set the benchmark for retailers.