Role of Mobile Technology in the Retail Industry
Interview with, Louise Alterman, President and CEO of Stratix, at NRF 2020, on the role mobile technology plays in the retail industry and how Stratix enables its retail clients to take advantage of it.
Elliot: I’m Elliot Maras, the editor of kioskmarketplace.com, joining me today is Louis Alterman, President and CEO of Stratix. Louis, thank you for joining us.
Louis: Happy to be here Elliot.
Elliot: Tell me, what role does mobile technology play in the retail industry today?
Louis: Mobile technology is increasingly important for retailers. Look, it’s a super competitive space. Retailers have no choice but to meet customers where they are, which is where they want to buy at home and pick up at store. Sometimes they want to do the opposite. They need to have an experience in the store that matches the expectations they have in the way they use technology in their own lives. So, retailers can use technology in a number of ways including line busting, etc. that helps customers get the experience they are looking for in the store. Retailers are starting to figure out that if they don’t do it, their competitors will. In addition, technology really matters behind the scenes, not just what the customers see but in the way the retailers are managing their inventory, preventing shrinkage with their inventory as well and running logistics to make sure they are meeting customer demand in a more nimble way.
Elliot: Tell me, what might be preventing retailers from transforming and optimizing their mobile strategies?
Louis: Some retailers are doing it really, really well. Where they’re not, it can be a number of things. It can be financial constraints. Especially some segments of the retail industry, margins are thin, and you can see retailers refraining from making the technology investments that are probably best for the long term. Sometimes it can be change resistance inside of their own IT department even, where they want to control the way that they’ve done things in the past. Other times it can just be a matter of not really understanding how it can drive their top line. People have historically thought of technology as a way to control cost or be more efficient, but it can also drive more revenue and more sale for retailers. As they start to figure that out, we’re seeing them increasingly want to make investments.
Elliot: What do you want people to know about Stratix? How does Stratix enable its retail clients and what do you do differently?
Louis: First of all, Stratix is customer obsessed. That is our number one thing. We have a passion for taking care of customers. We’ve been doing it for 35 years and because of the expertise that we have, we’re trusted by the largest retailers in the world whether its Big Box, Specialty, QSR, Grocers, we serve the biggest and the best retailers and we have them looking to take advantage of our expertise. What is that expertise? We really are experts in three ways. One is we’re mobility experts. Two is we’re logistics experts and three is we are retail experts. We understand the retail business model. We understand the different mobile devices that can be of benefit to a retailer and we’re really, really good at the logistic side of things. Getting the devices in the hands of the stores or in the hands of the warehouse, the picking the packing, all the different places they need them and then very quickly and nimbly being able to adjust if things break, because they always do and handling reverse logistics, etc. It’s the confluence of those three things that really no other provider in the world can do what we do.
Elliot: Why do you think most of your clients have chosen to work with you?
Louis: First of all, it is that we are customer obsessed that causes clients to want to work with us. They see it, we get our uniform dirty every single day, there’s not a single person at Stratix from the CEO on down that wouldn’t do anything to take care of a customer, night or day. We’ve developed a lot of expertise, over 35 years that we don’t think is easily replicable. There are other competitors out there who can do pieces of what we do but it might not be focused on mobility or it might not have the expertise about how retailers really work. You can get your technology from anyone. That’s the easy part. The hard part is making the right decisions and the service and support that keep everything running and enable our customers to delight their customers and take share.
Elliot: Louis, thank you for your insight and thank you all for joining us here at the NRF Show in New York City.