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Don’t overlook enterprise innovation

Enterprise platforms support leading-edge retailer initiatives.

Enterprise platforms are not the most exciting part of the retailer technology environment, but they enable interesting things to happen.

If retail tech were a sitcom, the enterprise platform would be the sensible “straight man (or woman)” character who sits in the background and watches the zanier characters – such as frictionless shopping apps and metaverse storefronts – create the entertainment.

But just as Jerry’s apartment in “Seinfeld” was the foundation that served as a springboard for the audience-pleasing antics of Kramer, enterprise platforms provide the basis for the cool “next generation” initiatives that grab the industry’s attention.

Following are three examples of retail enterprise innovation worth a closer look.

Specialty fashion retailer Chico’s FAS is partnering with headless commerce platform Fabric Inc. to deliver improved speed-to-market for new omnichannel initiatives. Chico’s seeks to accelerate growth of all of its retail brands with an enterprise platform built on Fabric technology.

This new technology foundation is based on Fabric’s modular architecture, which will ease its implementation across a variety of consumer-facing solutions and touchpoints. These microservices and tools will help drive Chico’s current and future omnichannel technology projects.

Chico's will also leverage Fabric's platform for inventory management. As a result, the company intends to enable a “single source of truth” to accurately track inventory across all channels, as well as enhance accuracy and transparency across all three of its brands and improve omnichannel customer experiences.

Christmas Tree Shops
Christmas Tree Shops is completing its separation from Bed Bath & Beyond by migrating technology operations to a hybrid cloud platform. The specialty retailer has completed more than 250 hybrid cloud integrations in the past year using the SnapLogic Intelligent Integration platform.

Christmas Tree Shops, which was purchased from former corporate parent Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. by Hanil Holdings in November 2020, seeks to improve and accelerate operational and analytical data flow across the enterprise. The retailer did not want to lose existing data and information that had been stored in Bed, Bath & Beyond’s systems while performing a quick migration.

Therefore, the company turned to SnapLogic to enable the integration of core legacy systems with new, cloud-based technologies in order to streamline and speed up business processes across enterprise areas including HR, finance, sales, and operations.

Christmas Tree Shops also utilized SnapLogic functionality to gain visibility into near real-time sales during the busy holiday shopping period. Using SnapLogic, the company was able to quickly parse sales from its legacy POS system and provide hourly sales reads within a few days of receiving a request.

Global online fashion retailer Asos is entering a new cloud agreement with Microsoft that will see it continue to use the artificial intelligence (AI)-based Microsoft Azure cloud computing service as its preferred cloud platform for the next five years.

The millennial- and Gen Z-focused retailer has been working with Microsoft to build a customer platform that enables technical agility, global scale and resilience. Asos seeks to effectively handle high levels of customer demand and help customers find the products they want, in the way that best suits them.

Through the renewed partnership, Asos will work with Microsoft to launch new projects, such as its partner fulfillment program, which the retailer is designing to expand the range and availability of products while maximizing demand conversion, customer choice, and stock availability.

Asos will also evolve its existing Azure data platform as a foundation to leverage AI and machine learning for deeper personalization of the customer experience. This will include driving unique recommendations. Leveraging Microsoft research, along with its own data science expertise, Asos intends to better predict customer demand, optimize logistics, and deliver efficiencies across price and stock investments.

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