How Open API platforms generate partner opportunities for integration, development and long-term relationships
Retailers want to be able to meet shoppers’ demands – demands for better service, personalisation, efficiency, the convenience of click and collect/BOPIS and targeted promotions. They know that they way to do this is to have all aspects of their business linked, to have online and instore operations seamlessly connected, to have a single view of the customer and a single view of inventory. In short, they know that they need to implement an omnichannel retail system to drive maximum customer satisfaction, loyalty and profit.
Knowing what they need to do and being able to do it can often be worlds apart – which is why they rely on you, their business partner, to help them. Your skills in retail development, technology implementations and integration are essential if they are to move with the market and not be left behind their competition. Your skills and expertise are the key to their success.
But what about the key to your success? When I speak to our partners, I consistently hear the message that the heart of running a successful business as a technology partner is to work with an Open API Retail System vendor. There are three reasons that partners can make more money and drive a more successful business by working with an Open API environment.
When you recommend, or your customer selects, an Open API retail platform, they release themselves from being tied to the vendor for implementation and integration work. They open up the option to either do the integration themselves, or more likely, to ask an experienced and skilled partner to do it for them. This was certainly the case for our partner Soltius, who managed integration of iVend and SAP Business One for building material retailer Gemilang. Gemilang had ambitious plans for expansion, but knew that they needed to significantly enhance their inventory planning and resource optimisation to support that growth. Looking for a reliable and scalable system, they selected iVend Retail and SAP Business One, and chose partner Soltius to manage the implementation and integration. Soltius supported the entire transition, which was done in just 4 months, with the client being so delighted with the outcome at head office that they want to replicate the system across all new locations in the future. Which is great business for Soltius.
- New Development
Sometimes, in order to meet customer requirements, a retailer needs a very specific application module, which isn’t available off the shelf. Having an Open API platform retail system gives them the option to invite a partner to develop this functionality for them. Canadian jewellery retailer Chateau D’Ivoire, had a specialist requirement for a repair module, which was part of their strategy for building a lifetime relationship with their clients. Having searched unsuccessfully for a pre-built solution, they turned to partner Forgestik and asked them to develop a custom-built app that integrated with their iVend Open API retail platform.
- Ongoing Relationships
Customers want future proof retail systems – they want the flexibility to adapt as the market changes. An open API platform is the basis for a future-proof retail system. If provides your clients with the agility to respond rapidly, which often means adding modules, such as loyalty, purchasing, inventory and merchandising, or third-party functionality such as interactive digital signage or CCTV-based analytics. This is great news for partners, like Pristine Solutions, who helped gift and souvenir retailer Laksala with their implementation of iVend and SAP Business One, which then expanded to include additional iVend modules to support the company’s move towards omnichannel.
Open API platforms are at the heart of omni-channel and helping retailers to stay ahead of the game and meet customer demands. With the opportunity they bring for integration, for development and for building ongoing support relationships, they are also great news for technology partners, helping to develop and expand their business.