AI in Retail: Beyond The Hype and Into Reality for Store Operations.
The Top 10 AI use cases that Retail Operators at every level told us would transform their daily work. AI for Retail Operations is...
We’ve sat on a lot of sales calls with retailers since we started Quorso. Beyond the question of “what problem does Quorso solve and how?”, we’ve found there are three main questions that get asked during this due diligence phase:
These questions are no doubt important. But with store-based tech, there are at least another five areas to add to your vendor due diligence.
These dig down deeper into a product’s reality, helping you go beyond inflated claims and empty promises to clearly understand what will drive positive uptake and long-term value.
We’ll talk about these below, including how we answer them.
Ease of onboarding is one of the biggest success factors for consumer technologies. Most users will lose interest if a new app takes too long to start. An average business technology will only have a staggeringly low 17% of users activated within a week. A best-in-class one (90th percentile +) will have 3.6 times more users onboarded in the same time frame.
To date, business technologies have relied on the brute force of corporate change initiatives to drive users to engage with new tools. Anyone who has been part of an overrun project will be all too aware that brute force doesn’t win hearts and minds.
Strong onboarding is essential for time to value. Push for detail in your due diligence process to ensure you don’t end up with an expensive investment that no one uses.
Ease of onboarding is part of the product’s DNA. We outperform business benchmarks because we focus on making it as easy to adopt as your favorite consumer app.
First up: you cannot expect 100% user engagement. Even Facebook’s app loses 30% of its user base within 24 months.
For business technology, the engagement rates are poor. Around 65% of users drop off within the first month.
It may be true that a tool is self-funding within one month. But after three months, it may have lost too many users to be effective. Understanding user churn is crucial to understanding how effective the product will be in the long term.
We’ve seen minimal churn in the time frame where we have product benchmarks. Even our worst-performing client is still above the best-in-class standard.
Many tech vendors create “point and shoot” solutions – a specific need for a specific use case. But the last 18 months have shown how rapidly things can change. These solutions can quickly lose their effectiveness once the context shifts and they’re challenged by new environments.
The key questions are things like, “if we wanted to do this use case, how would you do this?” and “what is your roadmap going forward?” This also ensures the vendor aligns with your strategic roadmap.
It’s not just a piece of technology – it’s a product that businesses are built on. So it needs primarily to drive forward strategic initiatives.
And that means we are inherently flexible. From day one, the tool fits right into your business objectives.
Another pitfall of the business technology space – paying more in services than you are on the subscription. Any change requires a specialist data engineer or consultant to make sense of a complex backend.
Cottage industries have developed around tools like Business Intelligence and Salesforce, where small basic adjustments require complicated technical changes. This restricts any company’s ability to update their own tool, piling on unexpected cost and depleting ROI.
Engineers are expensive. Our whole product philosophy is about maximizing value. So we make sure that once the data is in Quorso, everything else is self-sufficient for an admin (with a bit of training).
Mobile applications have transformed our lives, and in many cases for the better. There is access to so much from the palm of our hands.
However, as we all know, apps can quickly clutter our lives. The smartest technologies are those that connect into your ecosystem, rather than just being another tool to login to. Evaluate technologies not just for what they help users to do, but also how seamlessly they fit into users’ everyday functioning.
We’ve developed several partnerships to ensure we connect to all appropriate areas of technology from back-end (supporting different clouds) to the store tools that people use daily and rely on. Quorso can be a standalone tool, or it can be the powerful intelligence system that continuously drives performance and value from your existing tech stack.
Introducing new technology to a business carries a multitude of risks – poor investment returns, disrupted operations, limited functionality, buggy engineering, disgruntled employees, damaged reputations.
It’s only by looking beyond the smoke and mirrors of the sales process, and demanding detail rather than promises, that these outcomes can be avoided. We’ve suggested these questions to help dig you down to a tech product’s reality – make sure you add them to your list of questions for any vendor.