Here’s how unified commerce really comes to life

Here’s how unified commerce really comes to life

We’re very proud of how Infinity supports Cue Clothing’s ‘buy anywhere, fulfil anywhere’ strategy and the partnership we’ve built over the last 11 years.

My Retail Week recap - including Supplier of the Year runner up!

Retail Week in Melbourne was a great experience – going on a tour of new concept stores, meeting with top eCommerce disruptors and attending Inside Retail’s Retailer Awards gala. There are so many smart people and companies doing clever things to be more customer-focused, personal, sustainable and ethical. It was an inspiring trip.

Runner up for Retail Supplier of the Year

Hearing Triquestra’s name called out at the Retailer Awards was thrilling. We were in amazing company and I was very proud that our unified commerce platform and talented people were recognised for helping our clients’ retail businesses excel.

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Congratulations to Shane Lenton

Shane is CIO of Cue Clothing Co and he nominated us for Retail Supplier of the Year so a big thank you goes to him. So does a big congratulations because during the week he was named #4 in Internet Retailing’s Top 50 People in E-Commerce 2019. His ‘buy anywhere, fulfil anywhere’ strategy – backed by Infinity – has seen Cue significantly grow its online sales. You can read more about Cue’s work with Infinity in our latest case study.

A focus on provenance and purpose

During my retail tour I saw some impressive stores which are offering interesting customer experiences that combine physical retail with consumer desire for provenance and purpose.

  • LiTMUS Lab takes advantage of the fact that customers want to try and experience the innovative products they sell before buying. They hold no stock on site, but let shoppers experience the products and store staff knowledge before buying online - either in-store or after leaving the store. All sales are processed as orders that are typically drop shipped directly from the supplier. Their model requires less rental space while reducing inventory cost.

  • I visited Australia’s first TOMS shoe store, opened by Retail Prodigy Group. TOMS has a powerful business model that addresses need and advances health, education and economic opportunity for children and communities around the world. In the Melbourne store, you see this commitment in action. In addition to helping a person in need with every purchase, you can buy a $2 coffee when you make a purchase and those coffee beans are supplied from another social enterprise. It’s a feel good, tasty, boutique experience with purpose.

  • First Principles is made-to-measure denim with a difference. They build a pattern for you in their boutique where you can see samples, then you’re in control of choosing fabrics and embellishments online where you can order new jeans whenever you want. They source denim in Japan – from one of the world’s longest-running mills and use factories in Kenya where they know every person who makes their product. It’s a great personalisation story from beginning to end, including a commitment to fix any issues. I hope it proves to be sustainable.

If you’d like to know more about any of the stores I visited or want to discuss these retail trends in relation to your own business, please get in contact.

Five things to look for in a retail technology partner

If the beginning of the year means it’s time to re-evaluate your retail systems, start here.

No matter the scale of what you want to accomplish – boosting POS functionality, getting a single view of inventory, or starting your unified commerce journey to connect POS, inventory, fulfilment, order and customer data – you need a partner with the right people, processes and technology. A partner who understands retail’s demands and can give you the system that will improve customer happiness, staff satisfaction and your bottom line.

Here are important indicators of a good technology partner plus questions to ask


Maturity and market responsiveness

Look for a partner who’s been around retail for a while, with a sound platform, business model and proposition. They’ll need to understand your fast-paced, data-intensive environment where any significant level of downtime is unacceptable.

Their people will have the capability to help you plan and implement your projects so they suit you right now and into the future. When you choose a partner with a mature platform, they can focus on delivering innovation because the core functionality you need already exists.


Customer experience

Make sure your partner has a recent and proven success record for planning, implementing and managing complex, large-scale deployments across multiple stores, multiple formats and multiple geographies.

Do they have stable and well-tested strategies and technology or are they just adapting existing supply chain and fulfilment models? Ask if they’ve worked with related technology, systems and service providers. And how their capability integrates with eCommerce, payments, supply chain and finance software.

Request case studies or references and ask about the consultancy, customisation, deployment, training and support services they provide.


An agile and innovative mindset

You want a partner who’s got the people and processes to move fast, while cultivating an environment where innovation flourishes. They should use agile methodologies and have experience working with agile retailers.

Get evidence of their history of responsiveness and their ability to assess and quickly correct any unforeseen issues. Ask how they’ve managed things for a client when faced with unexpected changes, a competitor’s action or customer demands.


Broad product capability

Choose a partner that can give you a broad and holistic portfolio, perspective and experience. One that gives you all your core requirements out-of-the-box plus the ability to customise and easily add new functionality.

For the best customer experience, you need to intrinsically link inventory, fulfilment, orders, supply chain and planning. You don’t want to be tied to a point player that can only provide portions.

Your partner should let third parties connect to their technology via APIs and cultivate a community with those parties so you can give customers more shopping, payment and fulfilment options.

You also need to know that your partner has a strategic roadmap and investment committed for new capabilities.


Best of local, best of global

Look for a partner that’s an Australasian business, focused on our region’s potential to succeed. A local partner means you can have more influence on the product roadmap and enjoy direct engagement with people on the ground who are committed to your success (and not distracted by offshore business activity). And a mid-size partner is more likely to view you as an important customer of influence. It’s far better to be a big fish in a small pond (and not have to fight for attention as a small fish in a big pond would).

If you’d like a benchmark to rate your current or potential technology partner against, contact us. For more than 23 years, Infinity has been dedicated to the development, implementation and support of retail systems. We’re renowned for being both pioneering and reliable. You can count on us for consulting, platform implementation, integration, training and support that helps you get great results.