When co-CEO Bill McDermott told the 100,000 people listening to his keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW that SAP was a business-to-business-to-consumer company, he was spotlighting the company’s dramatic emergence from its behind-the-scenes business processing roots. Advances in social, mobile, in-memory, analytics, and cloud technologies offer companies unprecedented opportunities to build relationships with consumers in new and exciting ways. With solutions in all these areas, SAP is continually reinventing itself in support of both companies and consumers.
A great example is My Runway, a mobile app available on iTunes and Google Play developed by the SAP AppHaus. Launched one year ago in China, My Runway was recently introduced in the United States, and currently has 100,000 users. “Thanks to real-time data, this app from SAP helps companies gain immediate insights for even more responsive products and services, creating optimized, personalized content for shoppers,” says Layla Sabourian, Senior Product Marketing Manager at SAP.
My Runway: Powered by SAP HANA
Powered by SAP HANA, My Runway has been touted by “Fashion Ambassadors”, fashion-savvy women including bloggers, designers, and young fashionistas active on social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. The app was developed in response to research findings that found busy shoppers have little time to browse tens of thousands of images online. “Using the app, people can easily follow the brands they like, and quickly see what’s available and trending,” says Sabourian. “They can share hot items with their friends and followers and find special deals.”
Next page: What’s hot and where to find it
Shoppers using My Runway begin by selecting brands they want to follow. Tapping the “Hot” button instantly displays the most popular clothing, shoes, and accessories from designated favorites or all brands. In the Trend section, shoppers can filter fashions by price, category, and style. As shoppers add items to their personal wish list, they can see the nearest store with that item, call to see if their selection is in stock, or link directly to the brand’s website and purchase it there.
Shopping trends, wish lists and promotions on social media
Social media also plays a huge role as shoppers can share wish lists with their friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, serving as an always-on digital gift registry. Users can see what’s trending in their social circles – as well as the entire fashion community – by looking at pictures of items purchased and liked, and reading user comments on them. And, those who tend to forget what’s already in their closets can keep track of what they’ve purchased to keep their wardrobe fresh. “Spouses especially like this feature because they can see what their partner likes and already has,” says Sabourian.
Consumers can search or receive push notifications for sales and other special offers. The more activity someone engages in, the greater their rewards, including points awarded for checking into a brand’s store, sharing and commenting on items, adding products to wish lists, inviting friends to join the app, and of course, making purchases. It begins with coupons and promotions and can lead to social brand influencer status that brings one-on-one promotions from favorite brands. Shoppers can also tap the “magic box” for surprise gifts such as gift cards from major brands.
Next page: App boosts brand awareness and sales
Over 200 well-known names in fashion are included in the app, with the Tory Burch 2013 summer collection being the first featured brand in the United States. The international brand list includes Dior, Armani, Mango, Prada, Versace, and many more. Besides increasing brand awareness, companies can also map real-time behavioral and social insights from consumers as they search and shop, and boost in-store sales with availability and promotions.
“This app is driving the omni-channel shopping experience, connecting the consumer to the retailer’s website and store to help them easily find what they want,” says Li Gong, Senior Product Director at SAP Labs. ”Many major retailers are already using SAP ERP software to manage products across the value chain. By building this app, we’re empowering consumers to designate the color, size, and style they like and find where to buy it.”
Latest trends and the right stock
According to Gong, consumers find the app cool, convenient, and addictive. “We’re taking social to a more intimate level, staying connected to family and friends about what you want to have, while marketers gain real-time consumer insights for more sales. Consumers can see the latest fashion trends while sales associates who know what customers want will be sure to have the right inventory on hand.”
Future plans include an in-store mobile clienteling solution that will allow sales associates to identify shoppers, what they previously bought, and what they want today. Meanwhile, SAP is looking for more brands interested in joining the app and co-innovating for new shopping and real-time data analysis capabilities.