As 2024 begins, today’s retail leaders face a number of industry headwinds, including continued supply chain challenges, persistent staffing issues, ongoing inflation, increased competitive pressures, and more. These difficulties are expected to persist going forward and, in some cases, accelerate. The fact of the matter is disruption is no longer a temporal state of being in retail. It’s the norm.

That’s why innovation in technology, business processes, and how these come together will be key to better business results in 2024 and a sustainable future going forward. Retailers must learn how artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality, and other tools can assist in strengthening customer loyalty and trust. Because, after all, the primary goal of retailers is to create memorable, repeatable shopping experiences that will satisfy and even delight consumers.

At SAP, we’re seeing enterprises pursue that goal every day, using the power of AI-driven business solutions to create strong, lifelong relationships with customers. Whether you’re designing personalized shopping experiences, improving demand planning, minimizing the cost of returns, or addressing other challenges, SAP solutions can help you transform your approach.

Transform shopping experiences on every channel with our cloud retail solutions

Throughout 2023, SAP enabled retail and consumer-packaged goods (CPG) leaders to overcome today’s biggest obstacles – and position them for a brighter tomorrow. This includes partnerships and success stories with leading brands like Leanin’ Tree, Benjamin Moore, Cangshan Cutlery, HP, HanesBrands, Pandora, Levis, Coop Norge, PUMA, and Maui Jim.

More specifically, SAP has worked with global leaders to help them drive meaningful customer experiences, adopt more sustainable practices, and set their organizations up for great efficiency and innovation.

  • ALDO: As one of the world’s leading fashion retailers, the ALDO Group is using SAP to help improve customer loyalty and better deliver on consumer expectations. Specifically, the ALDO Group is using SAP Commerce Cloud to help improve the customer experience – from personalizing product selection to building a seamless checkout experience – and SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement, which is helping to increase customer loyalty and retention.
  • Kaufland/Schwartz IT: Schwarz IT is the technology partner and central service provider for the Schwarz Group, one of the leading retail groups around the world. Kaufland, a company of Schwarz Group, operates grocery stores in Europe, offering a wide selection of high-quality foods and everyday items at the best price. Customer satisfaction, sustainable action, and the reduction of food waste play important roles for Kaufland. To further improve demand and replenishment planning, Schwarz IT and Kaufland decided together to implement an innovative, self-learning solution with artificial intelligence capabilities.
  • Swarovski: As one of the world’s premier jewelry and accessories brands, offering high-quality experiences that draw on its long heritage in luxury is key for Swarovski. In the latest step of its 40-year partnership with SAP, Swarovski will be leveraging RISE with SAP and SAP Commerce Cloud, among other solutions. Taken together, SAP can help Swarovski further customer loyalty as well as create unique customer experiences, all while having a future-proof digital core with the flexibility and security to support continuous innovation.
  • Hunkemöller: Hunkemöller, Europe’s fastest growing lingerie brand, will be using SAP to further offer customers personalized experiences and help keep up with the strong demand for its products. Moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition marks the first major step for Hunkemöller in its digital transformation journey. Through its future implementation of SAP S/4HANA for fashion and vertical business, a version of SAP S/4HANA optimized for the fashion industry, Hunkemöller can manage its business from design to wholesale and retail all on one platform. This helps Hunkemöller deliver collections faster on all channels, optimize inventory and cost, and increase margins.
  • Chow Tai Fook: Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group (Chow Tai Fook), the renowned jewelry retailer headquartered in Hong Kong that has an extensive retail network in China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, the U.S., and Canada, has adopted SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help accelerate its human resources digital transformation. Leveraging SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting, Chow Tai Fook is aiming to streamline core HR processes, optimize recruitment, and enhance employee experience and the productivity of its workforce, thereby driving sustainable business growth and an ability to meet future development needs.
  • Blue Diamond Growers: Blue Diamond Growers is a grower-owned cooperative representing approximately 3,000 of California’s almond growers. It is also the world’s leading almond marketer and processor. Through its use of SAP, including, among other solutions, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain, Blue Diamond has been able to improve its supply chain, on-time delivery rate, inventory management, and demand forecasting. Taken together, it allows this century-old agricultural cooperative and global consumer-packaged goods company to provide the best value and experience to its growers and customers.
  • e.l.f. Beauty: For almost two decades, e.l.f. Beauty has been producing premium quality cosmetics and skin care that’s clean, cruelty free, vegan, and Fair Trade Certified at an extraordinary value. To modernize its backend and help meet customer demand, e.l.f. will be using SAP. Through solutions such as RISE with SAP, SAP Analytics Cloud, and SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain, not only does e.l.f. expect to improve demand forecasting but also further enhance its customer experience.

Success in retail requires clarity and conviction around business planning and digital adoption. Businesses can grow intelligently and take control of their future, bringing together rich enterprise data and AI-embedded applications to empower everyone in the organization.

Join us at NRF 2024 to see what advancements we have planned for enterprises this year and learn how our retail-focused solutions can unlock the power of AI for your business. Schedule an in-person meeting or booth tour with us today.

Matt Laukaitis is EVP and Global GM for SAP Consumer Industries.

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