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Born Group: Centering digital transformation around the retail consumer


Advancing technology hasn’t just remodeled businesses – it has refined and redefined them. Just a decade ago, businesses would base their strategies based on purchase transactions alone. Today, surviving this highly competitive marketplace means:
– Evaluating business processes by identifying bottlenecks
– Creating more robust frameworks to improve operational efficiency
– Relying on both evolved technologies and processes, to deliver a transformational customer experience

Born Group: Centering digital transformation around the retail consumer

Digital Transformation

It’s clear, then, that ‘Digital Transformation’ is a key strategic goal for every retail business. Brands are investing heavily in digital technologies that facilitate this transformation. Many confuse digital transformation with a digital presence or digital optimisation. In reality, digital transformation is a fine balance between bringing in new technologies and cultivating a growth and impact mindset among employees, to deliver new business value. The change in culture and mindset is a long-term halo effect driven by the peer community; this will be the key differentiator between companies embarking on digital optimization vs. digital transformation journeys.

In the borderless world of digital, brands have to deal with heavy competition while dealing with mercurial situations and constant market turbulence. They are focusing significant attention on improving customer experience (CX) – a core element of retail digital transformation. And that’s where BORN’s story begins.

The BORN story:

A Pioneering Agency in Experience Management & Enterprise Commerce

Back in 2011, BORN realised there was an opportunity for an agency at the intersection of art (creative/content) and science (technology). Taking the focus off ‘digital’ (creative design and content), BORN centered on ‘digital economy’ – with a distinct emphasis on commerce. It’s aspiration was to create big brand experiences through a combination of ‘Enterprise Commerce and Customer Experience Management’.

BORN strongly believes in digital transformation (for B2B and B2C businesses) through a signature framework:
– Customer Experience (Cx) dictates the consumer’s experience of the brand
– Service Experience (Sx) helps the brand optimize the product/service market fit
– Physical Experience (Px) recognizes the importance of brick-and-mortar stores, reimagining them as experience centers and not mere transaction points
– Operational Experience (Ox) maps the experience and efficiency of the CxSxPx value drivers to revenues
– All of these drivers are underpinned by a foundation of data – the last piece in this framework, dubbed Data Experience (Dx).

This CxSxPxOxDx Framework provides a holistic approach to experience-led transformation. BORN achieves its astounding CX through a proprietary framework, Stella.

The Stella Framework:

Spearheading End to End Customer Experience

Born Group: Centering digital transformation around the retail consumerPrakash Gurumoorthy, MD – APAC at BORN Group explains, “The customer sits at the center of all the work we do. Brands universally aspire to provide their premium offerings to delight customers, surpass their expectations, and establish new brand experience standards. Stella seeks to elevate customer engagement and conversion across connected channels.”

How Does The Stella Framework Operate?

In its first layer, i.e., the brand experience (BX) layer, Stella helps brands create the customer impression they desire by attracting a customer (design/acquisition), interacting with the customer (content/UX), performing transactions (commerce), and finally, soliciting feedback or reactions (e.g., by social media, chat, email).

Born Group: Centering digital transformation around the retail consumer

The second layer of Stella, the behavioral experience (BE) layer, leverages information from the ways people engage and transact in their daily lives. It delivers a seamless, connected customer experience through all these channels, whether owned by the brand or run by a third party.

In the third layer, the book of records (BR), Stella utilizes data captured from various business systems used by the brand, starting with the CRM, ERP and OMS systems and then generates an aggregated book of record that delivers critical information to the brand’s decision-makers and creates the foundation for CX enhancements.

Born Group: Centering digital transformation around the retail consumer

BORN’s Recipe for Success in Digital Retail

As a path to success, Prakash Gurumoorthy (Managing Director, APJ) advises brands to master multi-channel engagement, and behavioral data in accurate books of record by connecting the front and back-office operations, to produce immersive, memorable and thoughtful experiences.

The success of a brand, in the end, depends on how satisfied their customers are, and how willing they are to come back to do business with them. The digital age is definitely an era of opportunities — but also an era of fierce competition.

Customers have many choices today; a slip in CX or undesirable customer feedback costs not just one customer, but many. With the right digital transformation strategy in place, there’s no ceiling to what retail businesses can achieve.

Success Stories Speaks Volumes

Consumer preferences constantly shift, and so consumer engagement rules drive a lot of changes in the way retail companies function. As an early adopter in this disruption, BORN’s journey with top retailers began over a decade ago. The agency has helped several retailers rethink digital transformation across the pivots of business models, value chain, customers, and organisation structure with the right skill sets. They have helped brands move consciously from point solutions that deliver incremental value to integrated process and technology solutions that provide transformational outcomes in:
– Customer experience
– Enabling sales across channels
– Business effectiveness & efficiency for the bottom line profitability.

For instance, a global conglomerate with operations in over 100 countries approached BORN. Lacking the online infrastructure to support their strong offline presence, they needed a robust
enterprise-grade B2C platform. BORN built a responsive site – more appealing and easy to use. This single unified platform handled the brand’s varied catalog, creating an Omnichannel, engaging, and delightful customer experience. This became one of the top 15 websites in the world in just eight weeks of implementation – it sold over a million SKUs, and weekly site visits grew to 200 percent.

Customers demand a more convenient shopping experience with more choices, easier access, simpler interfaces, and a more comprehensive selection of relevant offerings. BORN created just this for the world’s fifthlargest integrated and self-branded watch manufacturer. They developed a unified product catalog and enhanced customer experience with simple customer-friendly features such as product quick view, advanced filter search, an array of payment options, flexible cancellation & refund policy, store locator, and social login. These implementations reaped great business benefits for the brand – including a 58 percent spike in order value, a two-fold increase in visitors, and a bounce rate below 57 percent.

Riding the retail disruption wave, retailers from the APAC region were early adopters of personalization, Omnichannel orchestration, and the customer-first approach. With its expertise in Customer Experience Management in retail, BORN has helped marquee retailers from the APAC region along their digital journey.

A famous Singapore-based fashion retailer approached BORN for an Omnichannel revamp of their existing site. BORN developed and redesigned the website with an Omnichannel approach aligned to the brand’s vision. They fixed critical platform issues such as real-time inventory update and slow price indexing and added features such as customization, unique customer IDs & validation, split payment, and loyalty programs. The site soon gained traction – with significant increases in visitors, order value, conversion rates, and customer engagement.

BORN also recently became the digital growth partner of one of Asia’s largest transportation hubs, to develop & manage its next-generation Omnichannel e-commerce marketplace for on-boarding and tenant management. BORN developed a progressive, fast, and responsive website that delivered superior performance. The experience-driven commerce implementation was designed to make every interaction personalized and every experience shoppable, maximizing the customer lifetime value. Besides providing creative and commerce services, BORN extended its content services to tenants, improving the quality of product content on the marketplace.

The retail industry’s key growth factor has been replacing traditional shopping experience with apps and kiosks, customer-tuned delivery models, and enriched shopping experiences across all touchpoints and channels. As the go-to digital growth partner for retailers worldwide, BORN has helped them shift to Omnichannel services. With a focus on three pillars – Creative, Content, and Commerce – its core, BORN has created enhancing and engaging digital experiences for several global retailers.

“Our mission is to help clients combine all the aspects of customer interaction with a brand into one integrated experience. Our focus is always on the right digital channels — the relevant touchpoints where brands may interact best with their customer bases,” says Gurumoorthy.

For example, a leading food & beverage player reached out to BORN to create a beautiful and responsive global website. BORN revamped the incumbent site with a complete creative refresh using simple user journeys, one step checkout, live personalisation previews, social login, blogs, automation of order fulfillment, real-time marketing, QR personalization and multiple shipments to multiple addresses. Since the implementation, the brand has seen a double-fold increase in revenue, a triple-fold rise in orders, and an increase in conversion rate.

BORN was also approached by one of the largest mobile service providers in Malaysia. BORN helped the telecom player revamp its Omnichannel customer experience, online commerce platform, customer acquisition strategy, using the best-in-class tech stack (Commerce + CRM + ERP), digital marketing and analytics solution. As a result of the solutions implemented, over 3.5 million users were registered across digital channels in 8 months since launch. There has been a 150 percent increase in the number of transactions on web channels, a 300 percent increase in conversion rate, a 30 percent reduction in bounce rate, and a 10 percent increase in average web session duration.