The brick-and-mortar retail industry, in the face of impending disruption, is undergoing a massive digital transformation. Having worked with three of the top seven largest fuel and convenience retailers in the US, over the period of a couple years, Stuzo experienced this transformation and the technical complexities merchants are facing, firsthand.
The evolving digital landscape for how merchants need to interact with their consumers, has created a number of challenges.
Merchants’ enterprise systems and digital services have been stitched together one at a time, creating a point-to-point challenge whereby merchants were using different back-end systems, different management portals, and different technology languages. [See graphic to follow: A View Into Industry Complexity]
Not only did this create a mass of technical debt in the form of redundant systems, technologies, and vendor relationships for the merchants, these challenges created a host of challenges, including: 1) silos where consumer data could not be easily shared across digital services (like payments, loyalty, and CRM) in an automated, systematic fashion, 2) a wider threat vector for security breaches, 3) increased security risk, and 4) multiple points of failure across the IT landscape.