Teamwork Commerce | A Simplified Omnichannel Experience | Michael Mauerer

Michael Mauerer

CEO & founder

Zapaterías Candy is a Mexican shoe store chain that is part of Grupo Andale, a company with high values of commitment and quality. They currently have more than 50 stores in 10 states of the Mexican Republic, which operate through omnichannel software made by Teamwork Commerce.

In May 2021, Teamwork Commerce and Zapaterías Candy launched a new omnichannel strategy, incorporating Point of Sale (POS), Order Management (OMS), Inventory Control, CRM, and eCommerce solutions.

Alejandro Martínez Álvarez, Operations Director of Zapaterías Candy, shares his experience using Teamwork Commerce, “Zapaterias Candy found a great ally in Teamwork, a high-tech software that is capable of adapting to the specific requirements we needed.

It allowed us to connect an omnichannel platform where we have all the information from our stores to make better decisions. We have greatly improved internal processes. The best thing about this system is that you always keep improving.”

Teamwork Commerce is a natively integrated retail management solution meeting the industry’s most demanding needs. Candy’s staff now has the most innovative technology, and thanks to the use of Apple iPads, they can move throughout the store to help their customers.

Teamwork allows Zapaterías Candy to have complete visibility of inventory across their locations. The platform also communicates to the eCommerce and the Marketplaces to have item availability in real-time. This provides endless possibilities for the clients since it allows salespeople to search for different items in the inventory and locate them in another store.

Creating a personalized customer experience is essential for Candy, so they have a secure CRM platform that provides customer information. When a customer makes his first purchase, they are registered in the system, allowing the company to visualize the purchasing habits. Thanks to the loyalty program provided by Teamwork Commerce, the customers generate rewards that translate into custom discounts and provide more sales opportunities.

Teamwork Commerce is an omnichannel solution that provides retailers with POS, OMS, Inventory Control, CRM, and Analytics. As a leading partner of Apple, Teamwork is constantly evolving and ensures the use of cutting-edge technology. The world’s leading retailers use Teamwork Commerce to create a customer-centric omnichannel experience and be frictionless.

According to a McKinsey & Co. survey, more than one-third of Americans have made omnichannel features such as buying online for in-store pickup part of their regular shopping routine since the pandemic. Nearly two-thirds of those individuals plan to continue.

Founded in 2013, retail solutions platform Teamwork Commerce uses mPOS (mobile point-of-sale) to unlock efficiencies across the breadth of the retail ecosystem as an end-to-end technology provider, from order management and inventory control through to analytics and reporting — all via iOS devices. It operates as a cloud-based, omnichannel system focused on mobile solutions for retail store networks.

Today, it supports more than 5000 stores in 21 countries with a suite of service-oriented solutions. Teamwork’s integrated CRM tool, for instance, allows retailers to create a single source of information around an individual customer, tracking intent and behavior and enabling consistent cross-channel visibility.

Brilliant RFID Tech

BoF recently sat down with Teamwork Commerce CEO Michael Mauerer, “Shoppers today are divided into two strong consumer sentiments — they either want white-glove service or want to be left alone to self-serve, emphasizing conveniently getting what they need. The middle ground — where retail service has traditionally [operated] — no longer serves those two extremes.

To cater to the service-oriented shopper, whether they’re shopping online, in-store, or through a connected social campaign, the shopper wants to be recognized. Building customer data [profiles] across all channels allows the customer to be conveniently serviced in every way — from buy-online, and pickup-in-store, to pulling from the e-commerce inventory in-store.

For customers who desire low-touch experiences, self-checkout solutions provide retailers with significant success. Self-checkout reduces lines at the store and the [friction] of paying at the till. Having paid for it using RFID technology, the self-checkout process is made extremely fast. A basket of goods can be checked out without scanning individually – place the items in, group receipt, and pay via your phone.

At Teamwork, our RFID technology is implemented on this level to support this function while also giving good inventory control intelligence. We’ve seen from this that in situations, we can [streamline] operations and costs without any increase in inventory loss. That positive impact on the bottom line provides more resources to serve the high-touch clients better. For retailers, this means a more balanced and effective use of your personnel resources.”

Evolving Shopper Behaviour

Creating brand loyalty is more important than ever. Consumers are faced with an endless amount of options. And while it’s never been easier to start a clothing brand, it’s never been harder to capture new customers. As a result, retention — over acquisition — is [emerging] as an industry priority. For retailers, this requires an expansion of focus, moving away from being wholly focused on products and honing in on the customer themselves. This means [considering] customer need and increasing their responsiveness to ensure exceptional service.

Another critical area of focus is responding to the opportunity [presented] in the critical barriers to selling across borders. There is a genuine business need for unified, omnichannel solutions to operate effectively in multiple countries, languages, and currencies.

Driving Growth

A single customer view can recognize and engage with the customer whenever and wherever they purchase — online, in-store, or even through social media. Applying that view back into customer service, [particularly] in the form of customer recognition, can help to cement brand loyalty. Customers are inundated with impersonal marketing messages, which have an impact when a brand gives them something target and personal.

Having a centralized customer data platform that efficiently serves all the business endpoints is essential to [drive growth]. It’s effectively the primary infrastructure that has to be in place to facilitate any other applications. At Teamwork, we’ve been developing this concept for several years, and it [requires] significant technical architecture to [achieve]. A simple example of its potential is the system calculating a recommendation for the customer using artificial intelligence — specifically an algorithm — that eliminates items that were already returned or tried on and not bought by the customer. It’s a simple concept to understand on a human level — [customers] don’t wish to be pushed repeat product, and they want retailers to show recognition.

Another application is simplifying the returns process. Crediting returns in-store for products bought online and transferring inventory to stores; those many workflows can be engineered and facilitated via a single customer data platform.

Evolving Roles of store associates and store managers

Despite the current trend towards more high-tech solutions, we’re really seeing that tried and true basics of customer service go a long way towards customer satisfaction, retention, and repeat purchases. Technology cannot replace human contact or personal touch, and rather, technology should be used to support and augment the personal hands-on experience. The world of retail is not going to be exclusively the website. “There is a real business need for unified, omnichannel solutions to operate effectively in multiple countries, languages and currencies.”

Store associates now have to provide service not only to people that are in the store, but to shoppers remotely via video call. Now, direct, one-on-one video is eliminating distance barriers. Teamwork has just partnered with a company called High Touch to [facilitate] this capability, meaning customers no longer have to come into stores to even really experience the store. They can do it through their phone from anywhere.

Associates who take on the role of a stylist by suggesting products to customers can do this through video effectively. In fact, it’s a far richer experience than just clicking through website pages with no interactive communication. It can also be used to prevent customer loss. If a customer is upset, showing true commitment to the customer through a video session indicates a passion for service, while letting the associate return the product in the background and potentially even convert it into another sale.

Google Cloud’s Partnership Advantage

Together, Teamwork Commerce and Google Cloud will help retailers solve their most challenging issues such as capturing omnichannel revenue growth, driving operational efficiencies, and becoming a customer-centric, data-driven retailer.

Teamwork utilizes Google BigQuery, Cloud Composer and Looker to provide its clients with instant responses to any analytical query and bring the power of data-driven decisions to all aspects of business operations. In addition to that, clients can utilize ML models (with BigQuery ML and Vertex AI) to solve demand forecasting problems connected to replenishment, assortment planning, product allocation and others.

Teamwork moved to Google’s Kubernetes Engine to assist with an increase of eCommerce users around the holidays. Kubernetes has allowed Teamwork retailers to not overload the system when thousands of people want to perform tasks like checking the balance of their gift card or placing an order.

Compliance is becoming more and more crucial in different regions. Teamwork Commerce’s global cloud headquarters (CHQ), runs on Google Cloud, allowing retailers that operate or sell in different countries to better follow compliance in any fiscal region they may be operating in.

Emerging as Growth Levers

Digital communications — whether text, voice or video — are the new major players within clienteling. That sense of live communication is moving the needle, as opposed to blanket email messaging, which are often confused with marketed messages. Clienteling is really about servicing a client, not marketing to a client, even though people and great service is the best marketing there is.

Technologies like machine learning will also empower the associate to ascertain what messages will be the most meaningful to each customer, as it can analyse their history and behaviour. While the [associate] could read up on their purchase history, it’s far more convenient to have machine learning [capabilities] achieve in a second what a store associate would do in 15 minutes. The meaningful messages themselves are very nuanced — again, because it has to do with past buying patterns. Even remembering what the customer says they dislike is equally important.

At Teamwork, our RFID technology is implemented on this level to support this function while also giving good inventory control intelligence.

Michael Mauerer

CEO & founder