Speaking at the 2012 World Retail Congress recently, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said that mobile phone apps are ‘the new High Street‘ – putting power in the hands of shoppers.

In his opinion, shoppers want better value for money together with a better brand experience adding, ‘It is not enough to chase new customers. We have to work harder to win the trust and loyalty of the ones we already have. Digital is not just smart new ways to shop it is about warmer, more meaningful conversations with customers, colleagues and suppliers… to personalise the retail experience.

He went on to say, ‘These technologies herald a new era – one of mass personalisation. The online and offline retail experience must be, like a bespoke suit, seamless and personalised to meet an individual customer’s needs.

Our view:

Mr Clarke is putting voice to the core value of Total Systems. The needs of the customers have to be at the core of all business decisions and technology has to be able to support processes designed to personalise the experience for the customer, irrespective of the product line.

In too many instances technology is being used as a blunt tool, resulting in a ‘computer says yes or no’ approach. Instead, we need a lot more innovation to use software in the most effective way, to support a personalised journey for the customer.

We also agree it is important to build partnerships with our clients and it is imperative that the technology works seamlessly between the provider and the end user, in all markets.

The need to win trust and loyalty is especially prevalent within financial services and we have designed our insurance software to support our clients in delivering more appropriate products and making sure their customers have the choice to allow them to select cover on a personalised basis.