SAP Upscale Commerce: the next big thing in B2C

Sep 22, 2020
  • sales, marketing and service
  • operations
  • SAP

Customer experience (CX) is a crucial factor in successfully selling products or services. The last several years have seen a significant shift of focus: processes are now driven by customers. They have the power to make or break your company. The success of your business and positive customer experiences go hand in hand. The more satisfied a customer is, the more likely they will be loyal to your brand. SAP has created a customer experience optimization solution especially for the B2C- or direct-to-customer market: SAP Upscale Commerce.

Introducing the next generation e-commerce platform

SAP Upscale Commerce is a next-generation B2C commerce platform designed for retail and direct-to-customer businessesThe solution offers a progressive web store optimized for mobile, tablet and desktop, and enables businesses to create their own intuitive mobile apps in one click. The platform offers a channel-less commerce experience with intelligent personalized storefronts to maximize both customer satisfaction and profit.

It is remarkable how easy everything works on the customer side. An example is the One-Tap buy functionality for customers, which enables them to buy a product with a single click. The product will directly be sent to their primary address and will be paid for via their Apple Pay/Android Pay account. It's not just a breeze for customers, it's also very user-friendly for retail employees. One of the key features is that everything is composed of modular building blocks. It’s simple to drag and drop certain blocks into a page to create, for example, a homepage. But SAP Upscale Commerce is so much more than this.

Prioritizing speed and flexibility for all stakeholders

SAP Upscale Commerce is a cloud solution and can be deployed very quickly. SAP’s focus on code-free configurations and API microservices (later more on that) guarantees deployments in just a few days without any code involved – significantly reducing total cost of ownership. The solution offers an intuitive drag and drop interface that a retail company can use to design its online storefronts.

The pages (known as ‘storybooks’) are also composed of modular building blocks, making it simple and quick to assemble a website yourself. It’s possible to create rich storybooks that incorporate both static and dynamic content. You can add images and videos, articles, products, categories and more to a page, but there is also the possibility of adding dynamic content such as ‘AI next sells’ and ‘AI Tailored categories’. ‘AI next sells’ displays the customer's personalized product recommendations based on their behavioral data, while ‘AI Tailored categories’ displays a customized category based on similarities in a user's viewed content. You read that right: SAP Upscale Commerce provides out-of-the-box AI capabilities to improve your click-through rate and boost your revenue.

Don’t worry if you can’t achieve all of your design goals with the out-of-the-box functionalities – custom development is still possible. In this way, companies can build custom experiences directly on top of underlying APIs and microservices, resulting in unparalleled flexibility and endless extensibility.

As an employee, all processes can be managed from the SAP Upscale Commerce back office. Adding product data, creating a category structure, assembling new pages and writing blog posts or articles can all be done using the same tool. You can even clone an entire website in one click – an interesting possibility if you want to create another website for a different division, brand, inventory, etc. and you don’t want to start from scratch. Users can assign one page to multiple websites at the same time, for example, on your company’s website or blog. Another great feature is the ability to translate your website into an Apple iOS/Android app in a click without the need for a developer.

API-driven microservices give you exactly what you want

The best thing about the solution? You only use what you need. Each API is connected to a microservice, so if you don’t require one of them, you just don’t activate it. This enables you to hide functionalities that you are not using, making it easier for employees to focus on the functionalities that really matter to them. If you decide later on to expand the functionalities you use, simply enable their corresponding APIs.

Integrations with tax and payment providers are out-of-the-box configurations and no development is needed to activate them. Even more, a search engine comes standard. If for example, you want to use a more advanced one such as, for example, Algolia, it is possible to integrate third-party search engines. SAP Upscale Commerce can be used as a standalone solution, but can also be integrated with your existing systems – giving you ultimate control. Continuous upgrades also ensure that you always have the latest version.

AI and machine-learning with real, tangible impacts

An excellent customer experience is key, and with these out-of-the-box artificial intelligence and machine-learning features, you can truly stand out from the competition. Continuous machine learning is applied to determine actionable answers to three key questions:

  • Personalization: what is the customer interested in?
  • Merchandising: what do we need to push as a company?
  • Distributed order management: are we going for a ‘products to customers’ approach, or ‘customers to product’?

Other AI functionalities are also provided, including AI-driven content recommendation. An AI algorithm shows the most appropriate content to each and every individual customer. You can even create entire AI pages that are based on the customer’s needs and interests.

Another interesting feature is AI order fulfillment, which overrides the fixed rules of order fulfillment. Each source of inventory places a bid to fulfill a customer shipping request of based on its real time inventory position, local demand and fulfillment cost. With this real-time bidding system retail firms can maximize profit, reduce delivery time and lower their carbon footprints. The algorithm considers different shipping points, including distribution centers, drop shippers, direct-from-store – every possible source of inventory.

Mobigram makes things personal

SAP’s AI-powered personal storefront, Mobigram, dynamically optimizes the product assortment shown to each visitor. Essentially, every customer sees their own personalized website, which is created in an instant with the help of AI. Mobigram balances the retailer’s needs with the customer experience by applying multilayered AI and deep learning approaches. It learns continuously from every interaction a customer makes, automatically maximizing profit. Supply and demand are monitored in real time, and the product mix visible to a customer is adjusted automatically.

SAP Upscale Commerce leverages category management techniques already proven in the retail industry, but applied in an online environment. It learns from the past performance of seasonal editions, making it much easier to plan the next season and optimize its profitability. To do so, the solution leverages real-time digital category management, filling in specific slots with specific products. These products, which are featured in the Tailored Set, are dynamically adjusted based on the customer’s real-time context and the company’s stock levels. If the available stock of a certain product increases, this product will automatically be exposed more often to customers.

For category managers, this capability can also present important insights. Customer behavioral and sales data can be monitored in the SAP Upscale Commerce Back Office. The dashboard in the Back Office makes it simple to explore the data to monitor which products or categories are trending and which ones are doing poorly. It’s possible to pull an entire category or content page from the website via the Back Office dashboard in one click. In addition, you can check which specific brands are attracting new buyers. These insights offer a clear overview of your customers’ behavior and help category managers make complex merchandising decisions.

Continuity programs: the most secure way to gain recurring revenue

Wouldn’t it be great if customers automatically reordered the same products every week or month? SAP Upscale Commerce offers a promising continuity program with the goal of converting single-purchase customers to an auto-replenishment program with the use of embedded AI. After customers purchase a product that can also be auto-replenished, they will receive a reorder alert when the product is expected to run out, and they can replenish the product with one click. The continuity program does not only support auto-replenishment for single products, but also for household membership boxes, for example. This built-in predictive continuity engine converts consumers into auto-replenishers, allowing retailers or brands to drive higher profits via recurring revenue.

Reap the benefits of and API-first approach

We’ve already said it: SAP Upscale Commerce takes an API-first approach. As such, everything in the Upscale platform is accessible via API. Each API is connected to a microservice and gives you the flexibility to integrate any platform with Upscale in real time for all kinds of objects: products, content, inventory, orders, etc. You can continuously stream orders into your ERP (as invoices) or to any location (warehouse management system or stores) for fulfillment, to a CRM system (as abandoned carts), or to all combined – no letter codes needed. SAP Upscale Commerce offers a point-and-click configuration option, enabling users to drag and drop to configure import or export data files and deploy on a schedule. This also makes it simple to define new custom fields or product variants on the fly.

SAP Upscale Commerce: features in a nutshell

  • Cloud environment
  • Flexible API-first approach
  • Mobile-first with one-click buy
  • Translation of websites into iOS/Android apps in just one click
  • Intuitive, no-code drag-and-drop interface
  • Out-of-the-box AI and machine-learning features offer unprecedented personalization
  • Manage everything from one application: the SAP Upscale Commerce Back Office
  • Use it as a standalone solution, or integrate with your existing systems
  • AI order fulfillment to maximize profit, reduce delivery times and lower carbon footprint
  • AI-powered personal storefront Mobigram, including insightful dashboard
  • Built-in predictive continuity engine offers auto-replenishment, for recurring revenue

In search of more details about SAP Upscale Commerce or interested in discovering what this powerful can do for your B2C company?