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From Brick-and-Mortar to Brick-and-Click

BAMBORA OPINION

21 February 2019

Kris Raven

How we're helping brick-and-mortar become brick-and-click

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It's been written about a lot: online shopping is disrupting brick-and-mortar retail stores.

We’re seeing brick-and-mortar stores evolve into omnichannel retailers that bridge the physical and virtual space, becoming what is termed brick-and-click.

This wonderful blend of physical and digital has allowed IKEA to let customers visualise items in a house through the power of an augmented reality app, giving ‘try before you buy’ a new dimension. Other corporate giants are getting involved with this trend too such as Disney, Starbucks and Nordstrom, who use traditional storefronts to enhance their digital retail experience.

While it’s easy for shoppers to interact with this evolving use of technology, what does it mean for retailers? Realistically, every retail should reconsider their strategies and change their mindset to understand how recent technologies will – and can - affect their business.

However, transitioning from a traditional, much more siloed, business model to an omnichannel business model can be a big challenge. For companies wanting to support a more omnichannel customer experience, an increased engagement of technology is required. They need to adopt the behaviours of these big tech companies.

Moreover, it's important to have a payment provider that has an almost obsessive belief in making omnichannel a huge success. At Bambora we are doing exactly that - we are adopting the ideas that have proved a huge success for tech companies, which in turn brings more value for our customers. In this article, I'd like to share with you some insight into how this works.

Principles for omnichannel success

Gigantic companies like Amazon, Netflix and Facebook have a lot in common; one of the prevailing qualities is that the companies all fully embrace a model of working called DevOps. This model is now deeply ingrained into the respective companies and partly has enabled them to have phenomenal success.

So what is DevOps? In the world of developing software, the theory of following DevOps practices to deliver software has been around for well over a decade. It is actually a combination of things that have roots in cultural philosophies and practices for delivering online services to customers. There is a tight collaboration between development, operations, security and quality assurance teams, and an emphasis on delivering quality software to customers and feedback that allows small adjustments to be made to a process at each stage of a product’s lifecycle.

There is a statistic that blows my mind each time I read it; in May 2011 Amazon made a change to their production code every 11.6 seconds. What that means in simple terms is that the developers at Amazon are working on small changes that can seamlessly be rolled out to customers at any time. So a customer maybe using a feature of their shopping cart and in a matter of seconds, without them knowing any different, they are using an updated version. This is a mammoth task, and involves a considerable amount of work and dedication and planning. All this is made possible by firmly following DevOps principles.

Amazon, Facebook and Netflix are well known to be leading the game at doing what they do really well, but there are also retailers like Nordstrom, Walmart, Target, Sony Pictures DMG and Etsy that are finding huge success in the digital world. A lot of their success has been built on the fact that they're also following solid DevOps principles.

How Bambora is achieving success through DevOps

At Bambora we are passionate about embracing a DevOps culture; we strive to offer our customers the highest level of quality as a payment provider. The open-minded leadership allows us to commit to fast development, more successful software upgrades and less downtime of our systems. We use a magnificent combination of cloud integration, automated testing, continuous integration and continuous deployment to offer a higher level of service to our customers, and to get upgrades to our system out quicker than ever before.

A focus on providing more value for our customers allows us to securely process transactions quicker. An amazing level of customer support, smarter incident management and a suite of various monitoring and logging tools means that we can offer an outstanding level of data security and performance. This allows us to take pride in a feedback loop that enables us to constantly tweak and upgrade our systems, offer more stability and a fantastic customer experience.

Adopting a DevOps practice of software delivery has a wealth of benefits from streamlining production and distribution of software, to increasing efficiencies and reducing redundancy, and of course improving the quality of services provided to customers.

You don't have to be a hipster start-up or a huge enterprise with a lot of resources to be a leader at DevOps. You just need to have a clear understanding of the value that you want to provide and you need to create a culture that enables a more agile approach to creating software.


About the author

Kris Raven is Bambora APAC's QA and Automation Test Lead. He has spent a number of years fighting and defeating bugs in the media, payments and eCommerce industries.