Wearables Play a Paramount Role as a Starting Point for Direct Communication

Vice President Global Business Development at Arvato SCM Solutions Marcel Spieler recently spoke at our WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2016 ASIA. For those of you who missed it can read our interview with him here:

The wearable market is growing and formerly small startups are looking to expand entering new markets. How can Arvato help these and other companies looking to entering new markets?

As part of our 20/20 strategy program, Arvato has made substantial investments in supporting startup companies achieve their ambitions. Experience tells us that startups in the wearables market face tremendous challenges when it comes to complex tax systems, managing manufactures and bringing products to market in a demanding B2B & B2C environment.

Our challenge is to support those brave enough to enter the marketplace with a range of solutions that can be taken in their entirety or as individual modules. Our tailor-made eCom & supply chain solutions require little investment and allow companies to benefit from a global logistics network of 65 warehouses and transportations into 140 countries.

Start-up companies are particularly drawn to the outsourcing of the entire order-to-cash processes. Arvato would set up the e-store, manage the backend, take over customer payment processes and manage the distribution – globally. Our solutions are pain-free transparent solutions that are designed to accommodate the growth expectations and ambitions of our clients by giving them peace of mind that allows them to focus on their core competencies, designing and developing the most innovative products.

“Building Partnerships Between Brand Owners and Suppliers for the Future of Point of Sale” was the topic of your speaking slot in Hong Kong this October. How do you think will this Future Point of Sale look like?

While all brand owners would all like to think their product is the best in the marketplace, what I believe truly sets brand owners apart from their competitors is the customer experience and to know what your customer wants before they even want it. Wearable products can support brand owners to do just that, by giving them an entire set of new tools to interact with the end customer at the point of sale. These days mobile and web-savvy customers expect retailers to keep pace with emerging technology trends taking the entire customer journey to another level. Through the use of new technologies, such as Wearables the customer’s journey can become a memorable experience. North Face, Tommy Hilfiger, and other brands give their retail customers VR goggles to experience the brand while they sit in the store.

Looking into the nearer future the key objective for all brands will be to provide a personalized and direct communication with the end user. Wearable products will play a paramount role in this requirement as a starting point for direct communication based on collected data and ensuring the end customer has a positive experience of the brand. Brands will require partners to support this agile and dynamic POS environment in order to explore the full potential and herein lies the potential for Wearables to make their impact.

What is a common mistake tech companies make when they expand their business to other countries?

The inability to think global but act local, a common mistake often made is that one size fits all. It is a well-known story that when KFC took its brand to China they translated its infamous slogan “Finger-lickin’ good” to a not-so-appetizing phrase: “Eat your fingers off.” While translations are a law on to themselves so also are duties, taxes, and payments, for example, in France customers expect different payment methods than in Germany or Brazil.

Retail partners also can vary quite dramatically, each stipulating very different distribution guidelines and when not adhered to are often the cause of the product not being received at the back door. Wearables companies need to choose the right partners wisely to fully avoid the above pitfalls.

What is your favorite Wearable at the moment? Do you wear one regularly?

As the VP of Global Business Development in Arvato, I am in a very unique position in that I get to try the products of our clients on a regular basis. I have had the privilege to test the Oculus, Fitbit, Doppler Labs and The Sony VR. On a regular basis I use the Fitbit Blaze, but look forward to the day when that “one chip” that I can take anywhere will transfer all of my health data to my iPhone.

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Johanna Mischke () is Editor-in-Chief at WT | Wearable Technologies – the pioneer and worldwide leading innovation and market development platform for technologies worn close to the body, on the body or even in the body. Besides being an expert for wearables and their broader ecosystem she is experienced in the startup world and international marketing. Johanna can be reached at j.mischke(at)wearable-technologies.com.