Smart store + big data: omni-channel resonance of BESTORE


It is reported that BESTORE will carry out in-depth implementation of smart store project and use the big data to form more accurate marketing strategies in 2018. 


On January 8, 2018, BESTORE held 2018 New Retail Sharing Meeting themed with “Digital Driving Makes Snacks More Delicious” in Beijing and officially kicked off “Online Virtual AR Year Customs Street” which can carry these two functions. This is also the demonstration case of BESTORE in the omni-channel new retail enabled by new technologies, such as smart stores and big data platforms.


In fact, in the past year of 2017, BESTORE matched the information of 37 million VIPs to the system of more than 2,000 “smart stores”, realizing the accurate analysis on the customer group based on single-store and single-customer mode and exploring their demands for consumption through big data platform. Besides, BESTORE also ranked at the top during “Double 11 Shopping Festival” and “Double 12 Shopping Festival” in 2017, and “resonated” with more than 30 online platforms to form the core driving force of new retail by means of omni-channel digitization.


Create the Kingdom of Snacks


In the era new retail, good products are always the core competitiveness for taking a share from this blue sea.


People often say that new retail redefines consumers, goods and shops, of which people become the center. The store is opened where people are concentrated; and retailers supply whatever people need and prefer. As a matter of fact, the people-oriented concept was deeply embedded in the corporate gene as early as the beginning of BESTORE.


In August 2006, BESTORE started from a small store opposite Wuhan Plaza and created a product supply chain from scratch. The original idea of the founding team is simple: bringing the most delicious snacks in the world to customers’ home. Until today, BESTORE, with more than 200 employees engaging in R&D and quality control, has developed 1,500 kinds of snacks. These snacks are all produced based on the accurate membership portraits obtained through consumer research and big data analysis. Then, the consuming group and consumption scenarios are subdivided to predict different consumption needs, research and develop the technological requirements of product formula, formulate the physical & chemical and sensory indexes and standards for each commodity, and deliver to a factory engaging in strict selection, evaluation and certification for customized production.


In order to capture the variable consumption trends, BESTORE carries out a research on the big data of consumption measured in weeks. Through this research, it captures more than 2 million customer reviews on average every month and gains insight into consumers’ behaviors and preferences through feedback data. On the one hand, the latest series of afternoon tea and snacks for pregnant women are born by analyzing the latest customer preferences and developing new products; on the other hand, the taste for products that have been launched can be adjusted according to the feedback of consumers. 


Healthy diet has also been a new pursuit of consumers for diet in recent years. “According to consumer tracking research, BESTORE realizes that the “good taste” is the most critical factor of purchasing in the snack market, and ingredients, production process, optimal edible period, nutritional composition and healthy formula are key elements to ensure good taste. Consumers will eventually choose you when you insist on making the best products only.” Yang Hongchun, the founder of BESTORE said. In the era new retail, good products are always the core competitiveness for taking a share from this blue sea.


Reshape digital system


The new retail of BESTORE is definitely not coming from out of the blue but creating from a large amount of annual profit values.


This year, BESTORE launched “Online Virtual AR Year Customs Street” activity. By scanning specific QR code, consumers can start an online shopping trip that is comparable to the offline shopping experience. 


This kind of warm and tactile consumer experience shows how BESTORE uses big data and new technology to observe the changes of consumption behavior in the new generation and make snacks more delicious and more interesting. The content presentation of Year Customs Street is based on BESTORE’s analysis for the big data of consumers. From attention attraction by the AR New Year Street to product customization, BESTORE links the data bank and “understands” consumers better than consumers themselves through accurate data analysis. Zhao Gang, senior vice president of BESTORE, said that researching consumers and understanding preferences of consumers through direct channels had been the key factors for success of BESTORE over the years.


The advent of Internet era has brought infinite possibilities for retailers to understand consumers. By connecting online and offline stores in the way of digitization and achieve a complete tracking study on the trajectory of consumer behaviors, so the inner needs of consumers can be understood infinitely and the consumers, goods and shops can be reconstructed by focusing on consumer demand. And ultimately, the enterprise operation efficiency will be enhanced with “customer experience as the center”. By recognizing this, BESTORE have invested rapidly in digitization and installed automatic replenishment systems in more than 2, 000 stores throughout the country. When the salesclerk enters the store and turns on the computer every morning, the automatic replenishment system will send replenishment order to remind the salesclerk to restock products that are out of stock or almost out of stock.


In addition, as early as in the year of 2015, BESTORE took the lead in cooperating with IBM and SAP to jointly establish the big data background system. Through IBM, the front, middle and back ends of BESTORE can be connected. With this system, BESTORE has integrated more than 10 systems, over 30 online and offline platforms, and also the transaction information and customer data of full channel. And in this way, all the channels are integrated into an organic whole for information exchange from the previous state of fragmentation. Relying on this system, BESTORE launched the store O2O business that year and broke through the monthly sales of RMB 30 million yuan a year later.


At present, the information system of BESTORE has covered the fields of commodities, marketing, channels, customers and supply chains. In 2016, IBM, which has served many well-known enterprises, appraised BESTORE as the best case of global omni-channel retail with internal services.


“BESTORE now invests nearly RMB 100 million yuan in information technology every year.” Zhao Gang said, “The new retail of BESTORE is definitely not coming from out of the blue but creating from a large amount of annual profit values.”


Implement the construction of smart stores


For BESTORE in physical retail, the greatest significance of smart store not only lies in the growth in sales volume, but also in the integration of the data about 37 million VIPs of full channel.


If it is said that online channels can meet the advantage of convenience, the offline stores will supplement the functions of pre-warehouse, experience and community management etc. In the digital tide, offline store is not only an organic component, but also an emotional carrier. Whether the store can bring the ultimate experience is the key to the success of new retail. For many years, BESTORE has never eased the offline layout. 


As early as in the year of 2014, all BESTORE stores launched the online payment of Alipay and started the digitization process of stores. It also became one of the first batches of members of Global Cashless Alliance last April. The construction of smart stores is the most important strategic step taken by BESTORE for new retail in 2017. It cooperated with Alibaba to link 2,100 stores from June last year to the eve of Double 11 Shopping Festival, realizing the connection of membership data, payment, financial accounting and big data marketing system.


For BESTORE in physical retail, the greatest significance of smart store not only lies in the growth in sales volume, but also in the integration of the data about 37 million VIPs of full channel. Offline stores can support trading by mobile phone Taobao or QR code, which enables consumers to experience a more convenient shopping offline. Presenting Taobao passport for the scanning through store POS, the payment and membership identification, score accumulation and rights write-off will be completed at once. At the same time, since the membership system of the brand has been connected, consumers can centrally manage the membership cards of all brands under their names in Taobao passport and achieve the deposits and withdrawals of online and offline scores. By connecting with stores and shopping guides, consumers can also get better after-purchase care. 


It’s reported that in 2018, BESTORE will further carry out smart store project to make more targeted marketing strategies based on big data collected from the customers. In order to lay a solid foundation in various aspects including brand strategy, observation of consumers’ activities, research & development of products, optimization of supply chain and the opening of stores, BESTORE will establish strategic cooperation with Alibaba’s numerous departments such as data bank and strategy center to jointly work on relevant projects by taking advantage of big data, according to the plan.


With the high ability in data analysis and perfect omni-channel system, BESTORE is comprehensively open to the cooperation in the data application. As a result, BESTORE’s vision of the new retail market is becoming ever clearer. According to Zhao Gang, the self-service snack counter has been specifically designed by BESTORE for those who work in office buildings. These pilot stores have been put into operation for more than three months, and it will be possible to see the consumption demand of snacks in an office scenario through examining the consumption data generated from these stores. In addition, intelligent customer service system has been launched and operated successfully in 2017, and it is expected that this system can handle the workload of 150 front line customer service staff per month in 2018. “Through this application of smart customer service, we can save the labor cost by nearly RMB 8 million yuan per year.” he said, “The savings means that BESTORE can provide consumers with more benefits and returns.”