Asian Values, the Internet of Things, Customer Retail Experiences Discussed at AOpen Forum Europe 2014
By Meredith Bennett
What do an orange and Taiwan-based tech company AOPEN have in common? If you ask company founder Bernie Tsai, the two are very similar. The keynote speaker at this week’s AOPEN Forum Europe, Tsai shared his insights on the growth and direction of the company, explaining how important Asian values shape the way the company operates.
AOPEN blends culture with business in its “we” centered philosophies. When explaining the new logo and the company’s shift to using a bright orange, Tsai explained that an orange is significant because it represents the company’s “Open & Share” policy. Oranges are meant to be opened and then shared with everyone as opposed to other fruits. This positions the company closer to the consumer’s mindset, which is key for AOPEN. After all, a company does not sell products, Tsai said, it sells solutions to problems.
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Technology is allowing us to do more and more things, all the while accumulating tons of data. What impact is this type of technology going to have on both retailers and consumers? Rod O’Shea tackled this subject earlier this week at the AOPEN Forum Europe, talking about the Internet of Things and how it could be shaping the future of retail.
The evolution of technology presents both a challenge and a huge opportunity for both consumers and businesses. Technology presents a chance to expand customer experiences while simultaneously aggregating data back that came help businesses understand their customers and offer more beneficial services.
The current challenge lies in the interpretation and organization of the huge sums of data that are currently available from these devices. While each is capable of accumulating tons of data and businesses are not always sure how exactly to best utilize it.
O’Shea also spoke on the company’s new Retail Client Manager, which allows businesses to reach customers in rich dynamic ways. The content management solution allows people who aren’t necessarily tech-savvy to design visual campaigns across platforms and control each touch point independently.
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Customers seem to be the center of discussion here at AOPEN Forum Europe. Following company founder, AOPEN’s Corporate Director of Global Strategy and Marketplace Development Stephan Borg, discussed the retail market, saying that this year may be one of great potential as more and more retailers look for new ways to connect with customers and seek technology as an answer.
However, businesses will need to establish new models of organization that can accommodate an integration of both online and offline experiences. While numerous retailers have expanded their presence and amount o services that they offer online, many are having trouble piecing together virtual and physical experiences. Although online experiences are important to consumers and Internet use is growing, tactile elements are still very important to many consumers, so shopping an integrated experience is crucial to meet consumer needs. Because of this, O’Shea stressed focusing on the consumer’s desires and tailoring communication to use a language that they can understand.