Microsoft analyses data-centric approach to retail experience

Dhaka,  Sun,  04 December 2016
Published : 18 Oct 2016, 21:13:49

Microsoft analyses data-centric approach to retail experience

SINGAPORE, Oct 18: In Microsoft's Data Culture Champion Series in Asia, the focus was on how Mr. Auttapol Rerkpiboon, Senior Executive Vice President, Oil Business Unit, PTT Public Company Limited, turned to data to transform their customers' experience at the retail level across more than 1,400 service stations nationwide, and why he believes that the era of "mass marketing is over", according to Media Outreach.

In the digital transformation era, even business titans can find themselves brought low by rapidly changing customer needs. Consumers in Thailand are far more connected through mobile and social cloud services than ever before. Their attention span is short and their loyalty fickle. Businesses like PTT understand that if they continue in their old ways, they will soon find themselves irrelevant. 89 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are in fact no longer in existence.

Auttapol Rerkpiboon, Senior Executive Vice President, Oil Business Unit, PTT Public Company Limited shares, "Now is a time when companies are facing unpredictable and challenging business environments. Customer segments are exhibiting a larger range of behavioural patterns, interests, and expectations."

A Microsoft Asia Data Culture Study in 2016 of 940 business leaders from medium to large companies in 13 markets in Asia found that 88 per cent of them agreed it was important for their organisation to have an agile business that is data-driven. However, only less than half of them (43 per cent) believe they have a full digital strategy in place -- and this is indeed worrying.

PTT Public Company Limited, Thailand's only Fortune 500 firm and one of the leaders of Thailand's energy sector, is making their focus on the customer and their data a key strategy for their transformation in the digital era. This is especially evident at PTT's retail business, where the Group has modernised its gas stations around the country to offer more diverse services, including expanding to offer groceries and F&B to their customers. While finding a convenience store at a gas station is not an unfamiliar concept today, the concept of personalising customer experiences is a perpetual business challenge for many brick and mortar retail businesses.

The PTT team continues to explore avenues through technology to drive their digital transformation journey in order to stay relevant to the new generation of customers. Auttapol, who leads the Oil Business Unit at PTT, explains: "The world has entered the "digital economy era," an age in which technology is a significant influence on consumption of services and economic development. Thailand is not an exception. Any organisation that conducts business in their old, traditional ways will no longer thrive in the next five years."
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