It’s been a busy year for our EcoXpert™ Partner Program team and partners – and it’s not over yet! As Global VP, Nicolas Windpassinger explains in an interview focusing on business enablement, that around 15% of our EcoXpert business partners today have grown multi-expertise capabilities to set themselves apart as the implementation arms of EcoStruxure™, with new certifications and specializations being added offering even more opportunities.
This month we kicked off a brand-new specialization: the EcoXpert retail specialization training program. By way of a reminder: certified EcoXperts can follow multiple specialization programs to grow their business in a specific market segment. This new retail specialization is a training opportunity among other existing specialization training paths in Healthcare, Hotels and Data Centers.
Retail is a new strategic segment for Schneider Electric, says Marine Petry, who oversees the Channel Strategy for the Retail Segment at Schneider Electric, in an i-SCOOP interview.
With our retail offering we address the needs of various stakeholders in retail chains such as store managers, store owners, franchisees and facility managers.
The offering is built around six subsegments:
- food retail with supermarkets and convenience stores,
- specialty retail in areas such as fashion,
- automotive services with gas stations,
- infrastructure retail with stores and outlets in airports and other facilities, and
- banking, insurance and workforce services where mainly retail banking agencies are addressed.
The digital transformation of retail: the integration of everything at the service of consumers
Retail brands are digitally transforming themselves and their physical stores to meet the changing demands of new generations of shoppers.
Millennials today are the largest consumer group and account for an expected $1.4 trillion in spending power. They use omni-channel shopping tools, look up product information before visiting a store or buy online, want convenience and personalized experiences, and prefer socially-conscious brands.
Retailers respond to their preferences and multiple challenges such as the growing importance of e-commerce, cost pressure and competition by leveraging data to offer the best possible shopping experience while enhancing efficiency and saving costs.
By removing concerns regarding energy, business continuity and efficiency, we enable chain and store owners to focus on the shopping experience. Leveraging IoT and analyzed data, technical sub-systems are monitored to avoid wastage, outages and any form of business interruption.
Marine Petry explains that on the customer experience front, new partnerships are being formed to connect the back-end and front-end part of the equation to offer retailers even higher value for their money.
An integrated retail experience for multiple types of EcoXperts
The requirements to enroll in the retail specialization have been kept easy since it’s such a promising vertical market to be active in. The program is particularly interesting for EcoXperts who have a certification in building management systems, light & room control or connected power.
With their skills and experience they can play a key role in one or more retail subsegments. The training is focused on the EcoStruxure for Retail value proposition, how to solve retail challenges and the benefits that partners can offer to retailers.
And there is more. Soon a refrigeration certification will be launched Marine says. It will include system integrators in refrigeration from Schneider Electric’s Eliwell brand and lead to more opportunities to collaborate and deliver fully integrated retail solutions.
In fact, Schneider Electric today is the only provider in the market that can fully integrate all the sub-systems within a retail facility including the building management system, refrigeration, lighting, energy, power, UPS and more.
So, integration is the keyword in the retail specialization and offering. By combining existing solutions in areas such as refrigeration, environmental solutions, energy, IT, and security control we can provide one connected shopping experience for the consumer and a single view for facility managers and retailers of any type. This is enabled through platforms such as EcoStruxure for Retail, Facility Expert and Facility Expert Small Business, all with their apps respectively for store managers and operation managers that oversee larger retail chains.
Retailers are innovating and future-proofing themselves: join the EcoXpert retail specialization
Against the backdrop of changing customer demands and of new possibilities to enhance their business through technology, retailers are also about to feel the impact of several trends and start inquiring about innovative solutions which our EcoXperts can implement.
Leading retailers are already conducting pilots and starting to invest in order to distinguish themselves in the never-ending fight for the heart of the consumer and to make their business future-proof.
Marine mentions some examples:
- More retailers are looking to deploy micro data centers for faster processing of essential data and to enable new types of data-intensive applications.
- Electrical vehicles are poised to change the business model of gas stations and offer unique opportunities to supermarkets and other retailers with parking lots to offer electrical vehicle charging to their customers.
- Microgrids enable large retailers to generate their own energy and to create a closed loop with backup capabilities and other innovations in an energy context such as an integration with electric vehicle charging stations.
This month over a dozen EcoXpert partners started the retail specialization training in Australia. Other countries will follow soon. So, if you’re an EcoXpert and are interested in growing your business in any of the mentioned retail subsegments get in touch and we’ll check when we can organize the first retail specialization training program in your country.
Retail is a strategic priority and there are ample business opportunities for our valued partners and Schneider Electric. By connecting our solutions, new partners and the global network of EcoXperts, we offer you more opportunities than ever to serve this important market. Jump on board and join us!