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Boosting Performance in the Retail Industry


Boosting Performance in the Retail Industry

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									                           Boosting Performance in the
                                  Retail Industry

Bing Maps for Enterprise
          Table of Contents
          Introduction                                             3

          Strengthen Customer Connections                          4

                Provide useful and visually stunning maps          4

                Add point-to-point directions and search           5

                Combine directions, search, and in-store pickup    6

                Provide customers with immersive experiences       7

                Additional business benefits                       8

                     Marketing and partnerships                    8

                     Decreased calls to customer service           8

          Improve Business Insight and Performance                 9

                See trends, opportunities, and competition        10

                Manage mobile resources                           11

                Rapidly develop Web sites                         12

          Learn More                                              13

Bing Maps for Enterprise
          Retailers today are in tight competition for every consumer dollar. In an environment where people
          are hesitant to spend their money, giving them a superior experience can make the difference be-
          tween a visitor to your Web site and a customer. The Bing Maps for Enterprise platform can help you
          deliver an immersive experience that distinguishes your site, engages site visitors, and helps make it
          easy for them to find your locations, products, services, and events.

          In addition to providing rich experiences on your customer-facing Web site, Bing Maps is an equally
          powerful business intelligence tool. With Bing Maps, you can overlay data on a map and view the
          data in a geographical context for decision making. You can use your own data (such as inventories
          and customer demographics) or third-party data (such as census information and weather feeds).
          The visual representation can help you identify trends and areas of opportunity or underperformance,
          manage mobile resources, and more.

          View data in a geographical context for business insight

          Microsoft designed the Bing Maps platform with ease of development and your total cost of owner-
          ship in mind. With a gallery of applications, tools, community resources, and technical articles, plus
          an online interactive software development kit (SDK) available from Microsoft, your developers should
          be able to quickly create tailored customer experiences and easily update your site so your business
          remains competitive and current. And with flexible licensing, transparent terms of use, and a wealth of
          included datasets, you can select the combination of terms that is right for your company.

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                            3
          Strengthen Customer Connections
          The store locator page of your Web site offers a unique opportunity. It is a frequently visited page on
          a Web site and may represent the first time a person experiences your brand. In addition, each person
          who views the page has sought out the information and is considering coming to your store. It is an
          opportunity you will want to use to its fullest advantage.

“In addition to delivering fast, flawless             With Bing Maps, your store locator page can become a way to
performance, [Bing Maps] enables                      differentiate your brand and provide an exceptional customer to deliver customer                     experience. Your Web site can provide useful and striking maps,
service so good, it actually cuts costs               point-to-point directions and search capabilities, and even the ability

to the company.”1                                     to build social networks. You can also use Bing Maps to help create
Rob Reed, Director of Web Services,                   revenue-building marketing and partnership opportunities.
Starbucks                                             What’s more, companies with Bing Maps have reduced costs through
                                                      a significant decrease in calls to customer service.2 With point-to-
          point directions available within a detailed map, customers will have an easier time finding your stores.

          Provide Useful and Visually Stunning Maps
          Give visitors more than they expect when they visit your store locator page—maps that are both highly
          useful and a pleasure to view. Bing Maps provides high-resolution images that people can view in:
                                                                              •   2D or 3D view for a more lifelike
                                                                              •   Aerial view for high-level perspective.
                                                                              •   Bird’s eye3 view, which is an aerial
                                                                                  image view at 45 degrees.
                                                                              •   Bird’s eye hybrid view, which combines
                                                                                  bird’s eye imagery with roads and labels.

          Bird’s eye hybrid view provides 3D images
          with roads and labels

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                                        4
           Add Point-to-Point Directions and Search
           With Bing Maps, visitors can get directions in 13 languages, as well as point-to-point instructions, so
           they don’t need to leave your Web site and go elsewhere for driving or walking4 directions. For ex-
           ample, The Body Shop International uses Bing Maps on its global store locator page to provide both
           driving and walking directions, so customers can choose the best way to find a store from wherever
           they are.

           Combine lifelike maps with point-to-point directions
“With Bing Maps, rather than clicking       You can also offer visitors the ability to search for store locations with
                                            certain inventory or amenities. At the 7-Eleven store locator page,
10 times to find information, custom-
                                            powered by Bing Maps, visitors can search for 7-Eleven locations that
ers get it right away with the com-
                                            sell gas; have ATM machines; and have check cashing, money order,
pass control.” 5
                                            and bill paying capabilities, and more. The U-Haul site offers search for
Narayanan Kasiarunachalam,
Technical Advisor, FedEx                    trucks, hitches, and propane by location.

           Store events can also be included in the search menu, as Starbucks does on its site. The tab structure of
           the Starbucks site adds to the satisfying customer experience because visitors don’t need to leave the
           store locator page.

                                                                                              Search for products and events
                                                                                              incorporated with Bing Maps

           Providing search criteria for customers to choose from also makes them aware of products, services,
           amenities, and events they might not have considered buying or attending without that prompt.

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                                       5
          Combine Directions, Search, and In-Store Pickup
          Extend the possibilities further by adding inventory searches, online purchasing, and in-store pickup.
          For multichannel retailers, offering the option to purchase online and pick up in a store creates an
          opportunity to increase sales per customer. Many large retailers that offer online buying with in-store
          pickup, such as REI and Ace Hardware, find that approximately 30 percent of customers who choose
          that option buy additional items when they pick up their purchases.6

“At FedEx we absolutely believe that          Some retailers find that customers who buy online and pick up
technology is a major driver of value and     in-store spend even more. According to Internet Retailer, when The
a differentiator of the marketplace, so we    Container Store tested its online purchase with in-store pickup fea-
embrace new technologies such as              ture, it found that customers who ordered items online for in-store
Bing Maps.” 7                                 pickup spent two times as much as those who ordered online for
David Zanka, Senior Vice President            home delivery, and three times more than customers in stores.8
of E-Commerce Technology,
FedEx Services
                                              Borders Books and Music has also found that combining full-
                                              inventory search capabilities, online purchasing, and in-store
                                              pickup increases customer spending. Site visitors can search the
                                              entire Borders inventory, which contains more than any individual
                                              store, and have items shipped for free to a nearby store. Borders
                                              found that among customers who choose that option, 35 percent
                                              buy additional items. Borders also offers site visitors the option to
                                              reserve items online and buy them in the store—a feature that
                                              25,000 to 30,000 Borders customers use each week.9

                                              Using Bing Maps to give site visitors point-to-point directions
                                              can help you make it easy for those customers who purchase or
                                              reserve items online to easily find your store—and perhaps spend
                                              even more.

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                              6
          Provide Customers with Immersive Experiences
          Some retailers are taking Bing Maps technology in an exciting direction: Using it to offer ways for
          site visitors to connect not just with products but with each other. Taking a cue from the tremendous
          popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, retailers are adding networking
          capabilities to store locator pages to engage visitors; make the most of their shared interests; and
          give them a reason to stay on the site, post product reviews, and bring their friends.

          For example, on the Starbucks site, visitors can send an invitation with a map to others to meet in
          a store. Harley-Davidson takes the idea even further. The Harley-Davidson Ride Planner uses Bing
          Maps to give customers a way to plan and share motorcycle trips. Customers can locate scenic road
          routes and events such as chili cook-offs and motorcycle shows. Repeat Web site visits help create
          more loyal customers and help differentiate brands in an increasingly competitive retail environment.

          Engage visitors with innovative and immersive map-based experiences

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                          7
          Additional Business Benefits
          In addition to the business benefits of providing great customer service and an engaging customer
          experience, retailers are discovering additional opportunities for marketing, creating revenue, and
          reducing costs through their store locator sites powered by Bing Maps.

          Marketing and Partnerships
          Using Bing Maps, companies can provide a search menu for services, products, and events in addi-
          tion to their maps, helping customers find what they need and making them aware of products and
          services to buy. Advertisements can also be included on the page to enhance your brand. The Body
          Shop International, for instance, incorporated a rich streaming video ad on its store locator.

          Bing Maps offers an opportunity to enter into strategic relationships with other retailers and show
          their locations on your site as well. For example, in addition to routes and events, the
          Harley-Davidson Ride Planner showcases the locations of dealerships and hotel partners. It also
          includes fuel locations and a link to another Harley-Davidson site for apparel and accessories, making
          the most of revenue opportunities.

          Decreased Calls to Customer Service
          With a map for visitors to use, retailers have found that phone calls for help locating stores have
          decreased substantially. At FedEx, locator help calls were practically eliminated.10 Before Starbucks
          implemented its Bing Maps solution, requests for driving directions accounted for one of the top
          three reasons customers called customer service. Those calls also have been virtually eliminated.11

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                           8
          Improve Business Insight and Performance
          Retailers face an ever-expanding volume of data to consider when making decisions. This data is of-
          ten complex, stored in difficult-to-interpret tabular or textual formats, and not placed in a context that
          facilitates insight or broad understanding. When the data is related to location, overlaying it on a map
          for visual representation can help you quickly draw conclusions from the data.

          Overlay data on a map for at-a-glance insights

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                               9
          See Trends, Opportunities, and Competition
          For example, three separate spreadsheet tables with data representing customers, competitors, and
          demographics may not reveal many insights if viewed in a tabular format. If this data is overlaid on a
          map, however, companies can quickly see where their best customers are located, where their cus-
          tomers are located in relation to competitors, and which regions represent the best business potential
          based on underlying demographics. Companies can also quickly see stores and areas of underperfor-
          mance that may need additional attention.

          The following screen shot shows Bing Maps being used to quickly view regional store performance
          during a sales promotion. A manager can click a store location, view color-coded sales statistics, and
          make decisions about inventory, demand, and the success of the promotion.

          Quickly draw conclusions from data by visualizing it on a map

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                           10
          Manage Mobile Resources
          Bing Maps can help you track mobile assets for just-in-time deliveries, to anticipate inventory ar-
          rival, to prepare loading docks with updated delivery schedules, and to manage fleets and other
          mobile assets.

          Liaison Can./U.S., an international shipping company, and Ship2Save, a Microsoft Gold Certified
          Partner, created a solution using Bing Maps to improve fleet management. Dispatchers can visually
          follow trucks, monitor traffic situations, reroute vehicles, and reduce delivery times. Liaison custom-
          ers can also track their own shipments through a Web portal.12

          By integrating Bing Maps with the previous Liaison radio frequency identification (RFID) shipping
          and tracking solution (which was based on Microsoft .NET), dispatchers now have bird’s eye, aerial,
          and satellite imagery to track truck locations, save fuel costs, and improve customer service. In less
          than a year, the company reduced operating costs by 25 percent and achieved return on invest-
          ment. It also increased customer satisfaction and insight into its business data.13

          Track mobile resources using Bing Maps

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                            11
          Rapidly Develop Web Sites
          The ease and speed of deployment of a Bing Maps solution help companies of any size save precious
          time and development money. IT developers can use their existing HTML and JavaScript skills to add
          Bing Maps to Web sites. Bing Maps also offers rich development tools in its interactive SDK, which
          shows the code needed, depending on desired functionality. These features support rapid prototyp-
          ing and ease of application development.

“We love the Bing Maps SDK.              When FedEx decided its customer-facing Web site needed updating,
It shows a demo and its source code,     it chose Bing Maps in part because of its ease of deployment. Using
and if you really want to know more      Bing Maps saved the company time-to-market, with the proof of con-
details of how a feature got imple-      cept taking just three weeks to build. Technology integration abilities

mented, you can go to the reference      with Bing Maps will also make it easy for FedEx to develop future ap-
                                         plications by incorporating imagery, mapping, and business informa-
section—it’s all right there.” 14
Narayanan Kasiarunachalam                tion from multiple sources.
Technical Advisor, FedEx

                                         “The SDK is very user-friendly,” said Miles Hoelzel, the business application
                                         advisor for FedEx. “There is a lot of information on the Web site about
                                         how to employ it in various applications, and our team was able to imple-
                                         ment it in our locater seamlessly. The current implementation of Bing
                                         Maps has exceeded our expectations from a development perspective.”15

                                         Additionally, Bing Maps works well both with much non-Microsoft
                                         software and with Microsoft products that companies are already
                                         using, including Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 data management
                                         software, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007 business
                                         intelligence software, Microsoft SharePoint® Products and Technolo-
                                         gies, Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 (and soon-to-be-released
                                         Commerce Server 2009), Microsoft Dynamics® business management
                                         solutions, and more.

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                                 12
          Engaging potential customers and bringing them into your store is increasingly crucial in this chal-
          lenging economy. With Bing Maps, retailers are discovering new ways to tighten connections with
          customers by giving them more than they expect when customers visit their store locator pages. The
          static maps of competitors’ sites pale in comparison to the vivid, lifelike maps these retailers offer—
          with point-to-point directions, search, and social networking capabilities all adding up to an immersive
          customer experience that makes them stand out from their competition.

          No less significant are the business insights that are possible by using Bing Maps to visualize data in a
          geographical context on a map. The visual representation of data can make it easier to draw conclu-
          sions from the data, such as identifying regions of opportunity, expansion, and underperformance.
          Bing Maps can also be used to track valuable mobile assets, deliveries, and other assets in the context
          of location to boost profitability.

          Created with ease of development and total cost of ownership in mind, Bing Maps comes with an on-
          line SDK and resources from Microsoft to help developers quickly and easily create tailored customer
          experiences for retail sites.

          Whether used for a customer-facing Web site or internally for business intelligence, Bing Maps can
          help retailers build stronger customer connections today and make better-informed strategic deci-
          sions for the future.

          Learn More
          To learn more about Bing Maps for Enterprise, read case studies, and view the Web sites of
          companies mentioned in this paper, go to

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                              13
          1 Microsoft case study: “Starbucks Supports Corporate Marketing Programs and Strategies with MapPoint Web Service.”
          March 2005.
          2 Microsoft case study: “Starbucks Supports Corporate Marketing Programs and Strategies with MapPoint Web Service.”
          March 2005.
          Microsoft case study: “FedEx Improves Customer Experience with Integrated Mapping and Location Data.” November 27,
          3 Available in many metropolitan areas. Not available for government customers.
          4 Available in many metropolitan areas in North America and Europe.
          5 Microsoft case study: “FedEx Improves Customer Experience with Integrated Mapping and Location Data.” November 27,
          6 Davis, Don. Internet Retailer. “Profits in Pick-up?” Vertical Web Media. November 2008.
          7 Microsoft case study: “FedEx Improves Customer Experience with Integrated Mapping and Location Data.” November 27,
          8 Internet Retailer. “Click and Pickup is the new organizing principle at The Container Store.” Vertical Web Media. October
          17, 2008.
          9 Internet Retailer. “Borders’ online strategy makes its web site the cross channel hub.” Vertical Web Media. January 22, 2009.

          10 Microsoft case study: “FedEx Improves Customer Experience with Integrated Mapping and Location Data.” November 27,
          11 Microsoft case study: “Starbucks Supports Corporate Marketing Programs and Strategies with MapPoint Web Service.”
          March 2005.
          12 Microsoft case study: “Shipping Company Cuts Costs 25 Percent with New Interactive Mapping Solution.” August 2008.

          13 Ibid.
          14 Microsoft case study: “FedEx Improves Customer Experience with Integrated Mapping and Location Data.” November 27,
          15 Ibid.

          © 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This white paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRAN-
          TIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT. Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, MapPoint, PerformancePoint, SharePoint, SQL Server, and
          Bing Maps are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Bing Maps for Enterprise                                                                                                                       14

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