SAP lifted the covers on SAP Upscale Commerce — a forthcoming rapid development Software-as-a-Service for mid-market companies that uses artificial intelligence to allow very rapid prototyping, application development and deployment.
According to Alex Atzberger, President of SAP Customer Experience, “Many mid-market companies want to be able to deploy smaller brands and pop-up stores in just a few days to test new products and markets.”
“SAP Upscale Commerce offers just that: a complete solution that can be simply and quickly configured so it can go live in a very short time. That allows customers to start small and ‘pay as they grow.’ ”
Though Upscale has been designed with a fast commerce, mobile-first mindset, and mid-market retailers in mind, Charles Nicholls — Senior Vice-President, Product Strategy, Marketing Solutions — nonetheless stressed that it is complementary to SAP’s Commerce Cloud, as it addresses different use cases.
He was speaking at the company’s SAP Customer Experience Live Event in Barcelona this morning.
He said Upscale is suitable for “typically fast use cases — for instance, launching a new brand, testing out a new market, or perhaps you want to go directly to the consumer for the first time. Upscale it!”
He noted that current statistics, which show that mobile-only captured 20 per cent of the conversions despite attracting 70 per cent of the traffic, suggested an obvious opportunity.
“When I say it’s fast we set the expectation [for Upscale] that all customers would want to go live in 7 to 14 days,” he’s said. (And part of the sizzle of the show is a customer demonstration where SAP says it will build a complete end-to-end online store in just 35 minutes.)
“There are three things to note about Upscale,” said Nicholls. “It is mobile-first, it’s designed for cross-channel, and there’s lots of AI in it.”
Nicholls told delegates the reason there is such a gap between the traffic on mobile and the sales conversation rates is that the experience is poor. “What we have tried to do as an industry is take an experience designed for a [big] desktop screen with a keyboard and a mouse, and then we tried to rotate it 90 degrees and crunch it down until it fits into a mobile. And it doesn’t work very well!
“When we think about what we throw at the screen, that’s an interesting question because there’s such limited space.”
For that reason a particular focus of the AI is to determine how best to utilise the very limited screen space on a mobile, he said.
One of the customer use cases is an app designed by a retailer to allow customers to shop online while in store, although Nicholls declined to name the customer.
Upscale requires no customer code, according to Nicholls, and instead relies on configurations and drag and drop functionality. And customers will be able to build both native apps and web apps.
SAP also announced on stage that it is looking for 20 companies to work with it in the initial program — suggesting the solution is still barely out of the sandbox.
The service will be available only in the US initially.