The world of finance has been redefined with ever-evolving technological developments associated with the "fintech revolution". Changes have been seen over various sectors in the finance sector and have influenced consumer behavior in diverse ways. As a result, professionals within the commerce sector has had to rethink their business models in order to adapt to the digitally-driven age.
Innovation Enterprise explores four financial trends that are assisting with technological disruptions within commerce.
Robotic process automation for cost efficiency
Robotic process automation (RPA) is transforming the commerce industry and can offer business automation which could result in increase of business revenue. RPA, according to EY. is defined as a virtual workforce that is controlled by business operation systems, with the robotic technology mimicking human tasks via existing applications.
Robotic automation services include optical character recognition (OCR) to read hand-written documents, natural language processing (NLP) to extract data from unstructured text and the use of AI-enabled chatbots to respond to standard queries.
RPA can offer businesses automation in simple customer-facing tasks, as well as in-office tasks which can assist in retaining client-base. With RPA's precise monitoring, reporting and control, decrease errors, increase savings and to achieve scalability.
According to a 2018 report by digital consulting firm Capegmini, Growth in the Machine, intelligent automation services could add $512bn to the global revenue of financial services firms by 2020.
In 2016, Fujitsu signed an agreement with Thoughtonomy, a software company to integrate RPA to its Global Application Modernization Integration practice, which allows the company to "leverage resources, experience and skills across the globe to assist clients in the successful implementation of a modernization project".
According to Fujitsu, the addition of RPA has enabled Fujitsu to offer organizations a way to leverage the investment made in systems and applications, delivering more from IT budgets and reducing the risk of implementing new technologies.
Sentiment analysis for stock predictions
Sentiment analysis has been adopted within the stock market to measure market sentiment of assets being traded on the stock exchange. Sentiment analysis adopts machine-learning technologies for the segmentation of positive and negative sentiment.
StockFluence, a digital platform which was founded in 2012, offers investors and businesses the overall sentiment analysis of current market opinions. On its ability to forecast Stockfluence said: "based on the sentiment, we make predictions with an accuracy level of 70%".
Crypto Sentiment is another company to have adopted sentiment analysis to predict market behavior. Crypto Sentiment was launched in 2001 provides analysts and investors as well as media officials with information about investors' preferences, estimates and expectations relating to economic and market trends.
According to a study published in the Journal of Computer Sciences, Overview and Future Opportunities of Sentiment Analysis Approaches for Big Data: "The ability to exploit public sentiment in social media is increasingly considered as an important tool for market understanding, customer segmentation and stock price prediction for strategic marketing planning and maneuvering."
Omnichannel management for online-to-offline shoppers
Omnichannel management addresses the shift in how consumers shop in today's digitized world and aims to bridge the gap between online-to-offline commerce.
The implementation of an omnichannel management strategy offers a cohesive platform to manage marketing campaigns, inventory management, multichannel listing and POS integration.
Eric Carlson co-founder of software company 10x, said: " The trick is to find the channel that gives you the biggest results first and then stack on other channels once you’ve gained traction in your initial channels.
"In the case of most e-commerce, I find that first BIG channel to be Facebook. In terms of stacking, there are other no-brainer campaigns such as Google Shopping Ads, branded search keywords, product-based search keywords and display retargeting," Carlson stated.
Salesforce has adopted omnichannel management with its e-commerce platform Demandware Commerce Cloud. The platform aims to assist retail customers unify their cross-channel shopping experience while providing data-driven analytics and provide sales associates with tools such as order management which offers a real-time view of inventory and retail intelligence to anticipate shopping trends.
Smart contracts for supply chain management
With the rapid adoption of blockchain technology within the supply chain of many industries, a growing number of businesses along the supply chain have begun to adopt smart contracts – a decentralized, immutable record which assures stakeholders of transparency, traceability and efficacy through automated verification and execution.
Smart contract platforms offer an overall analysis and control of their product with real-time tracking via the smart contracts which provide stakeholders the ability to make informed decisions in relation to inventory levels, resulting in reduced working capital inactivity, according a Deloitte report, When two chains combine, Supply chain meets blockchain.
By utilizing big data analytics, smart contracts can offer various industries with secure ledgers for transactions conducted over blockchain or cryptocurrency.
Earlier this year, IBM and Maersk partnered to launch their blockchain-powered global trade system TradeLens, which incorporates smart contracts for international trade collaboration. The development of TradeLens aims to provide an efficient, secure and transparent transaction for international trade collaboration.
Read more about TradeLens and how the new platforms aims to offer secure and transparent transactions HERE.
Additionally, Dispute resolution group, JAMS recently announced its launch of its Smart Contracts Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies service for disputes arising from blockchain transactions. JAMS president and CEO Chris Poole said: This is a new means of conducting business, and the disputes that arise from smart contracts must be governed by protocols that are equally as advanced and able to address the complexities introduced."
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