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The Impact of Digital Transformation on Retail

14 April 2020 <> Written by Jamie Hinton Tagged: tech trends Digital Transformation

Retailers are often asking if the future is in-store or online. The reality is, the future is digitally enabled, both in-store and online, and unless a retailer’s business model is only to serve an immediate, local community of people, then digital engagement is critical for survival both online and offline. Adopting a multichannel approach is less about choice and more about prioritisation.

Retail’s recipe for success hasn’t changed in that what is sold has to be relevant, convenient to purchase and ensure the customer comes back. What has changed however is the impact of technology on customer preferences of how to achieve this - it could be called friction over reward. Every aspect of the consumer journey has been digitised, except for the last physical transfer of goods.

When it comes to deciphering which innovations to implement, there is no hard and fast rule. It depends on what you are selling, your brand reputation and how you operate. Retail has always been product-centric, and everything about retail has traditionally been about the transfer of product, from the factory to the consumer. But digital transformation is about more than this, it’s about moving from a product-centric model to a customer-centric approach.

Retailers need to begin focusing on the digital value chain, which is focused on collecting data about products, customers and locations. They then need to turn that data into insights and action.

Innovative retailers are no longer defining ROI in terms of optimising processes, but are looking for opportunities to gather data. The value of these products comes from how quickly this can be turned into insights and actions, which ultimately drive the ROI by creating new services, new ways of engaging and meeting clearly defined consumer needs.

What is clear, is that retail today is a battle for the hearts and minds of consumers and is all about building great experiences that garner loyalty.

While you’re here, you may also want to take a look at our whitepaper entitled What every CEO needs to know about digital transformation. It explores digital transformation and its benefits in more depth. Download the whitepaper now, or contact us to find out more.

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