Digital transformation within retail provides a customer-centric approach and increased data intelligence. The key importance is ensuring customers’ shopping experiences are convenient and retailers keep up-to-date with the latest shopping habits and trends to maintain a competitive advantage.
Challenges retailers face due to digital transformation:
- Championing digital whilst serving an ageing population
- Building the right merchandising strategies to connect with customers
- Strategically using new data sources for business decisions
- The amalgamation of the digital and physical stores
- Challenges in the supply chain
- Increased time pressures through customer empowerment
Despite the challenges, it does however offer fantastic opportunities for the retail sector:
Cost saving through automation
Customers now have high expectations of a seamless shopping experience. Automation can help speed up processes and allow customers to enjoy their buying experiences. Having automated communication set-up will bring cost savings, allowing a business to develop and thrive.
The increased use of mobile devices for mobile app e-commerce offers great advantages for businesses and customers. Not only does it help to reach a wider audience, but it provides a more convenient and enhanced customer experience, including buy-now options that speed up purchasing decisions.
You can harness the power of the data you acquire to gain information on your customer trends and behaviours. This will improve decision-making, increase sales and optimise operations. Using a data management system will ensure the data is secure and you are able to benefit from valuable insights.
Enhance shopping experience through personalisation
Offering tailored products, services and experience is essential within the retail sector. An example is personalised recommendations to make sure you’re showing that individual exactly what they’re looking for, and so improving customer loyalty.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
This is something that many e-commerce businesses are partaking in, especially when creating virtual showrooms through AR and trying an item of clothing on virtually through VR. This enables customers to explore products and services without visiting a store.
How to get started with digital transformation
A plan is required for setting up automation to improve processes and gain insights into cost optimisation. It’s key to focus on long-term growth and brand positioning. While thinking about the roadmap, it’s important to understand technical debt and to work out strategies on how to identify, solve or avoid accumulating in the plan.
Creating a digital transformation roadmap to incorporate the below will help you start on the right track:
- Define objectives and create a SWOT analysis
- Develop a plan of how to achieve this in a set amount of time
- Implement the plan and measure your milestones
- Continue to adjust and monitor throughout
An example of how we’ve helped a retail client transform through tech:
PenCarrie, the UK’s leading wholesale clothing supplier required assistance with a new piece of software for their warehouse. They had a legacy system which they planned to retire, bringing in a new piece of custom-developed software.
Initially, we conducted a systems health check to audit the system. The outcome of this concluded that it would be pragmatic to continue building on the existing system instead of building again from scratch. We provided additional team members in order to bring the system in line with expectations.
The re-written system eradicated the use of the manual checklist, allowing packers to scan each of the garments with a hand-held device and cross-check the details. Faults on the orders could easily be recorded on the system and replacement garments quickly sent to the packers. This new system has resulted in 99% operational efficiency!
Book a discovery call to discuss digital transformation options within the retail sector.