Digital transformation for retail business 101
What is digital transformation of a business?
It is the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises. The Guardian explains, it involves a “whole scale change to the foundational components of a business: from its operating model to its infrastructure. What it sells, to whom and how it goes to market. A transformation program touches every function of a business; from purchasing, finance, human resource, through to operations and technology, sales and marketing.”
Why do retail businesses need digital transformation?
For a simple reason: customer expectations are changing, and rising. The shopping experience is changing drastically in the B2C segment, and retail businesses need to stay relevant and fulfil these expectations.
So what do customers want? A unified shopping experience that’s available on-the-go, which recognizes shopper preferences and facilitates the experience of purchase with convenience.
Digital transformation leads to an operating model which fulfils these requirements: omnichannel retail.
So how does omnichannel retail work?
- Your customers are able to shop from various channels—brick and mortar, online, click and collect, kiosks, in-car purchases., and still have the same experience, in product availability, resources, branding.
- As the retailer, you are able to assess customer preferences from previous purchases across channels, e-store browsing history and make offerings accordingly.
- Influencers like product information, reviews and loyalty programs are readily available across channels for the convenience of the buyer.
How can you bring about digital transformation of your retail business?
Broadly, transforming your business to suit the digital age and customer covers these three areas.
- Adapt the business to suit the digital world with digital services and products that complement your existing products, explore new geographies and deploy new technologies.
- Go digital with your processes and operations to introduce agility, efficiency and encourage innovation.
- Enrich your customers’ experience through digital transformation. This helps your retail business to leverage the dual advantage of being available to them on various touchpoints as well as gathering invaluable customer shopping data that helps personalize the shopping experience and manage operations better.
Ignoring the need for digital transformation can have serious consequences for your business.
“Digital is at the heart of businesses and in my view it’s a reflection of the fact that customer behavior is changing,” said Thomas Groot, the digital director of the AA company (Automobile Association), that deals in car breakdowns in the UK. Automobile Association (AA) has seen significant business improvement with digital transformation. “The digital age has accelerated that change and therefore businesses need to be fast at changing themselves to meet that customer behavior.”
Experienced ecommerce consultants are able to give practical and business-goal oriented plans to enable digital transformation of businesses.
Watch this space for more on digital transformation. We’ll talk about digital commerce platforms that enable digital transformation for your retail business.