What does digital transformation mean for retail?
Digital transformation defines the process of gathering people and data to create value to your customers and stay competitive in the digital marketplace. For more information, read our starter guide.
At Data Clarity, we define digital transformation as: “The business-wide implementation and adoption of technologies and data-driven solutions, designed to improve business processes, deliver better value to customers, and improve organisational results.”
Digital Transformation is accelerating at unpredictable speeds across the retail industry and has not only changed how we interact with brands but pushed even more retail customers online. Retailers should make deep changes to their operations, supply chains, inventory management, and customer relationship patterns.
Companies must analyse data to accurately project demand, react to customer demands and ship products quickly and efficiently to satisfy the needs of buyers.
For the foreseeable future, changes in consumer behaviour will have a greater impact on value in retail than any other single factor. What’s more, the COVID19 outbreak has only accelerated this change which means “keeping pace” is no longer sufficient for success or survival.
As for the recent surge in digital and omnichannel adoption, a lot more retailers in every industry have been relying on technology to keep their businesses afloat. Those with an established and robust digital strategy have been better prepared to react to unpredictive behaviours and has directed other retail businesses to accelerate the pace of digital transformation, and to tweak their customer journey during challenging times.
Individuals have become more accustomed to the efficiencies and conveniences that technology brings. Consumers have become hooked on the real-time, personalised world of the digital landscape. To keep up with such changes, brands can leverage technology to evolve and transform to meet demand.
How does Digital Transformation Make a Difference for Retailers?
A business may undertake digital transformation initiatives for several reasons, but by far, the most likely reason is that they must do it to survive. This is truer today than in previous years since many businesses are pursuing a large-scale change in efforts to not only keep up with competitors, but to thrive and recover faster from the pandemic.
Read our guide on the key drivers of digital transformation.
Here at Data Clarity, we provide the expertise and platforms for businesses to adopt a data-driven approach. With the right analytics tools, companies can transform their data into valuable, real time business insights that can be used to make faster, more informed decisions about their strategies.
Undergoing a digital transformation strategy is a continual process and can be difficult as most companies do not know where to start. However, by focusing on customers and following these steps below, greater progress can be made.
Here are a few steps businesses can take on to excel and achieve.
Companies need to have a strong understanding of their customers wants and needs. Realising what is best for the customer puts things into perspective and helps prioritise next steps. We refer to this as ‘Know your Customer’ or gaining a 360-degree view of your customer and helps businesses segment their audience and develop detailed customer profiles and personas.
Today’s user or customer interacts with your brand across multiple channels. User journey maps should therefore be non-linear to better represent the user journey.
Omnichannel approaches and technology allows retailers to optimise channels to the full potential and puts the customer at the centre of the strategy to drive growth, as well as understanding their customers’ journey, behaviour and buying patterns to provide them with a truly personalised experience. Read our guide to learn more.
An estimated 80% of consumers want personalisation from retailers according to Mckinsey since personalisation now extends to the entire customer experience.
Shoppers expect brands to cater to their individual needs and preferences. Every interaction with your brand builds the profile of your customer to allow you to better serve their needs and build brand loyalty. These interactions should be contextualised, personalised, and immediately relevant to give customers a better experience.
Our Master Data Management solution, ClarityOmnivue has given retailers the ability to easily identify and reconcile their data and providing all the information they need to know about a customer’s personality and preferences whilst remaining transparent about data collection, privacy, and usage.
Read our guide to learn more on how ClarityOmnivue can push retailers to focus on customer personalisation.
Focusing on data helps to integrate digital solutions into all areas of a business. For large businesses to innovate and stay agile, organisational functions must stay tightly aligned and any departmental silos should be broken down as much as possible. The more integrated and cohesive departments are, the more they will be able to move and transform quickly when necessary.
The integration of AI, for example has both real and practical usefulness for consumers and brands. It will provide opportunities for brands to crunch and analyse big data, with major retailers replying on advanced analytics to understand what should be stocked in their stores and drive efficiencies in logistics.
Gartner believes that AI will soon begin to lead the way when it comes to customer service. In 2020, 85% of customer interactions were being handled by AI.
Logistics and Supply Chain
As mentioned above, digital transformation is not effective if it does not improve the speed and reliability with which customers get their products or services. Retailers need more transparency of inventory to proceed with their online and offline customer experience. A digital approach to logistics creates an improved and efficient supply chain.
Evolution and Innovation of Products, Services and Processes
The evolution of digital innovation leaves companies with no time to rest. Leading businesses must stay adaptive and keep improving their business innovation to stay ahead of the competition. This means thinking about the delivery of products and services and the actual products and services themselves. Today, these are smart and delivered in innovative ways.
The digital revolution has given modern consumers access to unparalleled convenience and tailored engagements that connect them to the products and services they need, anytime and anywhere.
Bridging the gap between offline and online channels is one way which allows retailers to better target their marketing and brand building efforts across multiple consumer touchpoints to better meet the demand for innovation and digitization.
Ensuring that the connection between physical and digital interactions is being properly tracked and understood, is key in the creation of the new and exciting ways that brands are ensuring they can provide a connected online/offline tailored and bespoke experience.
A digital transformation initiative should contain the vision and strategy to prepare an organisation for a competitive market place that is fully digital, running on modern agile business processes and are innovating with today’s emerging technologies.
At Data Clarity, we suggest ways an organisation can improve to meet the challenges involved in digital transformation.
If you need more information or you would like to discuss some of your current challenges, our data experts are happy to help. Contact us today for more information.