Let go of the old ways of how you do retail. Digital transformation is the most groundbreaking way to upstart and drive your retail and consumer business to the next level. Is your business up for the challenge?
In today’s retail marketplace, consumers are more tech-savvy than ever before. Customers can buy from businesses worldwide and demand a unique and efficient customer experience in this fast-changing and increasingly digitized landscape. Gone are the days when “build it, and they will come” is sufficient for your retail operation and simply having an online platform no longer ensures success. Instead, customers expect personalized experiences, and implementing digital transformation is imperative for retail businesses to remain competitive.
How consumers shop has drastically transformed across all industries, whether in hospitality, travel, fashion, or even furniture and other consumer goods. COVID-19 and the everlasting pandemic were huge players in this transformation, bringing new and unforeseen challenges to retail businesses, consequently forcing them to adopt digital tech solutions to stay relevant.
As a result, consumer demands, preferences, and shopping habits have and will continue to change tremendously in terms of spending and time spent on online platforms instead of in brick-and-mortar stores. Likewise, the availability of more convenient delivery and pick-up options of goods also influences the overall surge in digital consumer spending.
In this landscape, understanding your consumers is vital, and to do so, all businesses must maximize their data analytics and apply machine learning to enhance the customer journey. Likewise, big data and tech solutions are the most effective resources that allow you to identify your customers’ trends and preferences and create the most efficient strategies to attain, retain, and upsell your audiences.
So, what exactly is digital transformation?
Digital transformation (DX) uses digital technologies to improve business performance and has been reshaping society in fundamental ways. Industries worldwide are adopting this transformation and embracing long-term profits.
Digital transformation impacts all aspects of your business, from engaging with customers, empowering employees, and driving innovation to optimize your operations and processes. Real-time data allows retailers to constantly make informed decisions based on actual trends while enticing consumers to preferred actions. Implementing an ERP system (enterprise resource planning) provides a holistic view of cross-channel operations, better back office, and front-end interfacing. Efficiency and data will permeate the whole business, impacting innovation as well.
In addition to e-commerce, online ordering, curbside pick up, direct-to-customer, and appealing emotionally to a customer, here are a few types of digital transformations used the most:
- Process transformation: Using data, APIs, apps, and analytics to learn about others.
- Business model transformation: Using tech to change your traditional business model.
- Domain transformation: Domain can work as an online retailer and company growth.
- Cultural transformation: Long-term digital and organizational process transformation and a flexible workforce.
How to adapt and implement digital transformation
According to Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, “Digital transformation tools allow retailers and brands to anticipate outcomes through a combination of technology, advanced analytics, mathematical models, and predictive analytics. Integrating technology increases efficiency, creating easier ways to work smarter, which lead to positive effects on the bottom line.”
To successfully adapt to the new transformation, you need to utilize the latest software and set configured goals and objectives that are aligned with your team and vendors. What’s more, business goals need to be shared and agreed upon with your stakeholders and all parties involved to ensure that their needs are considered.
Digital transformation takes time and research data to make a well-oiled machine run smoothly. However, once you get into the transformation journey, you will reap the benefits and financial rewards.
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*This blog post was written by Hilda Rodriguez, Senior Marketing Advisor and Head of the Retail & Consumer Practice at DuartePino.