Discover these eight recommendations for retailers to help them accelerate their digital transformation while maintaining business growth and profitability.
Retailers need to adapt to changing market conditions and accelerate their digital transformation to deliver on their brand promise. While few companies in the sector claim to get concrete results from their digital strategies, here are eight recommendations for retailers to help them accelerate their digital transformation while maintaining business growth and profitability.
#1. Establish a profitable omnichannel strategy
With the health crisis, retailers have been forced to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce and the transition to omnichannel selling. This transition has had a direct impact on their business models and operations. A context that has favored the increase in consumer expectations and forced retailers to adopt new methods to satisfy them. Now, retailers must reduce costs (especially in-store), and use data to determine which expense items contribute or not to increased sales and margins. They need to optimize their supply chain business processes, leveraging predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to adapt to ever-changing consumer demands and expectations. They also need to rethink their business models. Retailers that offer a full range of products and a satisfying, personalized experience are best positioned to increase both their conversion rate and customer loyalty.
#2. Become more sustainable organizations
Consumers are increasingly placing importance on the sustainability of a product when purchasing. Many are ready to change their consumption habits by paying more for products with a better ecological footprint. This is a real upheaval for retailers, particularly those in the fashion sector where the traditional model is not compatible with sustainable development. Each actor must know their environmental and social impact to determine how to improve their supply chain. Technologies – data analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality will be at the heart of developing and executing sustainability strategies.
#3. Increase data agility to improve customer experience
In the digital age, data is essential to drive sales and profitability. During the pandemic, many retailers have accelerated the execution of their data analytics projects to attract and retain customers and continue to generate revenue.
Today, the most innovative retailers are indeed those that use data throughout the customer journey. Including at the very moment a transaction takes place, which completely transforms the sales funnel. Especially since we now know that exploiting the value of data is essential to improving the customer experience.
#4. Empower employees with the information and tools they need to support the transformation process
Employee participation in the customer transformation process is often overlooked and profitability is high. For employees to excel in their new roles, they need to be provided with the information and digital tools they need. They need to be trained and given more real-time visibility on operational performance.
#5. Digitize existing systems to create an agile supply chain
The pandemic has revealed the limits of operating models based on physical stores. Retailers must now reconfigure their global and local supply chains
and build a more agile chain if they want to increase their relevance and resilience. Concretely, it would be necessary to organize the transparency of the supply chain from end to end and to orchestrate the management of orders.
#6. Fulfill the promise made to customers by ensuring inventory accuracy and optimization
With e-commerce and other channels, inventory inaccuracy has direct consequences for customers. If the actual stocks are lower than the quantities recorded in stock, it is impossible to respect the promise made to customers. As a result, agile supply chains must not only be optimized, they must provide accurate data, a sine qua non for fulfilling the promise made to customers. Other actions to be carried out in this direction would be to obtain centralized and real-time visibility of stocks, to use artificial intelligence to calculate the optimal level of stocks, and finally to adopt a predictive and personalized approach.
#7. Foster collaboration to accelerate transformation
Implementing new technologies within an organization is one thing. But mastering the human elements of transformation, such as mindsets and culture, is another. Digital leaders view their business as part of a larger digital ecosystem. As a result, they attach great importance to collaboration. However, some retailers face silos within their organization that hinder collaboration. One of the solutions for the transformation to take place is to agree on how to offer added value to customers. Also, bringing business and IT functions together in one product-focused team will facilitate collaboration.
#8. Maintain business continuity and preserve brand reputation
In the past, it was rare for retailers to be the target of cyberattacks. Today, cyber security is a major concern for the sector. Business continuity is exposed to ransomware attacks. The use of e-commerce increases the risk to which customers’ financial and personal data are exposed. And connected work environments with the rise of remote working increase the risks of sensitive employee data. Retailers are therefore obliged to secure their value chain to ensure the continuity of their business and the loyalty of their customers. They must anticipate risks and accelerate their digital transformation.
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Retail: 8 ways to keep your brand promise thanks to digital transformation
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