Starting the digital journey: What should retailers know to leverage the omnichannel experience?

September 29, 2022
Starting the digital journey: What should retailers know to leverage the omnichannel experience?

Despite being a trillion-dollar industry, retail is still growing and evolving, providing unparalleled opportunities for business leaders. While the market witnessed a drastic change in consumer behavior as digital became more mainstream, the retail industry is no exception to that as this change in behavior impacted the product and trend cycles. Keeping up with this presents a huge challenge for retail businesses even though it’s still one of the most trusted channels for a consumer. On top of this, the e-commerce invasion is slowly encroaching on the pure brick-and-mortar store’s space in the market, making it increasingly difficult for retailers to grow. So, it is important for businesses to truly understand the digital transformation trends in the retail industry.

These challenges crippled many retail businesses, and hopping on the digital bandwagon is the most practical choice for the leaders of the retail industry to overcome these challenges and adapt to the new market reality. As retail businesses started embracing the digital medium, they were able to quickly recognize the shift of the power in the equation. From major league brands to startups, every business is now aligned toward the consumer experience, and for retail that arrived late to this party, immediate change is the only option for the industry to stay on its toes.

How does omnichannel strategy benefit retail businesses?

Omnichannel experience– that’s how retail leaders are bridging the gap between them and their consumers. The importance of omnichannel in retail is often overlooked, but it helps retailers to provide an interconnected brand experience to their consumers, allowing brands to identify and solve their consumer’s needs at a scale never imagined before. By optimizing the supply chains and using digital as a platform for consumer interaction, brands can drastically improve their product-to-consumers time. All these interactions create more data than ever, making retail analytics a central piece of providing an omnichannel experience for their consumers.

Data > instincts

Retail is one of the oldest shopping channels to exist, and this very nature makes it difficult for the leaders of the industry to be more data-driven. However, in reality, successful retail businesses were data-driven even before the digital wave made it an obvious choice. For instance, planogram analysis and predictive analytics are some of the widely adopted technologies across the retail industry, and brands have increased their ROI significantly with these technologies. But, retail giants like Walmart have been using the principles of planogram analysis to drive sales and brand experience even before the inevitable digital wave. So, previously, the difference between Walmart and any other retailer at that time would be the lack of a data-driven approach.

Enter retail digital transformation. The current technology not only helps retailers to identify this gap but also bridges it, as it democratizes this knowledge. Decisions in the retail industry are increasingly backed by data than instincts, making business decisions effective, efficient, and resilient, too! Many cutting-edge analytics tools can be now leveraged by your average retailer, changing the odds of the business significantly. Major league IT companies are providing affordable digital solutions to scale effectively in the retail space. So, there are many options for retailers in the present market to start their digital journey and craft an impeccable omnichannel experience.

But before you build a successful omnichannel retail strategy, try answering the following questions.

  1. How big of an impact are you setting off?
  2. What is the state of your organization’s existing digital infrastructure?
  3. What is the one major problem you are trying to solve?
  4. What is the timeline- from idea to action to output?

Usually, we start by helping our retail clients to answer these questions before they zero down their digital strategy. This way, we empower our clients with digital solutions to overcome the challenges faced in the retail industry.

redefining-the-stakes-in-retail-space

Laying the foundation for an omnichannel experience

Retailers should invest in areas that allow them to expand their core digital capabilities. Retail businesses that are first to identify these areas will be the ones to lead the new market by delivering the best omnichannel experience possible.

  • Adaptive and modular system architecture

Contrary to the laws of physics, flexibility brings you more resilience to your organization than robustness. Adaptive digital systems help you address business and consumer needs without putting a strain on your operational chain. This allows different layers within the organization to operate in sync without draining too much “fuel”, contributing to the holistic data-driven approach. Also, a flexible infrastructure allows organizations to embed their digital capabilities in their core business strategy, helping them deliver value uniformly.

  • Enhanced data management and governance

For a truly data-positive organization, the growth happens exponentially as it extracts insights at every level of the interactions-be internal or external. In order to be a data-positive organization, you need to invest in technologies that put you in more control of the data you create and accumulate. To make data-driven decisions, your organization needs to establish an effective infrastructure that identifies potential data that can be converted to actionable insights. The degree of data management will help you distinguish yourself from the competition, as you will be able to accurately deliver value with such an infrastructure. A solid cloud infrastructure will also be a defining factor in your data management capabilities. Data analytics for the retail industry is challenging but is easier when you have the right resources.

  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Automation, and Big Data

To deliver an omnichannel experience, you have to direct your resources, especially, the human resources toward crucial business operations. Retail leaders of the industry have marked this as one of the major obstacles that many other businesses fail to overcome, but with latest technology trends in the retail industry like automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, retailers can make this shift happen. When a retail brand fuses automation into its digital strategy, it can greatly increase the operational efficiency of the system. For example, many top-tier retailers leverage planogram automation to keep the shopping experience seamless. By doing so, they save tons of money on human resources or direct them towards more pressing issues. Hyperautomation is another new technology that’s catalyzing business operations.

  • User journey

Every business/digital strategy either directly or indirectly contributes to the user journey. The goal of establishing an omnichannel shopping experience is to deliver a singular brand experience across multiple touchpoints. Influential omnichannel leaders strongly believe that the goal of digitalization in any industry is to provide amplified value to their customers, and retail is no different from them. Retailers can effortlessly achieve such goals by collaborating with some of the modern app development companies in the market. Getting this right will also help them deliver peak value to their customers consistently.

 

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