going digital

The retail landscape is currently more competitive than ever and with a growing number of businesses in the segment, staying ahead is a challenge.

If you want to win the race, only unique and personalized shopping experiences can change the game. At the same time, you need to rethink your operations and offerings to emerge as a winner.

It becomes clear that the modernization of your business no longer remains a choice when it comes to capturing the attention of selective customers and establishing a stronghold over the market.

Going digital needs a lot of work and hefty investment, so you should be well prepared before you take the plunge.

Essentially, it requires you to utilize innovative technologies and switch to new business models. The objective is to provide value for customers and unlock productivity for the employees so that you can open new opportunities for your retail business.

Achieving digital transformation in the retail industry leans on some specific steps, which we will highlight for you. 

1. Realign customer engagement 

Customers are the mainstay of the business and all the more if you are in the retail segment. Nothing matters more than a satisfied customer base when it comes to increasing your bottom line and achieving your growth targets.

Realigning customer engagement with digital experiences can take your business a notch higher. Technologies such as data analytics, e-commerce, and mobile computing come in handy for understanding customers better and providing an omnichannel experience.  

Further, you can leverage a customer relationship management (CRM) system to take your customer relationships to the next level. CRMs are capable of analyzing customer data and providing granular insight into demographics, shopping behavior, and preferences.

You can utilize these insights to create strategic, targeted marketing campaigns and deliver more personalized customer experiences. Obviously, these campaigns and experiences can set your retail business apart and drive retention in the long run.

2. Go the extra mile with employee empowerment

Whilst customers are the heart of retail enterprises, employees are their soul. Going digital requires you to focus on employee empowerment too. Nothing is more important than providing them the right set of tools and technologies to digitize their tasks.

A proper IT infrastructure along with applications for seamless communication secure file sharing and collaboration is a no-brainer for a modern retail enterprise. The system becomes all the more important in the current context when your team would need to operate remotely in the pandemic era of 2020.

Similarly, empowering the customer-facing teams with an advanced CRM solution is important to keep them on track. With all the insights these solutions offer, your employees will be able to deliver the best with minimal effort and without errors.

Apart from providing the right tools, it is also vital to train your people to use these tools properly and effectively.

A technically-strong team has huge potential to drive your retail business on the growth route.

3. Optimize retail operations 

Optimizing operations is another key aspect of digital transformation that retail businesses cannot overlook. The idea is to ensure multi-channel because that’s the way retail works these days.

You cannot expect growth by sticking only to brick-and-mortar selling because that is just a segment of the market.

A business has to be available across all channels- e-commerce, mobile, social media and everywhere else you can think of. Leveraging an ERP system to integrate all the channels does the trick. 

Essentially, ERP systems break the barriers between diverse systems and resources within the organization and offer a holistic view of cross-channel operations such as inventory, purchases and returns, customer transactions and customer service.

They also promote streamlined workflows, greater operational visibility and smarter, data-driven decision-making. 

4. Re-imagine your products and services

Keeping pace with innovation requires you to be adaptive and forward-thinking. If you want to unlock the digital retail potential, you need to be open to the idea of re-imagining your offerings – both products and services.

This measure is closely related to customer engagement as you need to focus on the customers and understand what they really want. Once you know that, it is easy to imagine how you have to adapt your products and services. 

Agility is the key because businesses that are quick to realign are in a better position in terms of customer acquisition and retention. If you give them exactly what they want, they would certainly come over and stay with you as well.

There isn’t much that you need to do for understanding the customer expectations because the CRM and ERP tools will have you covered. The real work, however, goes into tweaking your products and services. 

Although moving to digital retail sounds like a humongous effort, it is fully worthwhile. Once you are done with the transition, you will surely get a competitive advantage and move far ahead of the others.