Digital transformation (DX) is all about redefining and reimaging all the elements, i.e. data and processes of an enterprise. To stay ahead of the digital-first competition and bring value to your customers is one giant leap for every organization's business strategy. Behind the scenes for the giant leap, nearly all companies are pivoting business around digital capabilities. Digital transformation facilitates tailor-made solutions, enhances the consumer experience, and empowers enterprise platforms. It has compelled enterprises to reinvent landscapes and take bolder steps to cater to evolving customer needs and provide a single point of truth for collaborative platforms and extended business networks. Altogether, digital transformation imbues digital technology to all aspects of your business by bridging the gap between operations and delivery and scaling up your existing business scenario.
Digital transformation: A journey
Digital transformation is an ongoing process that is steadily expanding to reach $2.3 trillion by 2023, as predicted by IDC. A Deloitte's global business study and MIT Sloan Management Review discuss how digital transformation has made businesses come forward to integrate technology seamlessly. It explains that a clear and systematic digital strategy will grow into a digitally mature company. For instance, when the world was grappling with the covid 19 outbreak and businesses had hit a low, some enterprises transitioned into the new normal with resilience. Starbucks, the global chain of coffee shops and roastery industry, emerged as a champion by focusing on AI-powered personalized product offerings and discounts. It handled orders through a mobile app and was able to ramp up its delivery and drive-through offerings. A digitally mature company engages with multiple components to implement forward-thinking strategies and be customer centric. Multiple pieces cover aspects such as
- Digital-first approach: Digitizing businesses foster growth at each level and spur progress at digital speed. When new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) blend in with business, there is a significant change in decision making, operational efficiency, and positive customer engagement.
- Dynamic business scenario: Adapting to an ever-changing business environment is critical to sustaining in the long run. A cultural shift in the mindset and approach towards work reduces effort and increases speed, making your business customer-first.
- Focus on employees: Upscaling skills are imperative for any company's transformation to attract and retain employees. Breaking down silos, acquiring the right digital skills and most importantly, providing learning access to existing employees aids in reducing turnover and is a win-win situation for all. The digital revolution's advantage is enormous and hasn't left any industry untouched. The digital disruption is here to stay with us, and we must combine agile principles, organizational expertise, and sustainable innovation to have skin in the game.
Digital Transformation in Retail
The retail industry is undergoing a massive change to sustain itself in the digital world. The bright side of the gruesome pandemic is that it pushed the retailers to infuse new technologies into their already existing brick and mortar model and serve what the customers want. It is riding the wave of digital disruption on the back of competitive consumption and the availability of easy credit. Digital tools and software solutions like ERP, AI, automation, and predictive analytics have helped businesses build chatbots, recommend best-selling products, and accurately forecast customer preferences.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP is a one-stop-shop business solution for managing and automating the daily activities of your organization. ERP in the retail sector streamlines scattered data among multiple stores to a centralized place. It helps retailers in managing day-to-day activities, analyzing performance measures, and simplifies inventory management. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the most favored cloud-based ERP software for retailers as it improves their business features and functionality. With centralized data, built-in Power BI dashboards, and AI-empowered predictive inputs Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central gives a facelift to the business practices of the retail sector.
Predictive analysis coupled with machine learning (ML) is no less than a magic lamp for retailers. It is used for tracking customers' behavioural analytics and suggesting personalized products. It is used in inventory and supply chain as well. It provides accurate demand forecasting, which includes updates about stock availability and improves the efficiency of warehouse operations. It also gives in-detail insight into current market trends.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ML have made significant changes in the retail sector. AI systematically implements strategies like placing relevant information for every user's repetitive interaction for each interaction. Interactive chatbots engage with customers to resolve queries and collect useful data to forecast accurate business decisions.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR are elevating the customer experience and are gaining momentum. These technologies enrich the customer journey, and companies are steadily developing business capabilities around them.
AR is simply enhancing real-world experiences by adding digital elements to them. For example, in virtual fitting rooms, a virtual mirror protects customer safety and security and elevates the outfit-trying experience while standing in front of the display. AR eliminates the apprehension of buying furniture online. It helps customers decide the size and fitting of the desired furniture depending on the available space. Myntra has already launched its offline store, where it has deployed VR, AR and full screen displays for customers to bask in the “experience zone".
As the name suggests, VR deals with the virtual environment. It is an immersive virtual experience that transfers customers from a real-life environment to a 3-D environment with the help of VR headgears. VR is used in driving customer engagement. For example, Kellog has implemented eye-tracking technology into VR headsets to collect information about customers purchasing preferences.
Blockchain is a distributed, digital ledger where information is kept discreetly in the blocks and information is added sequentially. Blockchain in Retail has exclusive benefits and can maintain a track record from field to factory. It is extensively used in inventory management, intelligent loyalty program, reduction of cybercrimes, and streamlining marketing strategy. By applying blockchain to inventory management, retailers can track down expired products. They can automate and have an update about shortages and a surplus of products. And in the case of a smart loyalty program, blockchain helps retailers with smart contracts that automate the entire process of reward points given out to customers.
The retail industry is scaling greater heights and raising the bars high for hassle-free customer experience by embracing technology.
Driving factors behind digital transformation practices in Retail
Even though the retail industry has been one of the front runners in the adoption of digital technologies, multiple drivers are necessitating the demand to deliver faster.
- Digital Customers have created their own identity, dismantling functional boundaries in business models. A large amount of data is now used to identify, collect and process to deliver a customized experience. The mobile apps are customer-centric and have loyalty programs, reward points and social media engagement.
- As the line between retail outlets and online stores becomes obscure, business models make room for upcoming technologies. Digital interventions help businesses unlock new opportunities in cloud, operations, and ERP. At Great Innovus, we have been helping customers in the retail space deliver a better experience to their customers and optimize their operations.
- The rise of e-commerce has propelled digital platforms to the front line in the logistics industry. Due to this, Small and Midsize Business (SMB) companies have a global platform to reach out to customers and compete with established moguls of the industry. Web-based solutions enable inventories to create digitally enhanced cross-border e-commerce platforms that help to streamline processes and automate communication between operation and tracking facilities.
- Digital procurement solutions are helping the industry to a great extent. Digital technologies like data visualization, advanced analytics, and intelligent content extraction amplify legacy systems' productivity with nominal investment. Data storage in the cloud and IoT sensors are making more value for procurement functionalities, and blockchain-enabled solutions help retailers and vendors to establish real-time transactions.
- Omnichannel retailing is gaining momentum in tandem with physical stores. Retailers are strengthening every touchpoint for the customers to have a seamless shopping experience. They have partnered with software companies to upgrade their website, have more than one method of online payment like e-wallet, store credit, digital transfer, 3D try-on rooms, and enhance customer relationship management (CRM). We assist you in going completely omnichannel and delivering unified services on the web, mobile apps, and retail stores.
Get Started with Great Innovus
As we advance, digital technology will play a more significant role in advancing the retail sector. The focus will be on the convergence of technology and aligning with customer demands. At Great Innovus, we help you realize your business's unlimited possibilities. We partner with our customers to provide a great ecosystem of agile business-centric solutions. Our technology solution, paired with on-time delivery, will pave the way forward for a successful digital transformation of your organization.
Here, at Great Innovus, we have helped customers build, develop, and implement custom-made solutions through relevant solutions. To know more about embarking on your digital transformation journey, reach out to us here.