The rise of digital technologies in today’s world has impacted the traditional retail industry in various ways. From online shopping to social media-based marketing strategies, it has become increasingly important for businesses to remain informed of current digital practices to stay relevant and satisfy customers.
As the owner of a retail store, no matter the industry that you work in and the types of customers that you serve, it is essential for you to bolster your business with equipment and tools that leverage the latest technologies.
However, the last thing you should do is adopt modern technologies without understanding the purpose of such an innovative move.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a process in which organisations use information technology (IT), hardware, and other digital solutions to enhance the effectiveness and performance of their operations. It’s about using digital business technologies to create new experiences for customers and employees.
Any company can undergo an organisational transformation. Whether your budget allows for an overhaul of your company’s IT network or a careful selection of programs meant to revitalise aspects of your small business’s daily procedures, a successful digital business transformation project can change a business’s culture by boosting productivity, enhancing efficiency, and modernising its tools.
A digital transformation will typically follow the steps below:
- Assess your business’s current state in terms of digital technologies and the employee/customer experience.
- Evaluate opportunities to improve any identified issues and research solutions.
- Communicate your desired plans to all parties that will be affected by the transformation.
- Create a comprehensive plan for your digital transformation covering budgets, timeframes, processes, and more.
- Undertake your transformation with consistent monitoring for oversights or unforeseen circumstances.
According to Deloitte, the fusion of digital and physical experiences will accelerate further, resulting in a retail environment dictated by faster processes and convenience.
Companies can no longer afford to run purely on physical procedures and outdated equipment. By undertaking a digital transformation, your business can reinvent itself to match the current market’s needs and continue delivering value to your customers – regardless if you are an online retailer or a hybrid.
3 ways digital transformation is changing traditional retail
The idea of the brick-and-mortar retailer is changing. Digital transformation is bringing the online and offline worlds closer together, and businesses that want to remain competitive and profitable will need to tackle this trend as soon as possible.
While there are several ways in which digital transformations are causing traditional retail to shift, business owners should be aware of the following three to better prepare their organisation for what can sometimes be a vast undertaking.
Deeper insights into customers
The best source of data that accurately reflects the success of your business comes from your customers. From automation and artificial intelligence to facial recognition programs, collecting and analysing data from your customers helps you identify potential issues with your products or services, and whether or not they are popular.
In the past, businesses were restricted to face-to-face interactions with their customers, which limited the amount of information they could collect. With the help of digital transformations, companies can now gather, store, and examine pools of data in real time from numerous sources.
Whether kept in big data stores or more simple storage solutions, all data is vital to understanding the customer journey and modifying pre-existing processes to better support it.
Online shopping allows customers to interact with your products via the internet and make purchases from anywhere in the world, at any time. This flexibility can be an asset to your business as your customer base is widened beyond borders and distances.
Before a digital transformation, your business could limit itself by restricting its influence to your immediate area or specific times. However, with the right technology and digital solutions, your company can take full advantage of the modern era’s desire for convenient shopping.
In other words, your company can continue to generate revenue 24/7/365.
Streamlining business processes
As a business owner, it is critical that you do not neglect your staff and your business’s operating models. You are responsible for the well-being of your employees and they need to be able to complete their work at all times. However, for any sized business, today’s markets are busy, and customers are even busier.
Whether you adopt customer relationship management (CRM) software or purchasing software for real-world or online transactions, digital transformations can streamline your company’s procedures by replacing humans with technologies developed for business.
While human intervention may be required from time to time, your employees can focus on more complex issues your customers may be facing and provide them with solutions based on data. Digital transformations ensure that you are optimised for the modern era and are equipped for continuous growth.
Reinvent your retail business with a digital transformation
Your company already has an established presence in the market, and you have proven that you and your staff are capable of delivering exceptional service to customers.
However, you need to be able to continuously meet their needs. Digital and physical technologies are vital components to ensuring the longevity of your business, and many of these solutions are sourced and implemented via digital transformations.
The IT consultants at Muscatech are experts in digital transformations and can help you identify and rectify areas in which your retail business may need help. If you want to know what cost-effective digital solutions and hardware are best suited to boosting your business’s efficiency, speak to the team today.