Retail in a digital age
Retail Industry Expert, Bluefin Solutions
No other industry has gone through as much disruption in such a short space of time, as the retail industry. This pace of change - driven by customer demand for a better shopping experience that blurs traditional in-store, online and mobile into a single shopping experience - is a huge opportunity for retailers in today's digital age.
However, in order to survive, it is imperative retailers begin to do things differently...and fast.
Instead of following traditional investment strategies focused on improving in-store point-of sale-solutions or cutting costs by reducing head-count, retailers need to radically change how they act and behave. They need to move away of being inward looking and focused on profitability, to outward looking with all eyes fixed on the customer. Yet, as obvious as this is, most retailers are not doing this.
Successful retailers on the other hand share common traits that others can learn from in order to turn disadvantages into competitive advantages. In today's digital age it is apparent that a new model of innovation has emerged and in order to future-proof their organisations, retailers must:
- Exploit customer data so they have a single view of shoppers on which to base decisions that will increase customer loyalty and sales
- Adopt emerging technologies that integrate multiple retail channels into one go-to-market route centred around customers
- Develop an agile, customer-centric business strategy that enables them to respond quickly to market opportunities
In short retailers must analyse customer data and utilise technology to define a customer-centric business strategy to ensure a sustainable competitive advantage.
Retail is changing faster than at any time in history and it's not just because of the world recession or the growth of online channels. It is in the next phase of the retail evolution. Historically, retailers have significantly underestimated the value and impact of technology, business intelligence (customer data) and the need to formulate a customer-centric business strategy. They can no longer afford to ignore this.