Are Millennials Driving Digital Transformation in Retail?

Retail Millennials Working

June 7, 2018

The technological revolution is touching every industry. In retail, IoT has been transforming operations from the factory floor to the customer’s door and everywhere in between – but what is ultimately driving this transformation?

Retail for the next generation

Reaching customers in the ways that make the most sense to them is the primary goal. Today, as millennials take over as the world’s largest consumer demographic, technology has become the retailer’s key to market penetration. Reaching them in the way that they want to be reached is truly the answer to success both today and well into the future. After all, their buying power will continue to drive the industry for another 60 years to come.

Making meaningful connections through engagement

Retailers who are in touch with how and why millennials engage will be on the crest of the wave. Industry insiders agree that a handful of key technologies will define retail’s future, delivering value, not only to the millennial audience but to all retail shoppers across all demographics. They may have built the foundations, but the resulting structure supports everybody.

Customer experience is how we measure value today

Personal experiences play a significant factor in capturing the attention of millennial and Gen-Z hordes. Because these groups spend more time shopping and comparing products on their phones, retailers who want to stay on top have had to find ways to work that sensibility into the value chain. As with any effort to capture attention, knowing what your audience wants puts you at the front of the line when it comes time to go to market.

Companies who insist on operating on the old model risk obsolescence, and nowhere is this more evident than in the retail realm. While recent years have seen some remarkable store closures, the trend continues, despite having ready access to the technology that might have saved them.

 Some alarming store closure statistics

This year alone, more than 4,000 stores have closed in the United States. Major legacy brands, like Sears, Kmart, Walgreens, and Toys R Us continue to close stores at an alarming rate. Many have filed for bankruptcy protection, and the domino effect continues.

On the other hand, new store openings have overtaken closures and studies show that sales in the industry have actually grown by $122 billion. The key takeaway here is that new stores are thriving, sending a clear message that a new way of thinking equals success.

So, what is the secret? How are some retailers able to stay in the game while the incumbents wither on the vine? The answer is in the ability to deliver customer experiences and to answer to an audience that is keen to engage on their own terms.

Personalized experiences are driving the trend and digital transformation is the tide that is bringing it to the shoreline. While it may be more difficult for an established company to adopt an agile posture, newer companies are free to build their legacy based on technology that is already proving its value. Rather than waiting for the legacy brands to catch up, it is just that much easier to back a winner – and thatis the bottom line.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT and RFID can help you delight your audience, reach out today.

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