Digitization: Are Retailers Ready to Accept Change?

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April 5, 2018

Today’s retail landscape is a minefield of competition. All control lies with the consumer and nothing short of a spectacular experience is going to gain their loyalty and hold their attention.

In spite of this, some retailers have not accepted that these changes are necessary. The reality is that retail must now respond to customer demand—for more personalized services and unique experiences beyond the usual sales and promotions—or risk eating the dust of their more progressive and customer-focused competitors.

Your customers are calling the shots now: get used to it.

The retail shopping journey is among the most significant disruptions we see in our day-to-day lives.

Think about it: in years past, if we needed something, we would just go to the store to get it. Today, if we can’t access the item we need online before we go to the store, we probably won’t go to the store.

In short, this means that the retailer has had to change their focus 180 degrees. The time and money that would have been spent luring shoppers into the stores now need to be focused on the online experience, as this is where customers are won and lost.

Driving engagement through digitization

Shoppers need to be engaged before they set foot in the store. The only way this can be realistically accomplished is through digital transformation. Strangely, as of January 2018, Supply Chain Quarterly reports that only three percent of retailers have completed this phase of their development.

Digital transformation supports the way consumers want—and expect—to shop. There are plenty of examples of legacy retailers who resisted and ultimately failed to meet this challenge. It’s known as the “Amazon effect” – the sum total of personalization, omnichannel customer service, transparency in logistics, selection, convenience, and technology. Even niche retailers are in a position where they are being forced to adapt to this “new normal” or die – and nobody gets a free pass.

Retail is far from dead: deriving value from digitization

While there is a lot of talk about the “retail apocalypse”, the truth is that retail growth is steady and has been rising significantly every year. According to research firm Deloitte, between now and 2022, brick-and-mortar is projected to grow by $36 billion and e-commerce by $50 billion.

The retailers that are winning this race are the ones who are able to differentiate themselves to the consumer while still maintaining their margins but many still face challenges with their online efforts and are finding it difficult to prioritize an undertaking that doesn’t deliver immediate value in dollars and cents.

Rather than get too caught up in the hurdles of completing their digital transformation, retailers must focus on what it really delivers: data. The data value chain—customer location, products, and consumer behaviors among other things—is probably the greatest reward of digital transformation.

Armed with the real-time data collected from website activity, loyalty programs, beacons, digital dressing rooms, and other in-store points of engagement, retailers can make better-informed business decisions that will not only delight consumers but prove ROI.

Have you begun your digital transformation? Call Mojix today and discover what’s possible.

 

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