What is driving Retail Digital Transformation?


MARCH, 2023

What is driving Retailers to undergo Digital Transformation? The benefits of DT speak volumes: Increased operations efficiency, a greater customer experience, and a renewed agility that reacts to consumer & market behaviour.

Digital transformation is redefining retail as we know it. Undergoing this process is a long and arduous task, but the digital blueprints behind the transformation will set businesses up to become agile, adaptive and scalable.

The process entails a complete business transformation, commonly driven by a desire to improve business operations across the board, from employees to customers. Although, the fundamental catalyst for such significant digital change is the consumer(s).

Modern consumer demand and expectations are driven by technological innovation and new technologies that keep them connected to a world of possibilities.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies into all aspects of an organisation, from its business models to customer experiences to processes and operations, to deliver better value to customers. It harnesses AI, automation, hybrid cloud, and other digital technologies to leverage data and drive intelligent workflows, faster and smarter decision-making, and real-time response to market disruptions.

Digital transformation empowers businesses to adopt the widest possible range of solutions and services from ecosystem partners, industry solution leaders, and multiple cloud service providers.

Digital transformation is not a one-time fix but a continuous process of change and adaptation to meet changing business and market requirements. The pandemic in 2020 aired every organisation's digital transformation efforts and progress (or lack thereof).

Digital transformation requires a shift away from traditional thinking and toward a more customer-driven, digital-first approach to all aspects of the business.

What is driving Retail Digital Transformation?

Within the retail sector, brands that have embarked on a digital transformation have successfully embedded innovative technology that subsequently improved the efficiency of their operations and customer experience to drive digital growth.

A digital transformation can completely change the course of retail production, distribution and customer services.

In this digital era, we're witnessing the demand for 24/7 around the clock access to business from connected consumers, thanks to mobile devices and social media. Mobile technology has arguably been the catalyst in changing consumer expectations, whilst social media has become a key factor in how consumers expect brands to engage with them.

There's no longer a one size fits all approach like back when competitive prices, proximity and convenience were the primary motives behind brand loyalty.

Retailers are now reliant on technology that collects invaluable data and insights that increase the purchase frequency of their existing customers, whilst also using that data to target high-value customers that have loyalty to competitor brands.

Possessing technology with the ability to personalise communications and goods/services is also key to retaining existing customers.

Retailers need to embrace digital transformation to keep up with the growing trend of digital shopping, transition to a hybrid retail experience, play catch-up with digitally advanced brands, deliver differentiation, drive footfall into stores, reduce operating costs, and meet changing consumer demands and habits.

What are some of the benefits of digital transformation for retailers?

Digital transformation can generate several benefits to retailers.

  • Increase profits by allowing retailers to operate as close to normal as possible.

  • Drive store footfall, increase basket size, improve the availability & visibility of stock, and reduce operating costs.

  • Monitor utility expenditures & reduce operating costs.

  • Democratise retail media revenue and online shopping capabilities for any retailer, regardless of size.

  • It can help retailers adapt to changing consumer demands and habits, spending styles, and channels to make purchases.

Digitally advanced brands captured a huge online market share by using the pandemic as an 'opportunity' to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. Ecommerce use for retail skyrocketed from 16% to 33% during the pandemic, achieving 10 years of growth in three months.


Do you need Digital Transformation consulting?

A Digital Transformation consultant can help retailers identify weak points and exactly where brands are coming up short in their efforts to become fully digitised.

We have ample experience in embedding technological change into brand culture by effectively implementing behavioural changes and improving compliance to generate increased ROI on digital investments.

Digital Transformation is a notoriously hard procedure to undergo. The average success rate of digital transformations is between 5% and 30%, whilst the rate of unsuccessful transformation initiatives ranges from 70% to 90%.

The how of Transformation (1), The Numbers Don't Lie (2), McKinsey (1), The ECM Consultant (2)

Navigating a project of this size within a dynamic digital world of customer behaviours and demands is no mean feat.

The secret to a successful digital transformation is getting the key factors right.