With globalization and rising competition from digital platforms, retailers must not only develop in-depth synergies between physical and digital channels but also invent the ubiquitous commerce of tomorrow. Today’s transformations are opening the way to strategic opportunities for retail players to secure customer engagement and to find new avenues for growth.
This will drive significant reconfiguration across the whole retail sector. To survive and thrive, retail companies will not only need to reshape the way they nurture customer loyalty but also completely streamline their operations, extend their business models and totally secure trust.
Key Transformation Challenges & Opportunities
▶ Personalize the ubiquitous customer journey – With digital natives now making up two-thirds of the world population, their path to purchase has also become nonlinear. As a result, ubiquitous digital engagement is among retailers’ most critical challenges. They must blend online, in-store and mobile channels into a single personalized, frictionless shopping experience to provide a ubiquitous customer journey. Potential to tap: getting to know customers intimately and interacting accordingly, leveraging data and technology to precede rather than follow customers’
▶ Become lean & agile with automation – Standards of excellence in retail have been re-defined by combining anytime and anywhere availability with breadth of choice and fast fulfillment options such as same-day delivery. Digital players are actively transforming their processes to not only optimize their prices many times a day but also enable an ultra-personalized marketing experience. Potential to tap: fully automated stores such as Amazon Go, development of newer platforms that provide multi-sided marketplaces, logistic innovations, and strengthening marketing power.
▶ Develop innovative business models – The nature of retail is drastically changing from mass market to mass
personalization; from pure products to lifelong services with usage-based billing, and from top-down offerings to collaborative solutions enriched with open innovation. Potential to tap: finding the right position in the ecosystem for each market segment, combining initiatives with innovative models and partnerships.
▶ Guarantee Absolute Trust & compliance – With the rise of connected things – security remains a major concern. Major hacks in recent history have shown how devastating compromised security can be for sales and customer loyalty. This applies particularly to the diversifying payment modes: from card, mobile, instant and P2P payments to cryptocurrencies. Potential to tap: Adopting the right security measures is not only a question of prevention against the $ 1 trillion cost of cybercrime but also a fantastic competitive advantage lever.
As offline and online worlds blend, retail companies must leverage next-generation analytics to deliver a seamless, immersive experience all along the customer journey. From acquisition to onboarding, services and retention strategies, they must get ONE real- time view of the customer. Retail players should begin building their new architecture today. They have a significant share of existing customer’s mind. Sometimes, legacy can also be a burden, when things are changing very fast. Modernizing legacy and fully embracing the latest Cloud, Automation, Big Data and mobile technologies is only the start of the journey. To be ready for the future, retailers should:
▶ Become wholly customer experience- centric, ensuring 360° engagements with customers across all digital and physical touchpoints.
▶ Provide intelligent data-driven orchestration, being able to adapt to market changes and evolving customer demands in a real-time, prescriptive way.
▶ Adopt open platform foundations, new-age technologies and real-time process automation, to deliver the best products and
services at the lowest cost, while being ready to adapt in hours or just seconds.
▶ Redefine customer experience, along the whole customer journey, providing a consistent and personalized service.
▶ Create new revenue streams with, marketplaces and value-added services.
With all these changes converging at once, retailers must steer their businesses forward. The most important retail companies want to play within next-generation retail ecosystems. Having made that strategic choice, retailers must then embark on a journey of transformation, combining people, organizational and technology streams.