Digital transformation involves incorporating digital technologies to develop new business processes, customer experiences, and culture. The full transformation of the retail business into the digital space opens up a new world of opportunities.
The intent behind digital transformation is fully transitioning from traditional roles in retail processes, including sales, marketing, and customer service. The digital space is housing top retail processes and calls for retailers to take up the opportunity to grow their business.
SMEs (small and medium enterprises) setting up in the current digital space need to embrace the latest technologies, for example, how a Royal Writer can adopt VR technology to enhance their traditional writing techniques.
These technologies save them from challenges experienced by traditional businesses while taking advantage of new technologies.
This post fully explores the power of embracing digital transformation in the retail business processes:
Why Retailers Need Digital Technology?
By adopting the latest digital technologies, retailers can keep pace with the ever-evolving nature of consumer expectations. Here is a look at some benefits retailers can accrue from adopting these digital technologies:
1. Digital Movement
Recent research reveals most retailers are migrating into the digital space. Retail processes are transforming from the traditional space into the modern space. Consumer behaviors tend to move with the current times, hence opting for the new digital space.
Most of this movement was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which opened retailers to a new way of continuing their businesses. It led to the augmentation of digital retail platforms that cater to customer expectations and preferences.
Consumers in the digital era have many choices in the retail space, including online shops, mobile apps, and in-store.
Consumer behaviors show that they prefer conducting business with retailers simply. They want to eliminate waiting times or long processes before receiving their products.
Adopting digital technologies automates workflows while examining current business processes. It produces an automated workflow that cuts waiting times and friction in your business. The end product is a curated workflow that creates an amazing customer experience.
3. Enhanced Customer Experience
The center of any digital transformation is enhancing the customer experience. These technologies analyze customer trends and patterns to tailor-make customer preferences and expectations.
These technologies evolving by analyzing data analytics that curate personalized shopping experiences that suit their tastes and preferences.
Customers can easily access information through mobile apps and websites. Furthermore, the latest advancements in digital technologies, such as AI, release chatbots and virtual assistants to enhance their customer experience.
4. Optimizing Supply Chain Management
Digital technologies provide:
- Real-time visibility in supply chain management.
- Allowing retailers to track product movement.
- Management of inventory sales.
- Product descriptions.
It makes the supply chain management process more efficient and reduces costs.
Adopting these digital tools can automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks to create time for staff to focus on other responsibilities. This process increases the transparency for both businesses and customers.
Top Trends and Emerging Technologies for Businesses
The technology space is evolving rapidly with new digital tools in the marketplace. Here are upcoming trends for retailers to adopt in their daily business processes:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the most debatable topics in the industry. It blew up during the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerated the adoption into the retail sector.
Retailers who adopted AI into the retail business gained a competitive advantage that allowed the management of various retail operations efficiently. AI adoption sees retailers tailor-make promotions and deals to send product reminders to consumers.
The retail industry’s adoption of Metaverse is gaining momentum, with most early adopters reaping the benefits. This new technology creates innovative virtual environments where retailers can contact their consumers.
Most retailers leverage Web 3.0 technologies such as blockchain and NFTs to engage customers in a more immersive experience. This new technology makes the shopping experiences of users more diverse. For example, online gamers can purchase in-game NFTs, including collectible items like weapons, cosmetic items, outfits, skins, and power-up options.
3. Virtual and Augmented Reality
The versatility of virtual and augmented reality presents numerous applications for retail businesses. Online stores incorporate AR and VR to engage customers and provide an immersive shopping experience.
For example, cosmetic businesses are adopting augmented reality to showcase how their products will look to their clients. Online stores can use the technology to provide a virtual shopping experience while allowing customers to review available products.
Moreover, retail businesses can work alongside graphic designers in the early product design and development stages. This gives designers and businesses a precise outlook on the final product function.
Common Mistakes Retailers Make When Adopting Digital Technologies
Even though there’s a full-on proliferation of digital technologies, there are common things that most retailers need to correct. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
1. Instant Change
Most retailers make the mistake of fully adopting these digital tools. They must plan for proper staff training to familiarize themselves with the latest technologies and processes.
Hence, retailers must implement a training course and plan for staff to get acquainted with the new developments.
2. Incurred Costs
The initial costs of adopting these digital tools require significant investments in infrastructure, training, and maintenance. For example, adopting augmented or virtual reality requires 3D mice, smart glasses, headsets, cameras, sensors, and optical trackers.
Hence, retailers must budget while consulting a financial expert to conduct a feasibility study to ensure a return on investment for the project.
3. Data Security
We are in the wake of numerous data security breaches and cyberattacks by online hackers. Hence, retailers must contend with securing their large volume of sensitive data from known third parties. Moreover, the retailer’s policy is protecting consumers’ private information.
Hence, entrepreneurs must invest in advanced security measures such as encryption, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication to avoid cyberattacks.
The digital space is rapidly developing, thus bringing about new digital tools that retailers can adopt to improve their business processes. We encourage retailers to familiarize themselves with these latest technologies to improve performance.