Digitalization Driving Customer Experience in Retail
There are many sectors in the world today that have been impacted by technology. Digitalization has become the need of the hour and is revolutionizing the working of various industries. Digital experiences are leading the world towards the age of information.
What is digitalization?
Digitalization is the new age concept that encourages various businesses to make use of existing technologies to elevate the quality of business. Digitalization is a change that pushes more consumers online. It enhances the productivity of a business and provides a chance to boost revenue. Digitalization that can be seen today is entirely customer-driven.
Due to the increase in the variation of facilities available today, the expectations of consumers are evolving rapidly. Higher expectations have led to an emphasis on the good quality of products and services that enable people to spend their valuable time and money wisely. This need of changing times has made many industries analyze their operational dynamics and become more consumer-centric. This approach initiates a balanced solution to the conundrum of satisfying individual needs.
Strategies to begin with digital transformation
With the need for digitalization increasing in areas of varied domains, the retail sector is not immune to it. Knowing the reason behind the business needing a digital transformation is the formula to the successful implementation of a strategy. The 6-step plan includes:
Have a clear vision: Having answers to some questions is essential. The questions include:
a. How far is the business lagging behind in terms of satisfying the current needs of the customer?
b. Are there any challenges that need to be overcome while carrying out the day-to-day tasks of the business?
If the answers to these questions incline towards the need for an improvement, it is time to put a plan towards a transformation into motion.
Get expert advice: While making a business plan towards digitalization, it is necessary to have experienced leaders lead the way towards success.
Start small: Making way towards digitalization with baby steps that involve the people of the organization understanding the need of the required change is very important. Everyone should be ready to show effort towards the hurdles on the way.
Round up necessary resources: Keeping all the required resources handy is the key step in conquering the throne of digitalization.
Team up with technology: Getting information about the necessary trends, platforms, and vendors can help cater to business problems and bridge the gap between the business and current demands.
Keep evolving: Once a strategy is developed, just the implementation of it is not enough. ‘Adaptability’ should be the policy undertaken to make changes to the strategy as and when required, to stay in line with the fluctuating demands.
With the correct guidance, the journey of a digital transformation can be travelled easily.
The impact of digitalization on the retail industry
The retail industry is transforming digitally and the impact of it is palpable. Better amenities with good quality services and products, higher transparency between the sellers and buyers, and decreased cost of functioning have influenced not just the demands of people but also the business revenue. Variation in the availability of various resources is also seen. The huge volume of data generated every second nowadays, has increased the importance of making use of that data in a proper manner. With the opportunity provided by technology to use this raw data to gather insights about the past, present, and future, succeeding in domains like retail has become convenient.
In today’s times, standalone physical retailing has become difficult and requires a helping hand from technology. With consumer satisfaction fuelling the experience of a retail store at every step, digitalization has slowly been accepted and adopted. With the speed at which various industries are adopting digitalization and have achieved such tremendous growth in every activity in a short period of time, the most common question asked by people is what does the future hold for everyone? Given the recent picture of the retail industry, weeding out the unchanged policies, technology will take everyone towards an equalized world. ‘Equal opportunities for everyone’ will be the sweeping change seen on a wider scale.
With the good in-store customer experience and the revenue growth of the business linked together, one cannot be achieved without the other. Even though digitalization in the retail sector is consumer induced, the businesses are benefiting from it at an equal success rate. So, the digitalization of retail has emerged with the ability to please everybody.
Today, 46% of consumers look for products on digital platforms before making a visit to a physical store to check variety and compare the price, reviews, and stock availability.
There are many new trends re-establishing the retail sector on all levels today. The ways adopted to bring around this retail digitalization includes technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, etc. Digitalization has made shopping smarter. Various facilities that make use of these technologies and take the retail industry towards digitalization are robotic assistants, customized availability of items, shopping on digital platforms, personalized shopping experience, detailed store layouts, and smart shelves. Interactive shopping experience; a product of digitalization of retail is not only a great way to purchase things accurately but also a way to experience shopping uniquely. Digitalization revolving around retail customer experience requires a holistic approach. By making way through consumer retention, digitalization in the retail sector is the roadmap to the future and beyond and is here to dominate.