• November 2, 2016

The Vision For Future Retailers

the_vision_for_future_retailers

Digital transformation across the shopping journey.

In the future, the store essentially is wherever the customer is, and being a retailer that thrives will require orchestrating consumers through frictionless experiences to discover and buy products. Retailers will need to construct capabilities that create seamless, intuitive, convenient and easy shopping pathways for their customers. The shopping journey may start online or from a store. Regardless of which channel, the customer’s shopping journey has four stages: inspiration, discovery, selection and fulfillment. With consumers now demanding seamless omni-channel shopping experience and looking for their next “best experience”, best in class retailers are leveraging digital technology to deliver personalized customer experience.

Digital transformation (DX) is crucial to improving communication and customer engagement in the retail ecosystem, and supporting the flexibility and adaptability needed to meet the vision of the “retail store of the future”. IDC’s Leading in 3D leadership model enables retailers to overcome the multitude of challenges in DX by addressing three critical IT leadership dimensions: Innovation, Integration and Incorporation. Leading innovation is the ability to work with business partners at the speed of business change and integrate new technology platforms into stable business process, and also evolving existing legacy environment by incorporating new skills, techniques and culture.

As one of the key dimensions in DX, omni-experience is a multidimensional ecosystem approach for retailers to continually amplify experience excellence for their products. Retailers that are able to sense, shape, share and amplify omni-experiences as a part of their DX journey should be able to continually attract and grow loyalty with customers, partners and employees across the entire ecosystem. To achieve omni-experience DX, retailers should invest in 3rd platform technologies (big data/analytics, cloud, social business and mobility) and engagement capabilities such as sensors, video, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual/augmented reality, data, digital displays and 3D visualizations. The adoption of 3rd Platform technologies and innovation accelerators will distinguish winners that digitally transform their operations, becoming a ubiquitous digital agent to the customer in both bricks and clicks touch points.

To implement digital transformation across the retail ecosystem, retailers need to look for a solution provider that understands retailers’ challenges and business objectives, and is able to bridge the gaps between their old infrastructure and new enterprise DX strategies. In addition, they need to identify the areas for improvement in support of digital experience in the following key dimensions of omni-experience: ecosystem experience, continuous innovation orientation, platform service delivery and omni-dimensional marketing. As retailers continue their digital evolution, they need to design an IT management strategy to support changing business needs while freeing up resources for real innovation and include 3rd Platform capabilities to deliver new business processes.

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