The Future of Retail is Now

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Young female worker using tape dispenser gun while packing cardboard boxes for the shipment in distribution warehouse.

The retail industry was always on the road to digitalization. Online retail giants quickly saw some customers do all their holiday shopping online, which forced other more traditional stores to modernize or go bankrupt. Cyber Monday started over-shadowing Black Friday. Customers demanded seamless, omnichannel experiences over mobile apps and with loyalty programs — mobile has become integral to all shopping experiences no matter where they happen. And then, in February and March 2020, suddenly doors shut on brick-and-mortars of all sizes, while demand for essential goods rose dramatically.

It quickly became clear that those who were able to adapt in response to change were retailers who embraced new technologies and agile methodologies. This allowed them, in the short-term, to move to click-and-collect and delivery services and, in the long-term, to deliver a more personalized customer experience, with new and sustainable revenue streams.

For years, the retail industry focused on reducing cost and increasing operational efficiency. But now, with the power of choice back in the hands of consumers, retailers have to be willing to innovate fast.

In order to achieve this level and modernization, retailers need to consolidate IT:

  1. Streamline systems to reduce cost and create the foundation to be more flexible and agile.
  2. Simplify infrastructure management to manage in-store systems and SAP environments, on premises, in the cloud, and at the edge.
  3. Consolidate systems and data to enable a 360-degree customer profile to drive predictive and personalized shopping experiences.
  4. Unify warehouse, transportation, order management, inventory management, and customer service capabilities to optimize delivery process.
  5. Replace aging hardware and software to allow for quick patches, because retailers can only afford zero downtime.

Forward-thinking retailers embrace a more innovative way to build, deliver and manage applications across their entire enterprises. They understand that this is the only way to create the customer experience they need to compete. And they’ve realized that, no matter what you’re selling, technology acts as the differentiator behind delivering that expected experience.

The next step will be leveraging that same tech to reimagine the in-store experience. Uniting the analog with the digital, retailers will increasingly deliver personalized customer experiences on any device — whether they are in the pocket of the customer or on the store shelf. This is the new way to take a casual customer and turn them into a customer for life.

This new omnichannel marketing approach will be in response to a more complete view of the customer across their full journey. This can only be achieved by an integrated, intelligent digital platform built for always-on agility, security and adaptability.

You need reliability, responsiveness and simplicity. Now.

In order to make this transition from upkeep and maintenance to innovation, efficiency and new service delivery, you need an IT infrastructure partner that is highly available, agile and secure.

Learn more by reading our white paper Transform Your Retail Business 2021

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Thomas Helmer
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