Many of today’s retailers have yet to truly modernize their operations. This is a major problem in today’s increasingly digital world, where people, businesses, and devices are constantly connected.
IBM estimates that this connectivity is leading to the creation of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. It’s imperative that retailers capitalize on this wealth of data – or they risk being left behind.
Innovation is a key enabler for today’s top retailers
Some of today’s most successful companies are rewriting the rules of retail with cutting-edge technologies:
- New Balance is using 3D printing to customize the look, fit, and feel of running shoes
- Under Armour has tapped into the Internet of Things to develop a sensor-enabled shirt that measures heart rate and other biometrics
- A Rebecca Minkoff store in New York City is bringing radio-frequency identification tags to life in fitting rooms, where they can trigger interactive touchscreens and display relevant product images and information
Before you consider leveraging technologies like these, you must make sure your retail business has the necessary foundational capabilities to support these innovations.
That requires digital transformation.
Kick-start your digital transformation with these three steps
Digital transformation is the one vital action a retailer must take to ensure it’s running as a Live Business. Running live can have a significant impact on your organization, from optimizing its internal operations to improving how it engages with customers.
But how do you get started?
Here are three critical steps you must take to transform your retailer into a Live Business:
- Obtain a single version of the truth. All of your customer and transaction data should reside in one location. This guarantees that all employees are viewing information that’s consistent, accurate, and up to date.
- Share the wealth of your data, anywhere, anytime. By providing real-time data access to your staff, you can accelerate decision-making for employees at any level – whether in the boardroom, in an office, or on the retail store floor – or across any department, from marketing and merchandising to purchasing, supply chain, and sales.
- Use your data to meet ever-evolving customer needs. Your data tells a story. It details what a customer has done in the past and what he or she may do in the future. Leverage this insight to identify trends in customer demand, predict buying behavior, adapt to in-the-moment changes, and deliver outstanding customer experiences.
Thrive in the era of unprecedented innovation
“Business as usual” is a dangerous way to operate in today’s fast-paced digital world. With customer expectations at an all-time high, your business needs to do something to meet the constantly shifting demands of your shoppers. That “something” is digital transformation.
By operating as a Live Business, your retailer can give consumers the products, information, and personalized shopping experiences they want – when, where, and how they want them. You can gain a 360-degree view of your shoppers and convert insights into sales. You can streamline internal operations, increase revenues, and expand margins.
When you run live, you Run Simple. And when you Run Simple, you win.
This blog was originally posted on “The Digitalist”
Learn more about the winning ways of digital transformation and Live Business. Register now to attend the upcoming SAP Retail Forum in Miami, Florida, on September 12–14, and discover how you can thrive in the era of unprecedented innovation. I look forward to seeing you there. Let me know via Twitter (@LoriMitchellKell) where we can continue the conversation on digital transformation!