Technology has created a cultural shift in how consumers shop. Consumers increasingly expect retailers to be omnichannel so they can shop seamlessly, whether in-store or online.
This means that even if you have already passed digital transformation For pervasive processes, the realities of today’s retail environment demand something different.
Meeting these demands means implementing digital technologies that make it easy for consumers to move between channels without interrupting their shopping journey. It requires a digital transformation designed specifically for omnichannel commerce.
Why Digital Transformation is Essential for Omnichannel Retail
Modern consumers are harder to please and have more digital demands. in the words of McKinsey & Companytoday’s consumers are “more connected, less loyal, more informed and ultimately agnostic.”
Another McKinsey & Company The report found that 60% to 70% of consumers across all retail categories research and buy both online and in-store. It International Institute for Management Development (IMD) it is estimated that retailers who do not offer omnichannel capabilities are missing out on 10% to 30% of sales.
While the demand for omnichannel experiences is clear, few retailers can meet them. A digital transformation insights company Incisive: reports that while most retail executives expect the complexity of their digital operations to increase over the next year, less than half believe they have the technology capabilities needed to meet it.
In this environment, embracing the next wave of digital transformation is imperative. But how do you start the process?
Which technology processes do you need to transform?
Focus first on the technology processes you need to transform. Your exact digitization or modernization processes will depend on your unique needs and the unique preferences of your customers.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine what digital opportunities to focus on:
- How easy is it for your consumers to switch between channels? Do they run into roadblocks when they do?
- What kind of omnichannel capabilities do your consumers want?
- What omnichannel capabilities will help sales reps better serve consumers?
- What digital technologies have competitors implemented that you haven’t?
You can conduct customer surveys or other forms of analysis to get a clear picture of where you stand and what shape your omnichannel digital strategy should take.
To hone in on the exact technologies to invest or upgrade, consider your options in the following broad categories.
Your e-commerce platform
If you haven’t already created an online sales platform, it should be your number one priority. If you have, ask yourself if anything about it could be improved. Do you have a product experience management (PXM) a solution for managing product information and data;
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if a PXM solution is right for you.
- Struggling with how consistently your brand appears on channels?
- Want to improve collaboration between teams while minimizing data accuracy risks?
- Want to accelerate your speed to market?
- Do you want a solution that will enable your company to grow and support it through this growth?
The rise of omnichannel commerce means that practices such as buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), buy online, return in store (BORIS) and browse online before buying in store and vice versa are second nature to modern shoppers.
If your sales or inventory processes aren’t yet flexible enough to handle these trends, it’s a great place to start your omnichannel digital transformation.
Real-time inventory management
Fully omnichannel retail requires always knowing what’s in your inventory. Is upgrading your inventory management software, product catalog and other back office technology essential for omnichannel digital transformation which succeeds in the long run.
Omnichannel Consumer Engagement
Agreed Omnisend:, consumer campaign engagement across all channels is 429% more likely to result in conversions than single channel engagement. Making customer engagement the core of your multi-channel digital strategy is a great way to nurture more loyal buyers.
6 steps to digital transformation for omnichannel commerce
Digital transformation can seem daunting at first, but it can easily be broken down into manageable steps. Here’s a high-level overview of how to implement a successful one omnichannel digital strategy.
1. Define your goals
The ultimate success of any large-scale project depends on having clear goals. Work with your team to determine the specific goals you want to achieve with your digital transformation. Then list the milestones that need to be met in order to achieve those goals. This information will keep you focused for the long road ahead.
2. Get Leadership Buy-in
There may be resistance to change at first, but you and your management all want the same thing. innovate to satisfy your customers. You can gain stakeholder buy-in by showing how digital transformation will achieve this.
Gathering data from consumers and other sources can show the importance of what you are trying to achieve. Another potential strategy is to complete a small project related to your overall goals that will give you a quick win by showing how digital transformation will benefit the business.
3. Develop a plan
You already have your ultimate goals and some milestones. At this point, it’s time to detail how you’ll achieve them.
Consider who will work on each phase of the project, what they will need to do, and who they will need to collaborate with to do it. Get information from all the departments that will be involved so you understand how they will work together.
It may take some time to iron out all the details, but starting with a clear plan makes the journey faster in the long run.
4. Choose your vendors
When you first set your goals, you likely decided on the broad types of technology you wanted to implement. Now it’s time to evaluate specific vendors choose the right solutions for investments.
Prioritize vendors who allow free demos and trials so you can see exactly how the solution will be used. Letting everyone who might use the solution try it out can help you choose something that will work well for the entire business.
5. Implement your solutions
This step will form a key part of your digital transformation journey. It is better to work on implementing one new solution at a time to avoid overload. As you go, evaluate the success of each implementation and adjust your plans as needed.
6. Evaluate success
When new technology is introduced, measure it against your original goals. Does it do what you wanted?
Digital transformation is not a static project, but one that is constantly evolving as new technologies and new retail trends emerge. Carefully evaluating your success at the end of a project will help you decide how to move forward.
Embrace your digital transformation journey
Retail is changing and retailers must change to survive with it. It is for many people digital transformation necessary to keep pace with increasing consumer demands.
While the idea of digital transformation may seem daunting, it is perfectly possible with a clear process and some careful planning.