What is Digital Transformation in Retail?
The term ‘digital transformation’ in retail encompasses a range of business opportunities that go beyond simply focusing on a single technology or a discreet strategy, such as e-commerce or click-and-collect. A digital transformation strategy in retail refers to the trend of retailers creating new and innovative business models that blur the physical and digital worlds.
Digital Transformation Redefines Retailing
Digital businesses redefine traditional retailing and marketplace boundaries. They drive internal change toward new, unprecedented business environments and are led by customer-first strategies characterized by newfound flexibility.
A leading-edge digital retailer will connect or integrate assets (businesses, divisions, staff and technologies) to remove barriers that inhibit the blurring of the physical and digital worlds.
Collaboration at multiple levels – staff, processes and technologies – is a necessary step for digital transformation to occur. Successful retailers will build ecosystems that include other retailers, suppliers, shippers, customers, and technology vendors.
What Defines a Digital Transformation?
There are significant obstacles faced by retailers that embark on a digital transformation journey. Many of these are technological issues, such as retiring legacy applications, integrating applications using APIs, and consolidating databases.
However, the real challenge is found in corporate culture and change management issues, which often makes it difficult to convert digital transformation efforts into business opportunities that produce measurable results.
Cultural issues are pervasive and elusive, but they must be addressed by retail organizations that want their digital transformation initiatives to succeed in the age of the consumer.
See these resources for more on digital transformation.