As consumer shopping trends and behaviors continue to evolve rapidly in the wake of a global pandemic, retailers are facing constant pressure to provide their products at the right time, place, and context that intersect with these new consumer trends and behaviors. Consumer trending is a crucial component of the US economy, making up almost 70%  of the total US economic output. But with the coronavirus pandemic, pushed even more retail customers online. So, it is now more important than ever for retailers to show customers exactly why they should visit their stores. Retailers today must improve their products, processes, facilities, and customer experiences to improve their sales and revenue. The most effective way of doing this in this digital age is through retail digital transformation. Here is how digital transformation in the retail industry is driving growth and innovation. 

Better in-store customer experiences

As the competition in the retail industry increases day by day, retailers have to re-evaluate their offerings in their markets and offer an experience that the customer can’t refuse. This is where offering an omnichannel experience to the customers can make a difference. With the help of advanced technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR) and cloud computing technology, retailers are able to provide more-in store experiences online. For instance, allowing online shoppers to have a video call with sales associates, helping customers visualize products with cameras on mobile devices, helping customers make the right purchase decision with Augmented reality technology, and offering virtual trial rooms that can truly elevate the customer experiences. Thus, digital transformation in the retail industry helps retailers go omnichannel to provide better customer experiences. 

Hyper-personalization for customers

Customer-centricity is a critical focus area in the digital transformation in the retail industry. As a retailer, if you can’t deliver exactly what your customer wants, you are going to lose your revenue. The traditional ‘one size fits all strategy in the retail industry doesn’t work anymore. Today’s customers want to receive offers that are relevant, tailor-made, and match their particular interests. With the help of advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms, retailers can consolidate omnichannel customer data and personalize experiences at every single stage of the purchasing journey. These data are gathered from various sources ranging from the IoT sensors in the store to social media. Thus, the trend for personalization is only growing and digital transformation in the retail industry, at this stage is imperative. 

Sales forecast and future demand prediction

Artificial intelligence and big data analytics play a huge role in forecasting sales and predicting future demand. This is crucial because, in a retail business, every customer interaction has a significant impact on both existing and potential relationships. So, executing a sales strategy or a product without knowing about it entirely can be risky and could even lead to a prolonged or quick loss. But with the help of these digital technologies, retail players can predict the future performance of different products based on customers’ interests and likes. By analyzing the various parameters such as demographics, economics, occasions, etc, retailers can have a better understanding of their business and can even be used to forecast future trends based on buying data. It also helps retailers understand the customer buying trends and lets them focus on areas that would have high demand. 

Supply chain digitization

The traditional supply chain management model is insufficient to serve the evolving needs of US customers. This is why the retail industry needs a highly optimized supply chain that can lead to higher cost-efficiency and drive better employee performance. Digitizing the supply chain is the only way for retailers to pursue their omnichannel strategy with a high success rate. In fact, digitizing the supply chain was the first important step that the US retail giant Walmart did to gain a competitive advantage over other brands. Big Data analytics in the manufacturing industry: How can big data benefit the manufacturing industry? Advanced technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine learning are enabling retailers to shorten replenishment times, optimize deliveries and efficiently match supply with demand. Supply chain digitization in the retail industry can not only orchestrate inventory and fulfillment decisions dynamically across the entire network but can also intelligently optimize service quality and cost. For instance, with the help of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, retailers can bring the concept of a smart shelf to reality. These smart shelves are equipped with RFID tags, weight sensors, and readers to scan products on both stock and display shelves. This way, retail employees can track the shelf items and replace them at the right time. Thus, digital transformation in the retail industry can help retailers meet the demand of customers efficiently. 

Innovative retailers know the importance of digital transformation in the retail industry and are steering the retail marketplace from uncertainty, fragmentation, and complexity towards an increasingly integrated and technologically advanced future. These smart retailers are collaborating with partners to use the latest technologies and supply chain optimization tools to streamline processes and serve their omnichannel customers. Thus, to achieve all these competitive and business advantages, retailers must invest in modern business strategies and in leading technologies. This is where we, at Intone, can help you. We work with some of the world’s largest retail clients in the world to develop and execute strategies that optimize the retail value chain at every level to create connected customer experiences for each and every client. We do this through real-time data analytics, digital CRM, IT integration, and modernization of the IT landscape. Let us help you to create better-connected customer experiences.

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