Customer-facing digital technology is driving digital transformation in retail, supported by lower-key, enabling and function-specific technologies and solutions that provide the foundation for the retail system to function and live up to customer-facing technologies’ promise. Retailers that fail to engage with the technologies that are reshaping and upending their industry will fall behind and become unable to meet customers’ growing expectations.
Frost & Sullivan’s research insight, Digital Transformation in the Global Retail Sector, discusses the technology drivers, Mega Trends, industry trends and bellwethers in the adoption of consumer-facing technologies in retail.
“As the archetypal customer-facing industry, retail is ever more becoming a showcase for customer-driven digital transformation,” stated Digital Transformation Integrated Commerce Lead Martin Hoff ter Heide. “New holistic and data-driven approaches optimise personalisation and shopper experience. Shoppers find themselves empowered by mobile and wearable devices. They can also roam in and out of physical and digital channels throughout their shopping journey, vary the degree of service versus self-service, and increasingly interact with artificial intelligence, robots, and an array of smart things.”
The most critical, immediate driver for companies to engage in digital transformation is the need to improve customer experience. Given the nature of their activity, retailers are exposed like few other industries to escalating customer expectations driven by digital technology and innovative eCommerce competition.
“Advances in retail technology can put retailers that operate physical store assets back at an edge over pure play eCommerce companies and help better cater to shoppers’ increasing expectation of immersive and personalised omni-channel shopping experiences,” noted Hoff ter Heide.