13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail

  1. Recognize the need for digital transformation extends beyond websites and mobile apps to the entire organization and across all business processes.
  2. Understand the degree of change occurring in retail as a result of customers’ fast-changing behaviors.
  3. Judge accurately where your organization stands on a digital technologies maturity curve.
  4. Show the necessary leadership to change strategies, budget priorities and plans based on new data, trends and insights, and then make the required investments in digital technologies, people and skills to compete successfully.
  5. See that traditional channel-centric strategies are no longer viable; rather, retailers must adopt precise, customer-centric strategies, enabled by digital technologies.
  6. Don’t excuse slow adoption of digital technologies, as the data is clear and compelling and demands immediate action.
  7. Think with a digital mindset, intimately understand the capabilities of digital technologies, understand digital’s role and importance in customer interactions, and develop new digital business models, processes and strategies for supporting today’s and tomorrow’s digital markets and consumers.
  8. Realize that digital transformation and the industry’s adoption of digital technologies are occurring on an accelerated schedule that peaks around 2020. It waits for no retailer’s budget cycles, three-year master plan, leadership change or strategy.
  9. Align the pace of digital transformation initiatives with the speed at which consumers are adopting digital technologies, behaviors, markets and thinking. This might mean over-investment in the near term to catch up or stay ahead of the competition.
  10. Unify disparate digital transformation initiatives behind a single company-wide digital transformation doctrine – a guiding statement that effectively describes the reason for digital transformation, what needs to happen and what winning looks like. This doctrine must be used to direct and shape the entire company’s efforts.
  11. Closely monitor the business impact of rapidly emerging digital technologies to ensure investments are prioritized and acted upon in the right time and place to maximize ROI and competitive advantage, while also balancing the need to innovate and embrace a fail-fast, test and learn mentality.
  12. Understand how digital transformation will alter traditional retail roles, responsibilities and skills for all associates.
  13. Pay close attention to how digital transformation shapes and changes consumers’ interactions and experiences, and train associates to best serve digitally enabled consumers.
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Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as a futurist in the Future of Business group at Tata Consultancy Services. He is an optimistic futurist, and passionate advocate for using technology for social good. He writes and speaks globally on emerging and disruptive technologies, business strategies and marketing trends. He loves building teams, innovating, designing new strategies and winning. He is curious and loves communicating complex concepts and evangelizing best practices. He hosts a variety of online tv channels where he has interviewed hundreds of executives and thought leaders on industry trends and emerging technologies. He loves writing, is a social media expert, SAP Mentor alum, current SAP Influencer program member and global speaker on the deeper strategies of business and technology transformation.

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