Retailers are consistently advised to embrace digital transformation, but what does that really mean? The majority of physical retailers already have some sort of online presence; however, the retail landscape has shifted so dramatically in a short space of time that a lot of businesses find themselves playing catch up.
eCommerce has accelerated rapidly during the COVID months and is now years ahead of where it would have been. And as physical stores experience restrictions with social distancing and perceived risk by many shoppers, retail has firmly become a digital-first enterprise.
eCommerce sales grew 34% year-on-year in June 2020 – the highest growth rate reported since March 2008.
Why digital transformation?
Primark is the greatest example of a brand that lost out due to having no online presence. But even retailers that have a presence online can struggle to win. Customers expectations are increasingly high when it comes to the eCommerce experience.
Consumer behaviour shows that shoppers have now thoroughly embraced digital-first. Despite non-essential shops reopening in June, eCommerce has continued to grow and is now at an all-time high.
Retailers need to prioritise enhancing their current online presence to fit the current and future landscape.
Understanding digital transformation.
Digital transformation is not just the adoption of new technology, its about leveraging technology in a way that aligns with your business goals to add value for the customer and create new business opportunities.
Although many businesses had to explore digitalisation as an emergency response to COVID, it’s worth acknowledging that digital transformation is not a ‘bandaid’ or short-term device but rather a fundamental shift for a long term strategy.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that meaningful changes can’t be made quickly. Adopting an agile digital infrastructure means that you can adapt swiftly to changing conditions.
Factors for successful digital transformation.
Digital transformation involves adapting your business model and evolving your operational processes accordingly, all with the overarching goal of advancing the customer experience across the entire shopping journey.
- Discovery of the brand and products
- A streamlined and personalised online ‘store’ experience (including mobile)
- Personal assistance via AI chatbots or human agents to assist in product queries and/or recommendations
- Smooth payment and checkout process
- A positive post-purchase experience, including flexible delivery and returns options and responsive customer support.
Laura Roche Marketing Executive, Scurri
Laura Roche is a Marketing Executive at Scurri, managing social media and content marketing. Laura shares breaking news in the eCommerce space with our readers as well as sharing insights across the delivery and logistics landscape.