Ron Huber

Ron Huber is the CEO and co-founder of Achieve Internet. He's an experienced senior executive with over 15 years managing and leading software teams in the online media, Internet, and software development space.

About the Author

In this competitive environment, your business needs to be agile and flexible. That's why retail businesses with a digital-first philosophy are winning versus competitors who can't keep up with the changing landscape of customer demands.

How are they adapting to these rapid changes? By harnessing the power of digital transformation. Gartner reported that 91% of businesses are embarking on some form of digital initiative.

But what is digital transformation in the retail industry?

Digital transformation stresses the need for organizations to utilize emerging technology and trends to improve productivity and provide customers more value than ever before.

This means that retailers need to think critically and create new ways for customers to experience their brands from the inside out with technology at every turn.

Retail Digital Transformation Benefits

The benefits of digital transformation in retail are virtually endless, and it's easy to see why retailers would want to embark on this journey.

Here are a few benefits to expect when you start implementing changes:

1. Enhanced customer experience

In the digital age, customer experiences are becoming more interactive and personal.

Companies realize more and more interactions take place on devices rather than face-to-face, and they take advantage of these new methods.

  • Personalization: The era of personalized experiences is here. Brands know that they can't get a foot in the door without collecting data on buyers. Thanks to digital tools designed for this very purpose, it's easier than ever before to provide shoppers with an immersive shopping experience tailored just right.

  • Omnichannel retail: To keep up with shoppers' demands, many retailers have implemented a unified ecommerce strategy that combines web and mobile into one interface. This allows you to manage all your different systems from just one place, providing a seamless experience for customers.

2. Use data-driven insights

Data-driven insights enable marketing strategies to provide more relevant, personalized, and agile content that resonates with your audience more than ever before.

  • Understand buyer preferences: Data analytics is important in the retail industry because it helps you understand your customer's preferences. The more information retained, the better and more personalized their experience will become.

  • Enhance marketing campaigns: Collecting the right buyer data informs your marketing campaigns on what customers value most in a business. This information will help you apply different tactics to generate more sales.

3. Streamline operations

Operational efficiency is a top priority for retailers in this digital age. With so many channels and opportunities out there, it's vital that operations remain efficient to provide an excellent customer experience across all platforms.

  • Use of cloud technologies: Corporations are taking a proactive stance to stay competitive and adopt new technologies like cloud computing. This allows them to improve their operations to better serve customers with what is needed at any given time.

  • Optimize customer service: Digital transformation allows your business to increase efficiency by cutting down the amount of work needed in-person or over email while still providing quality solutions that meet all expectations.

4. Increase adaptability

Businesses can now increase their agility with this new technology and improve time to market while adopting continuous improvement strategies like deployment cycles.

  • Improve resource management: Digital transformation is all about bringing together information and resources in one place so that you can use them more efficiently. It's not just software but also databases with your business intelligence tools—making it easier to make decisions based on what matters most.

  • Inventory transparency: Digital transformation allows retailers to collect and collate data from all stages of production. This shows trends, patterns, resource usage, and waste or bottlenecks in a digestible form that can be used for decision-making by the company's management team.

Technologies Used in Digital Transformation

New technologies are introduced every year, requiring retailers to stay abreast of the trends to avoid missing out on any market opportunities they may present.

Forward-thinking companies need to keep up with the times and modernize their branding. There are several ways that you can do this.

1. Application Programming Interface (API)

APIs are the lifeblood of many companies, apps, and services. In fact, Google Cloud reported 52% of retailers said APIs allowed partners to leverage digital assets at scale, helping them accelerate innovation.

By connecting different parts of their company with data, APIs allow retailers to create innovative product or service experiences for customers.

Implementing an API program is a great way to power business-critical applications and front-end experiences. Here’s how retailers are using this technology.

  • API Portals: API portals are like app stores for APIs. They enable companies to consolidate all of their API assets in one place to promote innovation and make it easier to collaborate with third parties.