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Digital transformation in retail to help brands tide over difficult times

"With the recession leading to the rise of numerous direct-to-consumers brands that offer quality, value and luxury at affordable prices, traditional retailers are scrambling to modernise their stores. Caught unawares by the rise of new, modern consumer, these retailers began redesigning their brick and mortar stores as experiential centers where commerce is just one of the many activities that takes places. However, tightening budgets are likely to thrust these upgradation plans into a limbo."

 

Digital transformation in retail to help brands tide over difficult timesWith the recession leading to the rise of numerous direct-to-consumers brands that offer quality, value and luxury at affordable prices, traditional retailers are scrambling to modernise their stores. Caught unawares by the rise of new, modern consumer, these retailers began redesigning their brick and mortar stores as experiential centers where commerce is just one of the many activities that takes places. However, tightening budgets are likely to thrust these upgradation plans into a limbo. Tech investments are likely to suffer due to the current hard times though they won’t be drastically cut.

Growing preference for the cloud software

One change that recession could bring along is brands’ adoption of cloud software which offers greater flexibilityDigital transformation in retail to help brands tide over difficult and lower overhead to reduce the expense of their IT payroll. As Suketu Gandhi, partner in the digital transformation practice of AT Kearney, a global strategy and management consulting firm, notes cloud stands to be the big winner in contracting economic growth as it helps retailers rewrite many of their “paused” tech projects from scratch. These retailers will continue to invest in competitive pricing tools, inventory visibility checkout technologies and other initiatives that enhance customer experience.

Need to double tech investments

Customer experience will be front and central though retailers will continue to serve their needs. Micheal Kim, Vice-President of data and analytics at AArete, advises companies to double their technology investments to ensure a seamless experience to their consumers. He also encourages them to leverage the e-commerce channels for retail as according to him, technological investments that enhance a customer’s digital experience through e-commerce pushes loyalty in the hardest of times.

Forrester vice president and principal analyst Sucharita Kodali also agrees that consumers’ growing interest in digital shopping channels will drive more investments in online channels. These retailers have been steadily investing in BOPIS software. However, these investments are being curtailed due to recession and sadly companies rushing to cut them first are ones that are emerging as winners.

 
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