How digital transformation will change the retail industry

April 4, 2017

Retailers are challenged like never before. It is no longer enough just to sell products – retailers have to give their customers an experience that keeps them satisfied and interested. This includes e-commerce as well as brick-and-mortar and brands.

The era of spam and narrow-minded campaigns, where retailers sent the same message to everyone, is long gone. Today it is all about keeping up with the customers’ constantly changing expectations.

How does digital transformation affect the retail industry?

Digital transformation is not a new thing in the retail business, but the importance is unquestionable. Digital transformation is all about rethinking the processes that make it possible to be at the forefront of changing market conditions and at the same time be able to satisfy the customers’ changing demands and expectations.

Fierce competition impacts the retail industry and therefore it is crucial to reconsider every single aspect of your business to differentiate yourself from others. Today retailers use innovative technology to meet customers’ needs and to make their business processes more efficient. The main objective is to build relationships that turn customers into advocates who recommend the retailers’ businesses. Word of mouth cannot be measured financially, but it has invaluable importance.

Modern and unified software is a decisive factor

For many retailers it may seem unnecessary to renew the old ERP system when it works just fine. But one of many retailers’ biggest challenges comes from the fact that their systems are not built to keep up with customers’ rapid change of behavior. Customers increasingly demand a more personalized experience both online and offline. This requires a software solution, that can connect every part of the business from back end to front end and everything in-between.

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Microsoft Dynamics 2017 is a solution that fulfills those demands and it has qualifications to build great customer experiences. It makes it possible for retailers to streamline the purchasing process and get access to a big amount of data from social media that can be used to analyze customer demands. When combined with a integrated PoS system Dynamics NAV enables in-store associates to easily get information about the inventory and this again enables them to give fast and updated answers to customer requests.

Employees are the face of the brand

It requires more than just software to keep up with the digital transformation in the retail industry. Retailers have to engage with their customers in a new ways. The employees are a crucial factor to accomplish that. They are both the first and last impression of the retailer’s brand when customers visit the store. To give customers a unique shopping experience employees have to have access to updated data and the necessary business processes. Due to the rapidly changing customer requests and needs, relevance is a keyword to succeed.

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A specific initiative to meet the demand for relevance is to provide in-store associates with a tablet with a mobile PoS sytem. That enables them to almost instantly answer the customers’ questions, no matter where they physically are in the store. A Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution combined with the right POS-system makes it possible to offer customers a personalized and differentiated experience when they go shopping.

Optimize business processes

An essential part of the digital transformation in the retail industry is about optimizing the working procedures. This involves every part of the business from the use of digital systems to product location and customer service. The challenge is to collect information and continually build knowledge to optimize all processes. By using existing data and advanced planning it is possible to put knowledge into practice.

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This will make processes more efficient so that the important tasks can be done faster and the tasks that only take wasteful time can be cut out. Retailers’ needs are very different, and that is the reason why it is important to collect and analyze data about every retailer’s specific business processes before an optimization becomes a reality.

Try NaviPartner’s mobile PoS system

Choose between the web browser version or the app. Both give you access to NP Retail and Dynamics NAV on all devices. As a bonus, you also get access to the webshop system, NP Ecommerce.

Try it out for free