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Digital Transformation for Retail Industry

"How digital is enabling retail industry to transform business at location-level"

It is no surprise that modern-day businesses are increasingly leveraging Digital Transformation. While digital capabilities had started influencing various aspects of business over the last few years, it was accelerated significantly by the pandemic as the world underwent a massive change. Like several others, retail businesses have started using advanced technology to transform multiple elements of business, to achieve greater efficiency and offer improved consumer experience. As times change, it has become clear to physical retail businesses and brick-and-mortar establishments that implementing digital capabilities to upgrade their business processes and systems, and also building digital interfaces with consumers, are key to ensuring the growth of their business and forging genuine credibility.

With the advent of cutting-edge technologies, traditional retail businesses have found it lucrative to move beyond legacy systems and adopt present-day approaches, to optimize business. Retail business owners have understood that missing such opportunities to transform through digital avenues can distance consumers and cause potential losses. While spaces such as eCommerce have gained momentum, retail businesses realize that with the right usage of technology and digital infrastructure, their physical stores can be made more inviting and hospitable, helping consumers find delightful experiences. In addition to the consumer angle, the more retail businesses can build robust digital capabilities, the easier it will be to track consumer information, assess purchasing habits through data-driven insights, and bring personalized offerings to consumers.

Technology is moving at a rapid pace. To capitalize on this and ensure the consumer-connect grows stronger, retail business owners have identified the importance of being easily accessible and enabling consumers to make purchase decisions. Through capabilities such as having formal business profiles on search engines, retail businesses become more discoverable and appear easily on searching. The modern-day consumer commonly does a ‘Near Me’ search as he/she looks for easily accessible products and services. A Google report states that “Open Now Near Me” searches have globally increased by a staggering 400% year-on-year. So, the more information about retail businesses is available digitally, the greater the chances of consumers finding the confidence to interact and visit the physical outlets. If businesses, through formal business profiles share details such as hours of operation, contact details, product catalogues etc., the more they are visible through optimized search results, consumers find it more credible to associate with them. And with capabilities such as automated chats, retail business owners can allow consumers to engage with them and deepen the overall association, leading to potential conversions. With the exponential growth in the usage of smartphones and other mobile devices, online searches to meet various consumer needs have risen considerably. And it is this last-mile connectivity and hyperlocal approaches that retail business owners are aiming to strengthen, to stay ahead of competition and win consumer trust. Post the pandemic, it has become even more critical for retail businesses to keep their digital ecosystem updated, to ensure consumers find the right assistance at the right time.

To enhance their digital identity, retail businesses today also build location-level eCommerce-enabled pages which strengthen consumer engagement and allow them easier means to make purchases. Such pages help retailers tap local markets and build a powerful hold with local consumers. Most importantly, as consumers continue to search for easy-access local products, such pages can run local campaigns and customize promotional offers in conjunction with the purchase behaviour of local audiences. Hyperlocal capabilities like eCommerce pages provide a simplified interface via which brands, through direct consumer interactions with retailers, can form an association with end consumers. And it is through such nuanced digital approaches that brands, represented through retail outlets, can always be ‘Right there’ with consumers. Augmented features such as AI-powered chats allow conversations with consumers resulting in greater engagement and credibility for retail outlets as well as brands overall.

Digital innovation is the order of the day and retailers are no longer untouched by the ongoing technological revolution. Retail businesses have seen the expansion of digital footprints for enhancing visibility and staying constantly relevant, as the future of retail is shaped by technology. As a result, storefronts, that have traditionally represented retail businesses, are now refining their identities with a robust digital focus. With data and advanced capabilities to analyze consumer behaviour, particularly in local markets, retailers are in a position to deliver unified and positive experiences no matter which avenues consumers are coming from. With digital activities powering most purchase decisions today, retail businesses have found seamless means to optimize their online identities and come closer to consumers. Finally, digitization will allow retail businesses to successfully compete in the market as the availability of critical digital insights will enable effective consumer profiling, and, offering relevant and delightful experiences. Accurately implementing digital capabilities will increasingly help retail businesses understand modern-day market dynamics a whole lot better and also embrace consumers like never before.

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