Why is collaboration and customer service so important in retail? When we think of retail and fashion, images of shopping, trendy styles and social media influencers come to mind. However, behind the scenes, manufacturers are putting together product collections that designers create using materials sourced from a global network of suppliers, within increasingly tight deadlines and evolving consumer preferences. Although this seems to be a complex challenge for most companies to manage, several emerging technologies are poised to have a significant impact of the retail industry and the way that products are designed, manufacturing, supplied and managed across the extended demand and supply chains.
A study by PwC claims that businesses which adopt and embrace these innovations and technologies can reduce their costs by 3.6% per annum and increase revenue by 2.9% per annum by 2021.
However, to take advantage of the changing retail landscape, retailers need to develop a strategy to identify which innovations and technologies can benefit them and allow them to become more and more competitive, while driving their costs down.
The focus must be on new technology platforms to enable effective digital transformation across the business. New technologies like Cloud computing, coupled with fully integrated business systems and transformed business processes can drive positive change and benefits across the entire enterprise.
New technologies will enable both staff and customers to collaborate in ways that were not available before. For staff, the reduction of manual administrative jobs will encourage a higher level of customer service. The interconnectivity of devices via IoT will ensure that the employees are better informed on everything from stock to customer profiles.
Retailers will also need to invest in either retraining or hiring staff with more digitally focused or data-led skillsets.
With big data as the “new electricity” acting as a driver for innovation, analytical and interpretation skills are the most crucial for mapping a retailer’s strategy for the future.
For customers, personalisation of the shopping experience will be amplified as the IoT connects their own devices to those in store, triggering individual content.
Act now. It will not be long before these innovations become a basic facet of the retail ecosystem;
Identify the key opportunities. Retailers should identify and prioritise the best technology for their unique retail proposition, which can better serve their customer base.
Remember that it is a step-by-step process. An entire company-wide transformation isn’t going to happen overnight – start with a small change, like introducing IoT and RFID tags to track inventory, before introducing robotics to automate and stack shelves.
Get everyone involved. Collaborate with the leading technology companies and ensure all staff are trained with the new systems in mind.
Innovation, innovation, innovation. Whether its actively adopting new technologies into your processes, experimenting with your own ideas or updating your teams, consistent innovation – no matter how small – is key to keeping the company on top and competitive.
Sigma have market leading solutions and services that enables retail companies to connect their entire enterprise, to their distributed warehouses, retail stores and externally to their distributed supplier network to provide seamless connectivity and real time updates.
Sigma’s Digital Transformation Model, our market leading Retail solutions provide real-time connectivity, automation of key business processes, and collaborative systems to help our retail customers to securely and efficiently connect their systems and processes into a truly connected enterprise.
Our extensive portfolio comprises of:
- Cloud Computing Services
- Microsoft Dynamics Sales and Marketing (CE)
- Microsoft Dynamics Customer Service (CE)
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O ERP
- Sigma IoT (Internet of Things) Solutions
- Sigma Big Data and Power BI Analytics
- Sigma e-Commerce and Customer Loyalty Solutions
- Product Information Management (PLM) Solutions
- Sigma Connected Field Service
- Sigma Cyber Security
- Sigma MRO Plant Maintenance
- Sigma AMS (Enterprise Application Maintenance)
You can now connect your extended local, international and global Enterprise into a single Connected Enterprise solution, giving you access to the real time business data you need for decisive decision-making across your business.
Sigma can be your global technology and systems partner to help you to stay competitive. We can provide your organisation with systems and processes that are built on leading edge technology platforms and services.
With Sigma, you can expect a better tomorrow!