Owning The New Customer Journey In The Digital Era
Innovative Retail Technologies
Seeta Hariharan, GM & Group Head TCS’ Digital Software & Solutions Group discusses the challenges for retailers, as digital technologies continue to transform the consumers shopping experience and the customer journey.
Excerpts from the interview with Innovative Retail Technologies:
Being a retailer in today’s digital marketplace has become an extreme sport. Challenges abound with digital technologies continuing to transform the consumers shopping experience and driving retailers to relentlessly rethink and reshape their businesses.
Many retailers have been quick to focus on a strategy that keeps pace with the digital meets physical world. The successful ones recognize that there is no longer differentiation between providing both a physical and digital experience – it has become one in the same, in which offerings and services are obtained via a seamless combination of click and brick avenues. The ability to know what a customer wants, when they want it, and how they want to receive it - before they even express their needs - is a critical marker of success, but it is not enough to compete in the future of retail.
These goals are worthy efforts, but they are not enough to stay competitive. There are three industry shifts that have an even greater impact on retailers in their efforts to master digital transformation for their business. These are:
- Business models are evolving faster than ever before to anticipate customer needs. Uber is a great example of this.
- Partnerships once thought impossible are being forged. An example of this is Airbnb’s partnership with Concur, an expense management company.
- An influx of new niche market players are cropping up in the market every day. Tailors, established by the ex-CEO of Men's Warehouse, is an example of a new company with infinite potential.
The adage that the customer is king, or queen has never been more fully realized than in today’s digital age - where consumers have the power to call all the shots and decide whether retailers succeed or fail. Clearly, iconic companies like Disney, Amazon and Netflix demonstrate deep understanding of knowing their customers and have built business models and products to serve the digitally savvy client. What do they know that others must embrace?
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