The digital transformation has already become an undeniable fact in the retail sector. Figures and data show this, but what trends are there right now that can improve the performance of companies? How can customers be satisfied better? We will tell you next.
The growing adoption of digital technologies in the business world is transforming radically the way in which business is made and creating a digital economy that every year has more importance and impact on macroeconomic indicators.
According to the digital density index made by Accenture, the increase in the use of digital technologies could increase the GDP of the ten largest economies in the world by more than 1,250 billion euros, which would be an increase of 2.3% in relation to the current estimates.
On the other hand, almost 90% of managers have high expectations in digital technologies and 70% believe that these technologies have a greater transforming power if they are applied together and not separately.
There is still a significant gap in related to digital maturity in Spain and this is due to different problems that companies consider. Our country is placed below the European average in individual and business digitalization and does not enter the world top 40.
The main barriers to digital transformation in Spain, according to the report “Spain 4.0: the challenge of the economy digital transformation” made by Roland Berger, are the resistance to change and the cost of this process. Under these reasons are the lack of competition, the absence of supply adapted to the market and security risks.
The electronic commerce of goods and services continues an upward trend. The last report made by the European Union in this matter confirmed a growth of 15% in 2016 and expected another increase of 14% for 2017 (which still needs to be confirmed in the next report).
E-commerce depends on the advances that are produced within the technology world. Being a field that is currently in constant transformation and innovation, trends continue to change and evolve over the years.
Cloud computing is a very important transformation agent within the retail sector, especially boosted by the growing demand from consumers that all sales channels are coordinated and interconnected, offering a continuous user experience.
In addition, in this sector there is great pressure from online exclusively competitors, who already use these advanced tools and have this infrastructure implanted and consolidated.
The combination of cloud computing with big data and data analytics, social media and mobility opens up endless possibilities and applications to improve their operations and results in areas such as marketing, channels, purchase processes and customer service.
Internet of things
The application of Internet of Things (IoT) in the retail sector is connected to the establishment of new models of relationships between companies and consumers.
The IoT applications fields are very diverse: generation of incentives (economic, promotions, loyalty points …), providing the consumer with adequate information for decision making, improving the experience and relationship with the brand, customer retention and a long etcetera.
Internet of Things not only has an impact on the company-client relationship, but also improves internal aspects such as the finding system and tracking products, controlling stock or generating alerts about possible product failures.
The most precious thing for a company in the retail sector is to have all the information about its customers. This amount of information is increasing thanks to current technology and one of them is indoor mapping.
IndoorMapping allows knowing details as important as the customer’s behavior inside the store, which way he/she goes, where he/she stops for more time, which parts are the most visited, etc.
Using this technology, Geographica created a solution that consisted of three elements: application for customers, application for dependents and a dashboard for decision making. In addition to useful information for the company part, the app is able to offer personalized offers according to the characteristics of each user.
Machine learning is a tool that helps to know better the customer and their tastes in order to satisfy their needs more effectively.
This technology allows making a deep analysis of user behavior and drawing conclusions from the information obtained.
In addition, the system, as more data is received, has better knowledge of the client and is able to foresee its future behavior and make recommendations adjusted to their tastes. This method has been applied by Geographica in its collaboration with OneBookShelf, a major US company with different stores specialized in the entertainment industry.
After having designed various applications and customized developments, a larger project was undertook in which a system of recommendations for users was created that learned from their purchases and made smarter and more precise recommendations, increasing the probability of purchase.
Digital transformation is an inevitable process that is taking place in the retail sector, as well as in other industries, which is bringing many improvements for both parties: greater efficiency for the business and greater satisfaction for the customer.
After seeing the figures, data and reports on the digital transformation impact in the retail sector, together with the applications and solutions offered by this digitalization, it is beyond doubt that this is the path that has already begun to be followed and that we will continue for a long time.