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Digital transformation: the here, now and beyond

Thought Leadership Series - Guided by Trust Systems

Rethink, Retune and Regain – make a difference to your retail business quickly and effectively to support you now and beyond.

We took part in the McDonald Butler ‘Retail’s Big Reset’ event that brought together leading retailers to review the trends that came from the virtual NRF event. Aptly named ‘Retail’s Big Reset’ the event outlined the core themes and trends faced by the retail sector.

In this guide, we have taken these trends and applied our own technology expertise from working with leading retailers to discuss the ‘how’. How can you make the themes and trends of 2021 work to your business benefit today and beyond?

5 Core Trends and How To Respond

When we review the news, trend reports, outputs from NRF 2021 and the topics discussed at the ‘Retail’s Big Reset’ the recurring emphasis from previous years regarding cloud, big data, customer experience, personalisation, automation, security are still prominent. But they are being taken over by the term ‘disruption’ meaning retailers know what they need to be doing, but there is now the need to do it faster and better.

The following shares 5 core trends shared at the ‘Retail’s Big Reset’ and ‘how’ retailers can combat these based on our deployments. As a digital technology and service company, we are actively deploying and managing solutions with leading retailers to ‘disrupt’ the way they do business and enabling them to Rethink, Retune and Regain their retail business.

1  Acceleration

‘While different companies had different estimates, there was a general consensus that a minimum of 3 years of technological progress in retail happened in around six months.’*

How as a retailer do you make sure you can flex, add, deploy and manage digital changes at pace? Can your existing infrastructure support this level of agility? What is the role of shops in an arena when online spend has increased by 20%*?

This is an exciting crossroads where retailers have the pressure and the desire to change. It is time to truly focus on the customer and their experience therefore looking at all the touchpoints this impacts. Cost-effective, digital solutions are at the epicentre of delivering this whether it is for essential retail to enhance brand loyalty or non-essential retail to aid the reinvention of the store to complement a truly omni-channel experience.

HOW?

We are working with a large food retailer to deploy and manage a Digital Signage Solution across their store estate of 1000+. Fundamental to ROI and an effective rollout is that we truly understand that a Digital Signage Solution is more than simply putting up a screen. Crucial to its success is the flexibility of how to use it along with the agility to amend content.

Let’s flip that to a non-essential store, the model still works. Customers will return to stores, but for a different reason. For the experience. Digital Signage provides that theatre and with flexible technology, it works as a showroom window, changing room and much more. Content can be pushed in many guises to support your store strategy.

digital screens

2 SUPPLY CHAIN

The term shared at NRF was ‘Demand-Chain’. Ultimately, consumers go to a retailer to buy something. If the item they desire is not in stock this results in disappointment and the consumer reverting to another retailer and perhaps reducing brand loyalty. All things a retailer cannot afford. Having the right stock available, the means to get the right stock or even the ability to show when the stock will be in changes the experience from feeling let down to feeling looked after.

Remember consumers are looking for that ultimate customer experience.

HOW?

We are working with retailers to help and support the Stock Management of their stores using mobile technology. We would go as far as to say we are providing retailers in-store colleagues with a store in their hand.

For example, our customer with over 1000 stores implemented our Mobile Stock Management Solution. We rolled the solution out within 6 weeks, consisting of devices, Mobile Device Management and the Stock Management Solution for in-store colleagues to use. Since the original rollout, we have doubled the number of devices across the store estate due to the benefits the business has reaped from the solution, technology and service.

In this scenario, the in-store colleague is essential to ensuring the customer experience. These members of your team are the face of your customer experience. Any tools, training, information that helps them feel empowered, removes frustrations, enhances efficiencies and provides the means to help them serve your customers results in an engaged workforce and a happy customer.

Mobile Stock Management

3 Mobile

McDonald Butler’s paper shared ‘Go Mobile or Go Home’ as mobile uptake within retail had seen five years’ worth of acceleration in one year. Miya Knight’s advice to retailers planning for 2021 is to focus on mobile as the “gateway” to both increased growth and engagement.

Mobile devices are here to stay as consumers become more and more reliant on them for banking, social, managing their home devices, fitness and much more. This has been exacerbated with the pandemic therefore tapping into the power of mobile is an opportunity retailers do not want to miss.

HOW?

For example, our Guest WiFi Solution provides you with the means to talk and share with your customers on their personal devices. This can be when they are in the store, or when they leave. The key is personalisation and relevance. Combine this with your other digital assets such as Digital Signage and the experience is enhanced further.

Our retail customer has 6 million customers that have logged into their Guest WiFi Solution, imagine the intel this provides and the opportunity to engage?

Mobile devices are also there to streamline the stores operation. Once your business has invested in mobile technology for your stores you can truly create a store in your in-store colleague’s hand. Imagine your in-store colleague is carrying out a gap walk on their mobile device, a customer interrupts and asks about a product, your colleague can swipe and access product information, the customer then asks if you have any stock in the store, with a swipe your colleague can check and show the customer where the stock is. Your customer says ‘great I will take one of those’ and your colleague swipes to Mobile Payments and the transaction is complete and your colleague swipes to return to their gap walk. Seamless, efficient and a happy customer.

phone in store

4 Safety

McDonald Butler summarises: ‘Customer-centricity doesn’t get more serious than customer safety’. Simple! We have seen that in 2020 retailers have had to react to ever-changing and time-sensitive guidelines. How flexible has your technology been to support these changes?

HOW?

A working example of this was during the changes in guidelines relating to the pandemic. The guidelines for Wales needed to be updated specifically to that region. We were able to deploy key messaging across their Digital Signage Solution across their store estate specific to Wales within an hour. This clearly demonstrates the flexibility and benefits of the fully managed and supported Digital Signage Solution.

Using Digital Signage coupled with sending messages directly to their devices ensures clear messaging is provided at the right places for customers to understand and follow the guidance. This in turn supports safeguarding employees as customers act in accordance with safety guidelines protecting your team.

Covid signage

5 Agility To Athleticism

A great phrase by McDonald Butler – ‘agility to athleticism’. The right cloud, mobile and digital technology delivers the means to flex and adapt at speed. An element of this is service, having a quality and proactive managed service to support this technology ensures your retail business maximises the athleticism this technology provides.

According to VMware, ‘64% of retailers investing in transformation are investing in cloud.’*

HOW?

Our expertise in Cloud Technology enables us to provide our customers with a solution that suits their business strategy. Our expertise in Networks delivering managed services such as Disaster Recovery as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Security as a Service and Back up as a Service ensures your network is robust, flexible and secure. This in turn delivers a strong foundation to build your solutions and services from Mobile Stock Management to Digital Signage to Mobile Pay.

Customer satisfaction matters to our business and with our monthly scores consistently being between 100-98% we are proven to deliver. This confidence is paramount as you need to be agile in the new world of retail.

Networking

It is time for retailers to Rethink, Retune, Regain their business with Digital Technology. Ecommerce is here to stay, but so are stores. Rethink the role of your store and Retune to ensure you provide the right customer experience to Regain customers in the new world of retail.

Check out how we are working with leading retailers to help them adapt and create resilience, agility, productivity whilst delivering customer experience today.

Contact Us Today Our team of experts would welcome the opportunity to discuss your businesses needs today.

*source: McDonald Butler’s Big Retail Reset, The Wrap-up’
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