Have your buying habits changed a lot over the past year? Chances are good that they have. According to a recent report on global trends in digital transformation of retail, the retail industry has undergone rapid changes like no other. Many consumers are clinging to the online shopping habits they developed while their travel was restricted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is probably not too surprising, given the extraordinary events of the past 18 months. The shift from traditional shopping experiences to online commerce was already well underway when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the global stage. Suddenly, societies around the world had to adapt to entirely new ways of living and operating. The systems were quickly deployed, refined, and adapted to serve an entirely different trading system.
How is retailing today?
Opinions vary on how best to approach this current reality. However, there seems to be a point of agreement. Over 70% of retailers agree that digital transformation will play a key role in moving retail technology into the future.
Mauricio Vianna, CEO of MJV Technology and Innovation, recently sat down for an informative question-and-answer session to discuss digital transformation in the retail industry. In his role as CEO, Mauricio has extensive and extensive experience working with Fortune 500 consumer goods companies. He leads his company in continuous efforts to innovate in this area, as evidenced by the creation FMCG pole.
Given the reality of a global shift in purchasing habits, the information provided by Vianna and her team is particularly valuable. Now that the pandemic is seemingly coming to an end, many retailers are embarking on some sort of autopsy. They examine the trends that have emerged over the past 18 months while looking to the future. It’s a time of recovery, but according to Vianna there are also opportunities to innovate and transform.
What are the digital trends that retail brands need to pay attention to over the next six to twelve months?
Mauricio Vianna: We have noticed a transformation of the retail sector accelerated by the pandemic. This has led to various trends such as profound changes in consumer behavior, reduced delivery costs, contactless payment methods, among others.
We’re also seeing a dramatic increase in the number of retailers focusing on the omnichannel experience, which focuses on the customer experience as a whole rather than treating each touchpoint as a separate entity. This ensures a smooth journey and a holistic view.
The omnichannel approach is also data-friendly. It allows us to extract information and generate information for future analysis. It also allows us to improve the customer experience and add value to the business simultaneously. Businesses that have not yet allocated resources to develop or expand the reach of an omnichannel experience risk being left behind as consumers become increasingly picky about the media to which they are exposed. .
What changes have taken place in direct-to-consumer sales strategy over the past year that brands might underestimate?
MV: DTC needs the right supply chain strategy to make it happen. It is expensive, and it can take a long time to develop. Brands need to balance consumer expectations with their supply chain strategy. This is necessary to really be able to deliver what they promise. Over the past year, consumer expectations for higher speed and convenience have accelerated.
Gone are the days when consumers were just getting delivered in six to eight weeks. Consumers are less and less willing to wait more than a few days. The implications for maintaining a supply chain can be staggering if not well managed.
Some companies struggle to follow the back-end operational structure to deliver the desired experience. Others are concerned about the storage of unsold items and the effect it will have on their bottom line. Brands need to find ways to bridge the gap between what consumers expect and what brands can offer. Innovation can help.
How do you leverage digital transformation in a retail strategy primarily focused on brick-and-mortar storefronts?
MV: Digital transformation can help any business that wants to deliver an enhanced omnichannel experience to the consumer. Retailing brick and mortar could be the way you get a big part of your business. However, omnichannel remains exceptionally relevant in maintaining the relationship. It’s also great for keeping your brand on a consumer’s shortlist of trusted brands.
You will need to offer different channel choices to consumers. All of the options you select must have a unified policy. This means that the physical channel must integrate with other channels, such as e-commerce. Integration would allow your brand to deliver a unified and seamless customer experience.
Additionally, your physical locations can leverage digital transformation to deliver an enhanced in-store experience through augmented reality, sensors, and IoT restoration, as well as gain efficiencies with your back-office operations. office with automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
Which digital channels should brands pay more attention to?
MV: The fundamental channels I will mention are the web, apps, bots, social media, and WhatsApp. however, different channels appear daily. There is no getting around it. Retailers must continue to pay attention to new channels as they grow or risk becoming obsolete. If you already have an integrated strategy and structured process for new channels, whatever new channel appears, your brand will be prepared.
When a new channel emerges, it is necessary to understand its role. It’s good to know if this makes sense in the consumer’s journey. In addition, it is also good to know how to collect the data and how to leverage the services of this channel. After that, determine the best approach to integrate it into your brand’s ecosystem in general.
Obviously, it would be a mistake for retailers to view the country’s reopening as a sign of a return to “business as usual”. Regardless of what drove the change we’ve seen over the past 18 months or so, it’s clear that customers are enjoying many of these transformations. Instead, FMCG brands should focus on DX strategies that allow them to create better omnichannel experiences while addressing remaining supply chain challenges.
Image credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels; Thank you!