Blog Post - Neil Stewart, Mar 14 2016

How should retailers approach digital transformation?

How should retailers approach digital transformation?

We were recently asked to comment on: How retailers should approach digital transformation for Retail Weeks - Retail Surgery (gated content). Neil Stewart, CEO at Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce Company, offered some practical advice on the operational issues facing business today.

Consumer behaviour is changing, and with the increased uptake of mobile and online devices, consumers are now online 24/7, easily switching channels to get things done. Mobile and online shopping is no longer just part of the ‘multichannel’ mix, but the focus of it. Recent research however has revealed a lack of digital strategy amongst businesses which could hinder digital transformation.

Salmon believes that it’s essential that retailers provide a strong digital offering. “Digital transformation can open up new revenue streams, improve operational efficiency, and help retailers deliver new services”.

Stewart believes that there are three pillars on which all retailers should approach digital transformation.

“Retailers need to focus digital transformation on the customer. When approaching digital, it needs to be with customer impact in mind, focused on generating new revenue, attracting new customers and launching into new markets. Retailers should take an outward-looking approach, deciding what their digital customer experience will be and build their strategy from there.”

Stewart says “digital transformation cannot sit with one team. Retailers should assess digital requirements from across the business and set objectives, bringing together cross-functional digital talent and break away from legacy ways of operating.”

Stewart adds “retailers need to find the right funding model, setting clearly defined and articulated KPIs. Customer lifetime value and employee satisfaction metrics are just as important as increase in revenue.”

“As the power of e and m commerce continues to grow, retailers must ensure they have a robust digital strategy in place to cater to growing user demand. Those that lag behind from fear of change must combat this to ensure they have an exceptional online offering to deliver true competitive advantage and future-proof their business.”

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