Like all industries, the retail industry has gone through numerous transformations over the last few years with developing technologies. Retail is no more just the brick-and-mortar store, where one goes to try products, select, and buy. It has gradually turned into an experience center, and a retailer is expected to give a unique experience to its clients to outpace the competition.
According to Oberlo’s statistics, worldwide retail sales are expected to grow to $31.3 trillion in 2025, with 5 of the top 10 retailers being from Europe. The eCommerce market in Europe is expected to grow by 47% by 2025 . The retail industry in major European countries comprising Germany, France, the UK, and Italy alone made up approximately 1816 billion Euros in 2017 turnover.
Despite such huge growth in eCommerce, 80% of the retail sales are via offline sales. It only shows that there is a huge opportunity for Retail Tech in both eCommerce and in store processes. As per an article by McKinsey in August 2020, ‘More than 50 percent of all activities in retail can be automated with current technology’. These activities range from customer data analysis to secured and simpler payment methods.
European shoppers were slowly moving towards a digitalised world in the pre-pandemic world. However, the past two years of the pandemic have accelerated this movement, and retailers need to expedite their readiness to achieve this goal. eMarketer predicts the European eCommerce sales to have a 26% growth in just four years.
As our retail shops have gone from having one shop to a chain of multiple shops across cities and countries, the need to standardise the operations has come into play. Customers today are buying a product from one shop while expecting the other outlet in another country to know and recommend future products based on the earlier shopping. Retail tech caters to such needs via Data Analysis and AI. Understanding a customer has been taken a notch up by these technologies via decoding the existing and future customers. Data Analysis has become one of the primary technologies for the retail industry by not only catering to the current customers but also creating a new customer base.
Data Analysis furthermore extends to personalisation. Data acquired through various digital channels are used for advanced analysis to draw behavioural patterns, gauge product standing, and modify customer preferences via push notifications. The predictive analytics further strengthens the interactive marketing experience by placing close suggestions during an online purchase.
With the increasing online sales, supply chain management has become an integral part of the eCommerce business. Many retail players today face the brunt of industry logistics bottlenecks. With the growing competition in the market, all the players are targeting the shortest delivery time. However, the shortest delivery time is only one part of the whole process. Inventory Management, return order processing, shipping, and tracking accuracy become the most basic criteria for a successful experience for its client. Delivery optimisation becomes a crucial factor. A retailer can position itself better against its competitor with the latest analytics led initiatives.
Retail businesses cannot afford even the slightest application unavailability for the customer. It means every change in the retail organisation’s IT landscape needs to be tested for its applications and webpage and the underlying supporting infrastructure.
The payment process for any retailer is the most sensitive piece of retail chain business. It involves their customers’ personal information and financial information. Robust data privacy and cybersecurity mechanism is not an option but a mandate – it is a mechanism to manage customers’ trust! At the same time, a complex process is not a possible fix. As a customer, we demand any retail company to secure our information without having to scan and input through multiple layers of pages! A retail tech solution with an experienced solutions provider becomes essential to a successful business process. In October 2021, an attempt was made to interfere with Tesco’s systems, which caused problems with the search function on the site. Though the attack was thwarted and no personal data was comprised, it was enough to create confusion in its customers’ minds. The outage left customers frantically trying to cancel orders after turning to Tesco rivals for the week’s groceries
With the European customer base moving towards digitalised retail experiences, aftersales service is as significant to the retail industry as to the manufacturing industry. The aftersales in the retail act to ensure the best shopping experience and analyse the customer thought-process using return orders and feedback inputs. Again, good data analytics software and solution has become very important to the retail players.
With the European customer base warming up to the enhanced, personalised in-store and online shopping experience, there is only moving ahead. A solution expert like Xebia is any retailer’s answer to upgrading to the industry standards for IT infrastructure and therefore the user experience. Xebia’s Digital Transformation strategy focuses on process automation, leaving its clients’ employees and leadership time to focus on their core business. Our focus on a simplified, low-code software approach helps the retail clients accelerate product delivery by 10-20 times, thus resulting in faster go-to-market strategies. Our AI-based data-driven transformation helps our clients to create value for their customers with our analysis.
Irrespective of our clients’ cloud provider choice, we support them firmly in migrating and maintaining their applications and the underlying IT infrastructure landscape. With 20 years of IT experience, and various top retail client cases, Xebia has created solutions that cover:
- Accelerates Time to Market for Product Release
- High-Performance Delivery Tracking system
- Smart Algorithms for Quicker Customer Response
- Modernise eCommerce Website
- Cloud Transformation
To know more about starting digital transformation of your retail business, please drop a line at https://xebia.com/apac/about-us/contact/