According to Frost & Sullivan, for a retailer to be successful in the current business scenario, it is highly critical to have an omnichannel sales strategy. As customers increasingly use various channels to shop – in-store, online, order online and pick-up in store, and on mobile devices – providing a consistent shopping experience across different platforms is important. While the retail industry has talked about providing excellent omnichannel customer experiences, few retailers have executed well, with many others still on that journey. Retailers must overcome operational, organizational, and digital, hurdles before they can deliver a true frictionless shopping experience.
How are top performing organizations providing secure omnichannel retail? They are focusing on four digital transformation IT solutions to:
- Modernize Retail IT Delivery
- Empower the Retail Workforce
- Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences
- Protect Retail Data and Brand
Modernize Retail IT Delivery
Devices alone don’t power immersive user experiences. They are bolstered by applications driving retail engagement running on digital infrastructure—deployed on-premises and cloud. Retailers achieve significant benefits from a proven enterprise computing platform that combines speed, simplicity, and security with unified endpoint and application management.
Empower the Retail Workforce
As retailers embrace hybrid cloud, their applications and data often reside in multiple locations. Even so, employees expect a simple, single sign-on experience that populates every business application with all of the data they need to perform transactions, locate inventory, or direct customers to promotional items—whether that application resides in the cloud or on a centralized server. Employees also want the same transparent, omnichannel experience as customers, translating to seamless access from shared, personal, or corporate devices, whether front or back of house. Finally, employees want their devices to gather data that helps them be recognized for their efforts in closing big sales, improving processes, and creating loyalty.
Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences
Today’s shoppers are sophisticated. They want a connected experience, not just to make a purchase. As Neil Blumenthal, co-CEO of eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, told Forbes:
“I don’t think retail is dead. Mediocre retail experiences are dead.”
With every brand, customers are beginning to demand a more personalized relationship. In fact, half of shoppers are willing to pay more for an experience they value. For retailers, simply meeting expectations is increasingly requiring an omnichannel experience that spans computer, tablet, smartphone, and in-store kiosks, delivering mobility with context. Retailers must enable customers to shop online and complete the purchase in store or with the assistance of a retail associate.
Protect Retail Data and Brand
With retailers relying on an increasing number of applications and devices, cyber-attack surfaces are increasing. The Ponemon Institute reported in 2017 that retail breaches cost $154 per record. In addition to the financial impact, a major breach can have serious soft costs such as loss of brand loyalty and goodwill. Securing retail transactions is a growing challenge, thanks to the increasing complexity of omnichannel environments. To that end, new approaches must secure everything from application infrastructure to user identity and endpoints, while maintaining compliance and customer trust.
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