A digital approach improves information flow faster and customer processes
The rapid changes in technology has ensured technology disruption in every industry, not sparing the retail segment either. While most of these changes have been positive, it can leave retailers feeling overwhelmed.
It is, therefore, pertinent for those in the retail sector to be nimble on their feet as they proceed through their digital transformation journey. Ramesh Natarajan, Co-founder and COO of LitmusWorld states that they can start by focusing on customer experience and keeping it at the epicenter of their technology strategies.
How can Indian retailers embrace digital strategies that will enhance their customers’ experiences?
A ‘digital approach’ involves making information flow faster, supply chains quicker and customer processes easier. It goes beyond any particular function.
If we take a look at the current stores and offices there are various avenues where customer’s experience can be enhanced. For example; cumbersome loyalty programs, painful lengthy queues, poor product information, greater availability of products, wider range, better consumer connect, return processes, paperless transactions, call centers, etc.
Retailers need to truly integrate their customers, store managers, merchandise managers and head office teams with free flow of information among themselves and between the stakeholders.
While the retail industry is considered a sunshine sector, retailers continue to deal with rapid technological changes, paucity of skilled talent, uncertain government policies and over-regulation. Are there any digital practices and strategies that they can use to manage their costs more strategically and grow faster?
Interestingly, simpler processes through digital also reduce costs and customer effort. Take the case of a customer resolution center for a retail chain managing product failures, returns and other complaints – digital processes can increase information flow, automate approval processes, reduce call center costs and importantly reduce customer effort.
Better analytics through the huge volume of data married with experience information helps them target better, improve merchandise mix and improve customer loyalty.
What digital transformation issues have you seen while working with some retail brands?
At LitmusWorld, we work with over 25 retail brands and another 25 leading companies that have an extensive network of retail branches and do sales through multi-brand outlets. The key problem that these companies face is the asymmetry of information between the various stakeholders.
Some of the challenges they face is to tightly couple the customer experience with the employee experience, customer expectations with the sales capabilities, customer experience design and the customer experience delivery. This has to be done at the front-end by seamlessly integrating the information flow. This can drive agility and ability to act in real-time.