Consumers today are tech savvy with high expectations from retailers. Chandra said that with continuously evolving consumers, the pace of change has never been this fast and it’s expected to only grow. In order to stay relevant, retailers have to continuously reinvent themselves leveraging technology and innovation.
“Every retailer has to also become a technology company not only to thrive but also to survive,” he asserted.
Technology at the Forefront
Chandra stated the technologies that the brand focuses on:
Loyalty Tech: The Body Shop recently implemented a new and upgraded point-based loyalty program – a significant leap from GV-based loyalty for its loyalty members.
Headless Commerce: The Body Shop implemented a microservices-based modular, serverless, headless e-commerce website to inspire the 'Wow!' experience and customer delight.
App Launch: The brand is in the final stages of rolling out its app for the immersive experience of its customers.
Challenges in Implementing Technologies
Chandra highlighted some of the challenges faced while implementing these technologies in India. These include:
Mindset: One of the pre-requisite towards becoming a digital enterprise is to have a ‘digital mindset’ amongst the people/ employees. Having a digital mindset as part of enterprise culture helps with any resistance from some parts of the organization, adoption of new tech, executive support, sponsorship, collaboration across multiple support and business teams, etc.
Skill Gap: Another impediment to the implementation of technology solutions is the shortage of required skills and talent.
Security: It’s important to consider information security aspects including data security, cyber-security, cloud security, etc. towards designing and implementing technology solutions.
The Next Big Thing
Retailers need to have an omnichannel strategy with a hyper-personalized, seamless, and immersive experience for customers as they traverse across channels on their purchase journey.
Data Analytics: Every retailer needs to become a data-driven enterprise and data serves as the foundation for a digital enterprise.
Customer Experience (CX): The future of retail is “Experience First” with customer experience at the right and center of it.
Digital Online Commerce: Build and develop digital platforms to enable online commerce via channels such as websites, mobile apps, marketplace, etc.
“These are the latest technologies that have the potential to revolutionize retail in India over the next 5 years –AI/ ML, IoT, and AR/VR,” Chandra concluded.