Today’s retail business model articulates more about creating value for customers and thus appropriates value for the market. As cited by many thought leaders “to gain a sustainable advantage in this intensively competitive marketplace, regular innovation in business models is the key.” And by the same token, IT Innovation in Retail space has become a key factor in achieving high performance for Indian retailers.
Modern retailers have well transformed their IT capabilities to serve their customers better. Thus, the role of IT is one of the key enablers in scaling up of business process and leading to cost savings.
Change in the buying behaviour of customers has changed the entire retail industry. Hence, customer service and customer satisfaction has become the backbone of every company. Monitoring customer service factor and satisfaction is a must in order to retain customers, get good references and acquire more customers. And herein, the bigger role of IT in retail space shapes up.
Technology aids in transparency between systems
Overloaded information is one of the major concerns for retailers. The process of collecting and sorting massive data chunk for converting it into useful insights is hell of a job. Next is transparency and tracking. From a retailer’s standpoint, it is a must to increase transparency between systems and track it while obtaining customers and sales information. Last but not the least is Global Data Synchronisation. Due to the product coding system, the entire supply chain has become smarter. Enabling the use of real-time data to watch inventory level is very important.
The safeguard of shipments by tracking products from manufacturers through entire supply chain has always been a roadblock for retailers.
Technology has given access to direct contact with the customer
The influx of technology access into retail in particular has resulted in opening various channels for convenient purchasing, creating direct contact with a range of customers (through social media) and also direct advertising. With the increasing globalisation of retailing in terms of point-of-sale and supply, the role of IT in managing complex retail operations is increasing exponentially.
Complex retail operations now managed by IT
IT involvement in retail largely solves the following purposes:
Enriches a company’s response to the evolving market with enhanced speed and flexibility.
· In collection and analysis of customer data while enhancing differentiation.
· Effective use of stock and other business process.
· Speeds the processes and delivers cost saving benefits.
Data mining technologies for better CRM
With the rise of loyalty programmes, mail orders and the Internet, retailers are now able to access consumer data. Data centres and mining technologies offer retailers the tool they need to make sense of the database collected. Further, they use these analytics into their business. All of these and a lot more can be taken care of using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management). The CRM systems have made the behavioural study of customers very easy for the retailers.
In future, technology can reduce the cost of doing business
It is visible that the retailers are investing extensively in technology like never before. This is because of the ever-changing need of the market and they are ready to use every kind of technology that is available and which can reduce the cost of doing business and to become a low cost provider.
As per Debashis Chatterjee, President of Technology Solutions at Cognizant, disruptive digital technologies, such as SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud), sensors, and the Internet of Things, transform businesses like never before and clients are looking for innovative ways to embrace new enterprise IT models aligned with these technologies. Cognizant is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world's leading companies build stronger businesses.
Even if we talk about the brick-and-mortars, technology has surely boosted the footfalls and sales. The organised retail industry knows this for sure that IT can give them an edge over the global competitors as well. With the advancement of technology day-by-day, there could be a huge need of efficient use of energy by IT in retail operations.