As consumers become more digitally connected, the retail industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation. In addition to needing to innovate in response to customer demands, retailers are under pressure to make smarter use of tech to manage supply chain disruptions, rising inflation, and market volatility. Here are some of the trends changing the retail landscape:
A farewell to cash: Post-pandemic, we’ve seen the adoption of digital payments accelerate. More and more consumers worldwide see contactless cards and mobile wallets as a smarter way to pay than cash. According to Juniper Research, global contactless payment transactions are set to reach $10 trillion by 2027, up from $4.6 trillion in 2022. Contactless payments can grow as tap-on-phone acceptance becomes commonplace even at small stores and merchants.
Migrating to multi-cloud: Retailers worldwide are leveraging multi-cloud strategies to innovate. More than three-quarters (78% percent) of retailers are either mature users of the cloud or intermediates that are advancing cloud investments, according to research from Wipro. The leaders are using the cloud to improve both the customer and the employee experience. Forward-thinking retailers are using retail industry-specific cloud frameworks in multi-cloud models to drive growth and performance.
Omni-channel experiences: Retail has left the debate about digital commerce versus in-store shopping far in the past. Today it’s all about omnichannel retail—the practice of selling products through multiple channels. The idea isn’t new, but most retailers find it challenging to deliver a consistent experience at every touchpoint and channel. Not only can customers shop online, via an app or in-store—cutting edge concepts like pop-up stores, augmented reality, social commerce, buy online—return in-store and buy online—pickup in-store has added more options to the mix.
Smarter inventory management and logistics: Global economic volatility, supply chain disruptions, and growing demand for fast, last-mile shipping have focused retailers’ minds on inventory management. Cutting-edge technologies such as the cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things are coming to the fore as ways for retailers to improve real-time visibility into inventory across the supply chain, improve agility and optimise stock levels and deliveries.
Personalised customer experiences: Research shows that 60% of consumers say they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalised shopping experience. Over a third of consumers would return to a brand that offered a personalised experience, even if there were cheaper or more convenient options available elsewhere. Retailers are increasingly turning to AI and big data solutions as well as smarter loyalty and rewards offerings to compete with personalised offerings.
A more complex tech environment
As retailers accelerate digital transformation, they often see their technology environments become more complex. They need to manage employees and devices across vast networks spanning warehouses, offices, and stores in hundreds of locations. The shift to the cloud enables them to innovate, but it can also result in bill shock when costs aren’t carefully controlled.
Meanwhile, higher mobile and remote work levels often result in sharply higher mobile device and service costs. But overspending and wastage can be reduced by putting in place smarter tools and processes that offer visibility into and control over the tech environment. Automated technology and cloud expense management are key.
It enables retailers to take control of the entire technology environment, including mobile, fixed-line, WAN, and cloud usage, spend, and performance. OneView from 1Nebula is an example of a smarter solution for getting real-time control over and visibility into mobile spending and performance. It’s part of our wider solution for technology expense management and FinOps.
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