A retail giant and a real old-timer headquartered in Great Britain and having operations in around 12 countries was faced with challenges of dwindling footfalls and stagnating sales. This was due to stiff competition from new entrants and advent of new generation buyer who were comfortable buying online than offline stores. The management with a reputation for innovative thinking had repositioned their businesses on numerous occasions during its little less than a century of existence saw in this, a new business opportunity and were aware that this presented new business requirements and challenges.
The retailer being a pioneer in introducing loyalty programs like club card membership and getting the store online had also established their presence in social media by having loyal followers for their Facebook page and on Twitter. This retailer was pro-active in using these mediums to handle customer issues and ensure good after sales support. This provided them with a goldmine of customer information, which they were able to leverage using the advances in data mining and data analysis technology. Thus, they could enhance the customer experience by creating a multi-channel experience for their customers, with seamless integration of offline and online streams. The management believed the importance and the relevance of digital transformation and knew it could power their growth and reinvent their business in the days to come.
To achieve enhanced customer experience, this retailer had to bring about changes in some core business processes and also in a few business support processes as well. With data driven technology taking pride of place in the digital transformation, most of the routine processes like order processing were automated with thresholds set in inventory and frequency of ordering taken into account. This process automation left the management to use the human resources for strategic tasks allowing scope for innovative thinking and fresh perspectives to take shape. In fact, this allowed the retailer to respond to customer ‘s feedback more effectively and quickly thereby increasing customer experience adding to the positive image of the retailer.
This retailer served customers both in online and in-stores in many geographies and only on–line in some few locations. In a few more locations, it went beyond this model and was more an aggregator where it brought the buyer and the seller on the same platform for the sale to happen. This facilitated many small and non–traditional manufacturers to gain foothold in the market by bringing in contact numerous customers who otherwise were out of reach for this small operator. This was only possible due to the emphasis on technology by digital transformation, and this allowed the organization to permit a flexible model of engagement with the customers.
The retailer continued to innovate and was able to capitalize on digital transformation to build on its strengths and extend its hegemony to the current market. And by commanding the technology to listen to its customers it has come closer to them as never before and thus giving itself far greater chance of success.