Digitization retail: adapting to new realities
Gone are the days when the location in the most popular shopping street determined the success or decline of one's own business. Sure, brick-and-mortar retail is not dead, but our shopping is shifting more and more to the Internet - 3...2...1...mine. It has never been easier for customers to get the product or service they want. People think twice about going to the store. So what is a great advantage for consumers, is a great disadvantage for the stationary trade a tremendous amount of pressure.
The digital transformation in retail has begun
Retail is currently undergoing a comprehensive digital transformation. Purchases and business processes are increasingly shifting to the Internet. At the latest since the Corona Crisis acts as an accelerant, the trend is irreversible. Almost two-thirds of Germans have shopped more online since Covid-19 broke out than before, sales of the Online trading in Germany in the second quarter of 2020 was 16.5 % higher than in the same quarter of the previous year. Of course, depending on the industry or customer structure, there are companies that can do without the Internet and its possibilities - but that is not the rule. Although in the permanent retail trade still earns good money, it is important to look around for opportunities to be broadly positioned and to exploit potential. The Digitalisation in the retail trade is no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have.
How digital is retail?
Of course, there are many companies that are tackling the issue head-on. Overall, the German trade but are still hesitant when it comes to digitalization. In particular, there is a difference with regard to the size of the company. Digitalisation in the retail trade is further along for large and medium-sized companies than for small ones. There is often a lack of time and money for the change, data protection or other legal requirements are an additional obstacle. Small companies in particular should start with online customer communication and ensure a presence in social media and a meaningful Google My Business entry. A dedicated website (optimized for mobile devices) is also standard and important today. Offers and flyers can be sent via email, saving the cost of printing paper-based advertising. On site, electronic price tags on the one hand offer numerous savings opportunities. There are also digital alternatives for cash register receipts, which many find annoying, and they offer tremendous marketing potential. Another possibility the Triggering digital transformation in the retail sector: by means of GEO Marketing's offers can be sent to the smartphones of the target group via push notifications when they are within a certain radius of the store. The best, albeit most comprehensive, solution is certainly that of the company's own Online commerce. However, this is not about permanent retail trade and seek its salvation in the digital world. A modern solution links these two channels by connecting the system landscape in the background of the online shop with the systems of the branch. This releases a huge potential and enables, for example, the implementation of Click & Collect, the pickup of online orders in the store.
What does digitization mean in retail?
Above all, for the entirety of retailers, it's about seizing opportunities, rethinking the status quo and making life easier for themselves. Examples of digitization in retail for companies that are already further along can be found in the structures in the background: In order to plan material flows more efficiently and to be able to process orders better, production and supply chain can be coordinated via the ERP system if the local branch already has a higher-level merchandise management system. If there are several branches, it is important to connect these branches, which usually operate independently of each other, and thus to implement horizontal integration in addition to vertical integration. This enables the individual stores to exchange information with each other and with the central warehouse. The customer benefits from this degree of digitalization, for example, by being able to find out directly online in which store the desired product is available.
Take advantage of the opportunities now
The Digitalisation in the retail trade has begun, you should not oversleep it. Above all, it's about getting rid of fears of contact and starting with small, simple steps. We at CLEVERBON are happy to help you with this and show you ways in which you can make your stationary trade more digital. Get in touch with us today.