Four barriers to digital transformation

Consumers are increasingly using digital channels for part, if not all, of the path to purchase. As a result, retailers are shifting from a product-driven approach to a more customer-centric model, allowing them to deliver a personalised experienced regardless of which channel is used.

Investment in digital transformation is required to successfully make this transition. Think for instance of the data capture capabilities that are required to deliver a personalised experience in stores. However, innovation is easier said than done and many retailers have experienced difficulties on their digital transformation journeys.

Here are four major barriers that retailers often encounter in their digital transformation projects are as follows:

Overcoming resistance to change

Digital transformation often leads to significant changes within organisations and that can provoke strong reactions. It is only human nature to resist change after all. This can manifest itself through issues such as difficulties in pushing through budgets, unsettled staff and a lack of consensus. If change is not managed carefully and communicated clearly to all staff, projects can easily derail.   

Understanding the connected customer

Before embarking on digital transformation, it is crucial for organisations to truly understand the challenges they face. Why do customers choose to buy online and what expectations do they have when they visit a store? Technology on its own is not the answer and retailers need to be very careful to ensure digital initiatives meet their customers’ needs.  

Achieving departmental cooperation

Digital transformation can and should touch all facets of the organisation. However, too often digital initiatives are driven by one department and key internal stakeholders are not consulted throughout the process. For changes that may disrupt the entire business model of a retailer, it is critical to get buy-in across the entire organisation, from the executive board to store staff.      

Attracting the right talent

Digital transformation requires forward-thinking pioneers and getting the right talent on board can accelerate a retailer’s digital strategy and even provide a competitive edge. With the entire sector facing disruption, highly skilled professionals are in demand and retailers are increasingly having to look outside the sector to find the expertise they need.

  • Philip Wiggenraad is head of research with Tofugear and will be a speaker at next month’s Millennial Masterclass.

What barriers does your organisation face when it comes to developing a digital strategy and driving organisational change? Inside Retail and Tofugear have kicked off the 2018 Asia Digital Transformation Survey and are inviting retail executives and managers in Asia to participate in the survey. Respondents will also be given exclusive access to the findings as well as a free hard copy of the final report.

Click here to take part in the survey

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