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Digital Transformation, retail technology

It's a Long Journey to True Omnichannel Retailing

Beth Bergmann
31 October, 2023
by Beth Bergmann

Picture of icons in the cloud symbolizing omnichannel retail connectivityAlthough retail is deep into the digital transformation, there’s still quite a long road ahead to realize the final destination: true, seamless omnichannel retailing. A 2023 study from Incisiv and Verizon indicates that retailers have not yet achieved what they visualize as the ideal state.

The more technologies involved, the more complicated deployments become, and emerging technologies offer little in the way of a turnkey, proven deployment process. What’s a retailer to do? At Telaid, we’ve learned that success lies in taking a new approach to technology evaluation, planning and deployment.

Let your vision be your guide

Emerging technologies bring unexplored capabilities to retailers. However, simply deploying a new technology and then trying to discover the relevant applications once it’s implemented is both frustrating and inefficient. It’s advisable to start with a list of business objectives. Then map out the processes and teams the technology will impact. Explain how it will interact with other systems and how it will transform business-as-usual, whether it’s from an operational, loss prevention or customer experience standpoint. This is always step 1one because it drives deployment and defines how you will calculate ROI.

Reap each technology for everything it’s worth

Once the technology is installed and accomplishing its intended objectives, then it’s time to explore expanded or innovative uses for the technology. Organizations often find that there are a host of unexpected benefits that will be generated from that technology. For example, the widespread adoption of self-checkout kiosks was designed to alleviate labor shortages and improve the customer experience. However, retailers have discovered that they also reduce loss due to the fact that employees are not handling cash. Combined with computer vision, it can also reduce losses due to mis-scans. Technologies like AI have virtually endless uses in the retail environment, most of which have yet to be discovered. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new and innovative use cases.

Integrate retail technologies for optimal performance

Full system integration is a challenge, but critically important to maximizing the value of each technology. This can be challenging with different vendors and disparate solutions. However, the gaps in retailers’ current state versus desired performance may, in large part, point to integration challenges. (Check out our new study, 5 Technology Trends Driving Lightspeed Retail Transformation for more insights) Challenges like inventory management and seamless online/in-store order processing require clear visibility, which means systems must be integrated. While challenging, this is possible with some planning and the help of cloud-based solutions that can be integrated across disparate systems. As an example, on the maintenance and repair front, Telaid’s DeviceWatch is an AI-powered cloud-based remote monitoring and maintenance software that monitors devices on the network, offering real-time status reporting, remote actions to maintain operations and proactive monitoring.

Talk to the experts as you navigate the complexities of designing, deploying and supporting emerging technologies to achieve true omnichannel retailing. Connect with me on LinkedIn to start a conversation.

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