Management consultants Booz Allen Hamilton have outlined what they say are the four factors driving the global retail revolution and digital is key to each.
According to Sedar M.T. Labar and Jay Townsend writing in a short paper called The Retail Revolution, “Today’s retailers are facing demands for convenience, value and connected solutions.”
The opportunity for game-changing success is stunning they say while also cautioning that the benefits are matched by some daunting challenges.
“From cyber security to privacy, retail leaders must understand this revolution to reap its rewards while minimizing business threats.”
The factors they identify are;
- Technological advances are still in their infancy; GPS enabled mobile devices, social media and facial recognition technologies are driving integrated services and new sources of revenue
- Analytics are creating the ultimate customer experience; the vast majority of retailers are implementing omnichannel strategies and those who do so successfully are seeing sales uplifts in the order of 10 per cent.
- Cyber security, which they say demands greater attention from the c-suite. Retail is second only to the financial services sector when it comes to garnering the attention of the digital bad guys, attracting 24 per cent of all breaches. And for significant breaches the cost per incident has doubled since 2013 and now stands at over $8 million.
- Consumer expectations of privacy. It is little wonder then that consumers are worried about their privacy. Smart retailers are rebuilding comprehensive and integrated privacy programs from the ground up.
“Meeting the challenges on so many front will lead some to play it say,” say the authors. Bad idea. “Today’s retail landscape doesn’t favor slow developing strategies. Retailers need an agenda to excel and win now.”