Technology has changed the face of retail over the last 15-20 years and the pace of disruption is now quickening with digital transformation being a top priority for many retailers. But does technology change really deliver the benefits retailers expect and desire. Technology without a doubt is the key enabler in this digital transformation. However, we must recognise implementing new technology will not be the panacea retailers expect unless an onmni-channel retail strategy is defined upfront and that the business, technology and integration architecture required to fulfill this strategy is planned out.
In our view any technology replacement or upgrade needs to be implemented as part of a wider strategy and within an architectural framework to solve the key issues relating to a single view of customer, product, inventory and suppliers. Often the investment required is just as significant when upgrading systems as it is when solving the technology architecture challenges around omni-channel retailing. By putting the cart before the horse and replacing technology systems such as eCommerce platform, CRM and POS without a plan for managing this single view architecture can lead to re-integration later, sub optimal use of the software purchased and replicated roles and responsibilities across multiple systems.
The challenge for retailers right now also relates to transforming business operations with the aid of technology and replacing legacy business processes and improving operational capabilities which ultimately leads to better quality and more efficient customer interaction across all channels.
Defining a retail technology and eCommerce strategy with a target architecture, evaluating new technology that fits this plan and making sure the technology decisions you make now are fit for the future is what we focus on at eComp.