Exploring Digital Maturity In The Retail Industry
Digital maturity is so much needed that it is dominating retail industry panel discussions, conferences, business summits, workshops, etc. Although some business owners have already termed digital maturity as their primary enabler of business growth, some have termed it their biggest challenge in running their businesses. We cannot deny that digital transformation has already infiltrated the retail industry, and the savvy company owners are determined to achieve it as soon as possible.
So, have you achieved digital maturity in retail? We all know that digital transformation can be a challenge or a simple process depending on the organization. Digital maturity in retail can be divided into four primary categories.
Categories of digital transformation in retail.
Pioneers in the category of innovative brands set the tone of the retail industry. These organizations have already understood the competitive advantage of digitalization and how it can improve their business for good. Such retailers have already implemented game-changing processes in their companies and improved their agility in the industry.
Explorers are the retailers who know the potential of digital maturity and view it as a strategic goal. However, they are still evaluating different paths to achieve the digital transformation, so they have not yet achieved it. These retailers have seen what the pioneers have achieved with digital transformation and are already creating a roadmap for their own journey to ensure their digital transformation strategies align with their goals.
Followers are the retailers still struggling to understand the whole concept of digital transformation. They are trying to adopt new digital solutions to get there, but they lack strategies and a better plan. These are the retailers who often fail despite having made significant investments in technology which has a crushing impact on their businesses.
Naysayers are the retailers who are still in denial and have not accepted that digital transformation is the future of the retail industry. They are still stuck with the traditional business model, don’t have any digital commitments in place, and have no faith in digital transformation. They believe digital transformation is just a wind that is passing away.
Where do you belong as a retailer?
The big question is, where do you belong as a retailer in the journey to digital transformation. Knowing where you belong can give you a way to move forward in digital readiness. Let’s take a look at the digital maturity model.
This is a stage where your actions are subject to events and not proactive approaches. The price of running such a business is high because your partners significantly influence your decisions, operations, and quality standards.
Here, the retailer focuses on driving a collective operation. In such a setting, the leadership would promote connectivity and even consider specialists to implement process changes. But the transparency is only limited to functional silos making the cost of operating large teams high.
This is the beginning of a digitally transformed retailer. The management is focused on digital capabilities, and the connections go beyond functional silos. At this point, the operating costs are less since automation has already started.
Here the retailer takes pride in a business that connects all stakeholders, including employees, vendors, and partners. The management is exploring further digital transformation to grow more, and decisions are driven by automation and data.
At this stage, cognitive automation also matters, and the retailer is at the highest level of digital maturity. At this point, they are investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning as human intervention reduces.
How you move from one phase to the next in the digital maturity matrix determines how successfully you achieve digital retail transformation.