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Digital Transformation in Retail - 13 Action Steps

  1. Recognize the need for digital transformation extends beyond websites and mobile apps to the entire organization and across all business processes.
  2. Understand the degree of change occurring in retail as a result of customers’ fast-changing behaviors.
  3. Judge accurately where your organization stands on a digital technologies maturity curve.
  4. Show the necessary leadership to change strategies, budget priorities and plans based on new data, trends and insights, and then make the required investments in digital technologies, people and skills to compete successfully.
  5. See that traditional channel-centric strategies are no longer viable; rather, retailers must adopt precise, customer-centric strategies, enabled by digital technologies.
  6. Don’t excuse slow adoption of digital technologies, as the data is clear and compelling and demands immediate action.
  7. Think with a digital mindset, intimately understand the capabilities of digital technologies, understand digital’s role and importance in customer interactions, and develop new digital business models, processes and strategies for supporting today’s and tomorrow’s digital markets and consumers.
  8. Realize that digital transformation and the industry’s adoption of digital technologies are occurring on an accelerated schedule that peaks around 2020. It waits for no retailer’s budget cycles, three-year master plan, leadership change or strategy.
  9. Align the pace of digital transformation initiatives with the speed at which consumers are adopting digital technologies, behaviors, markets and thinking. This might mean over-investment in the near term to catch up or stay ahead of the competition.
  10. Unify disparate digital transformation initiatives behind a single company-wide digital transformation doctrine – a guiding statement that effectively describes the reason for digital transformation, what needs to happen and what winning looks like. This doctrine must be used to direct and shape the entire company’s efforts.
  11. Closely monitor the business impact of rapidly emerging digital technologies to ensure investments are prioritized and acted upon in the right time and place to maximize ROI and competitive advantage, while also balancing the need to innovate and embrace a fail-fast, test and learn mentality.
  12. Understand how digital transformation will alter traditional retail roles, responsibilities and skills for all associates.
  13. Pay close attention to how digital transformation shapes and changes consumers’ interactions and experiences, and train associates to best serve digitally enabled consumers.
 Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict, or read more of his articles on digital transformation strategies here:
  1. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  2. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  3. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  4. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  5. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  6. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  7. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  8. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  9. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  10. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  11. How Digital Leaders are Different
  12. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  13. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  14. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  15. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  16. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  17. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  18. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  19. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  20. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  21. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  22. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  23. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  24. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  25. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  26. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  27. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  28. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  29. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  30. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  31. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  32. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  33. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  34. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  35. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  36. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  37. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  38. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  39. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  40. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  41. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  42. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  43. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  44. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  45. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
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Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict is an opinionated Senior Analyst at Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work, SAP Mentor Alumnus, speaker, writer, and mobile and digital strategies expert. He is a popular keynote speaker, and in the past three years he has shared his insights into mobile and digital strategies with companies in 17 different countries. He has over 30 years of experience working with enterprise applications, and he is a veteran mobile industry executive. He wrote the Forward to SAP Press' bestselling book on enterprise mobility titled Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP, and he has written over 3,000 articles.

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