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The race to customer leadership in retail Digital Transformation

The race to customer leadership in retail Digital Transformation

Data CentresDigital TransformationInfographicsRetailTop Stories

Retailers are racing to adopt Edge computing and customer-facing technologies to enhance the customer experience. Vertiv and global media company, DataCenterDynamics, interviewed 50 managers and executives from the world’s largest retail companies to profile the progress of retail Digital Transformation.

Retailers are transforming themselves with new business strategies, processes and technologies to support a more consistent and rewarding customer experience across channels. This research by Vertiv and DatacenterDynamics reveals how retailers around the world are:

  • Breaking down technology silos to create a more seamless experience wherever customers touch their brands.
  • Transforming distribution centres as the lynchpins in customer-driven strategies.
  • Improving time to market for new in-store technologies.
  • Making more efficient use of resources to drive down costs.
  • Choosing the right physical infrastructure to protect new IT assets.

The retail transformation is driven by consumer innovation, through the adoption of digital technologies. This puts the onus on retailers to catch up and meet the demand in and out of store that can only be delivered by an intelligent IT ecosystem.

The interviews carried out by Vertiv and DataCenterDynamics profiled the progress of retail Digital Transformation. It showed some key findings. Edge computing is going to grow over the next two years with companies turning to cloud hosting for capacity, with a 33% greater adoption for data centre capacity supporting stores and a 87% greater adoption for data centre capacity supporting distribution centres.

Distribution is king, with a need for faster customer delivery, lower transport costs and the expansion of an online presence.

In the next two years, the data centre footprints will change, as there will be an expected 20% increase for online retail, a 10% increase for distribution, a 27% decline for corporate activities and just a 0.9% decline for in-store activities.

All of the respondents said that online is more critical and a large proportion, 91%, said distribution is more critical, while just 23% said in-store is more critical.

Of the retailers questioned, 26% are nascent, which means they are lagging in Digital Transformation. These retailers are beginning to adopt customer-centric technology but rely almost exclusively on the store channel. They are improving distribution centre productivity and supply chain control.

While 42% of retailers are emerging, which means they are progressing in Digital Transformation. They are using multi-channel customers strategies, integrating distribution with customer channels and adding IoT sensors and tracking to improve productivity.

And 32% of retailers are developed and are leaders in Digital Transformation. They are building omni-channel strategies and providing experiential customers interactions. They are also integrating distribution with customer channels and using big data analytics, IoT devices, cloud computing and rigorous security.

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