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The Retail Store of the Future

How the retail store is transforming to meet customer needs.

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  • With shoppers using multiple channels, enterprises are forced to respond with a connected omnichannel experience.
  • The effects of omnichannel are being felt in all entities of the store and retail ecosystem. In-store shopping functions differently than in the past and requires new mindsets, models, and capabilities.
  • Drivers of in-store digital technology transformation require superior intelligence competencies, infrastructure technology, tools, and retail store environments to provide an integrated connected experience.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Executing omnichannel is the key to the success of a retail organization’s strategy. Unified in-store and hybrid customer experience is crucial for retailers to drive value in today’s marketplace.
  • Digital tools are facilitating retailers to keep the cost of operations low in a cost-competitive and information-rich environment.
  • Assessing in-store technology effectiveness, enhancing current technology infrastructure concerns, and identifying cost-competitive advantage creators are some risks of digital transformation in retail.
  • Retailers can implement technology in each phase of the shopping journey. However, they should take a structured and methodical approach toward developing a robust strategy before technology implementation.

Impact and Result

  • Identify customer opportunities across their shopping journey then capitalize on IoT, store technology, infrastructure, and environments to monetize key customer insights and transform into a “smart store hub.”
  • Realize the effects of omnichannel that are being felt on all entities of the store and retail ecosystem. Learn how the best-in-class retailers are already reaping business benefits from adopting technology demands (instore and hybrid) with the Retail Omnichannel Framework.
  • Envision infrastructure components, cost, and competitive advantage creators in unison for your enterprise along with industry best practices and then design a list of initiatives to integrate into the IT strategic plan.

The Retail Store of the Future Research & Tools

1. Learn how the retail store is transforming to meet customer needs.

The retail store of the future capitalizes on IoT and infrastructure technology to enable retailers to monetize key customer insights and transform into a “smart store hub.”

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The Retail Store of the Future

How the retail store is transforming to meet customer needs.

Analyst Perspective

The retail store of the future capitalizes on IoT, infrastructure technology to enable retailers to monetize key customer insights and transform into a “smart store hub.”

The image contains a screenshot of Rahul Jaiswal.

In the last couple of years, retailers have taken extensive steps in setting their stores up to realize e-commerce orders seamlessly. They've had to re-configure the online-to-offline technology, train staff on new responsibilities, and perfect curbside pick-up services. The main reason for this transformation is the growing demand for ease of shopping and quicker delivery.

As merchandise on shelves has a reduced footprint, retailers shift more space and resources to online fulfilment, digital engagement, and even green recycling gains. Meanwhile, real-time customer analytics and automation resolve become key to store operations. Using new tech-enabled tools, the smart store hubs will drive to provide a more connected and personalized experience that meaningfully engages customers.

Brick-and-mortar businesses in all walks of life can effectively enable online businesses by intelligently leveraging their assets and physical infrastructure. What matters is how brands merge the offline-to-online channels to provide a cohesive, frictionless, and delightful experience to customers.

The function of the store is no longer just a channel to display and sell products. Retail environments now present an opportunity to play a far greater role in promoting the brand, driving innovation, fulfilment, and much more. The retail store of the future combines embryonic future innovative technology trends including in-store robotic fulfilment, contactless checkout, live personalized dynamic pricing, and other advances to provide an all-in-one connected experience to transform into a “Smart Store Hub.”

Rahul Jaiswal
Principle Research Director, Retail
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Common Obstacles

Info-Tech’s Approach

  • With shoppers using multiple channels, enterprises are forced to respond with a connected omnichannel experience.
  • The effects of omnichannel are being felt in all entities of the store and retail ecosystem. In-store shopping functions differently than in the past and requires new mindsets, models, and capabilities.
  • Drivers of in-store digital technology transformation require superior intelligence competencies, infrastructure technology, tools, and retail store environments to provide an integrated connected experience.
  • Executing omnichannel is the key to the success of the retail organization’s strategy. Unified in-store and hybrid customer experience is crucial for retailers to drive value in today’s market.
  • Measuring in-store technology effectiveness, enhancing current technology infrastructure concerns, and identifying cost-competitive advantage creators are risks of digital transformation in retail.
  • Executing technology in each phase of the shopping journey takes a structure and methodical approach toward developing a robust strategy before a technology implementation.
  • Identify customer opportunities across their shopping journey, then capitalize on IoT, store technology, infrastructure, and environments to monetize key customer insights and transform into a “Smart Store Hub”.
  • Realize the effects of omnichannel that are being felt on all entities of the store and retail ecosystem. Learn how the best-in-class retailers are already reaping business benefits from adopting technology instore & hybrid demands with the Retail Omnichannel Framework.
  • Envision infrastructure components, cost, and competitive advantage creators in unison for your enterprise along with industry best practices, and then design a list of initiatives to integrate into the IT strategic plan.

Info-Tech Insight

The rapid transformation of the retail industry over the last couple of years has led to new instore hybrid functions. The retail store environments now present an opportunity to play a far greater role in driving value in today’s markets.

Executing “omnichannel” is the key strategy needed for the retail store of the future

Info-Tech Insight

Omnichannel is increasing the adoption of technology tools and processes within all aspects of an organization. It brings businesses closer to customers by understanding their need.

The image contains a screenshot example of the omni-channel.

Mastering the digital domain as a strategy for enabling seamless customer engagement

  • Warehouse automation helps respond to customer needs, shortening the wait time for a customer to receive the merchandise after a seamless checkout.
  • Leaders are exploring the impact of new digital channel opportunities. For example, Direct-to-avatar (D2A) is an emerging business model selling products directly to digital identities. This bypasses supply chain management like drop-shipping, logistics, and getting the physical product to a consumer’s door.

Optimizing operational excellence in order to realize key functions

  • Standardization of processes to improve efficiency and enable new services to fulfil last-mile delivery.
  • Gather information during the customer journey. The greater the volume of data available both internally and externally, the more telling and precise the analyses.
  • Tools focused on enabling one view of inventory, delivery tracking, and customer access.

Using ‘Window’ to showcase value proposition: Push based

  • Preset entire enterprise planning and order management process through OMS, and distributed order management (DOM) applications and controls.
  • Unique value proposition to inform, and access products and service.

Customers are actively using technologies across all phases of their shopping journey

Awareness

Consideration

Transaction

Delivery

Engagement

Omnichannel Enables

  • Online Social Network Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Voice Assistants/ Chatbots
  • Podcast/ Video Ads
  • Paid Media
  • Online Comparisons Management
  • Store Apps, Product Finder
  • In-Store Digital Marketing
  • Social Media Listening
  • Online Retailer to Customer (R2C) Advice
  • Online Customer to Customer (C2C) Advice
  • Online Product Visualization
  • Online Availability Indicators
  • Online Ratings and Reviews
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Contact Centre
  • In-store Digital Display
  • Online Size Guides
  • Store Cross-Selling
  • Virtual Showrooms
  • Endless Aisle
  • Gamification
  • Social Network Transact
  • Contact Center Transact
  • Kiosk Transact
  • Mobile Transact
  • Iris Scan/ Facial Recognition
  • Touchless Transfer
  • Digital E-Wallet
  • QR Codes
  • Digital Coupons
  • Wearables Technology
  • E-Transfer
  • NFT, Cryptocurrency Payment
  • Mobile POS
  • In-store Devices Transact
  • Smart Checkout Technology
  • Same Day Delivery
  • Time Slot Delivery
  • Delivery Location Flexibility
  • Click and Collect In Store
  • Reserve Online Pick In-Store
  • Buy Online Ship to Store
  • Buy In-Store Deliver Home
  • Buy Online Pickup In-Locker
  • Automated Curbside Pickup
  • Delivery Tracking
  • Auto-Notification App
  • Messenger Bots
  • Service at Delivery
  • Push Notifications
  • All-Channel Returns
  • Omnichannel Query and Compliant Resolution
  • App-Based Rewards Program
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Write a Review
  • Blog / Social Post
  • Digital Avatar and Identities

Info-Tech Insight

Today’s shoppers expect to be able to transact with you in the channels of their selection. The correct technology stack is critical in order to support world-class e-commerce and brick-and-mortar connections with customers. Leverage Info-Tech’s proven, road-tested approach using personas and scenarios to build strong business drivers for your omnichannel commerce strategy.

Examples of technology adoption by retailers and brands at various stages of the shopping journey

Awareness

Consideration

Transaction

Delivery

Engagement

  • Alibaba’s live stream selling platform Taobao Live has nearly 40 million followers. In a 24-hour online sale, the Taobao marketplace posted $7.5 Billion in the first 30 minutes.
  • Alibaba's Tmall Luxury Pavilion has also launched a one-to-one live streaming feature.
  • Toys R’ Us partnered with Snapchat to use their AR Portal Lens, an in-app program which overlays products with animations.
  • Opening the Lens provides users with tutorials and instore product information, and enables mobile purchases.
  • Enabling faster checkout time, Amazon Go store uses a combination of computer vision, deep learning, and sensor fusion technology to automate the payment at checkout on the Amazon Go app.
  • Walmart is launching three full-time DroneUp airport “Hubs” for on-demand last-mile delivery operations.
  • The widespread adoption of drone delivery is expected to take flight this year.
  • Nike Membership stands out for its retail partnership with Dick’s Scorecard, which allows Nike consumers to connect their membership accounts through Dick’s mobile app.
  • The loyalty integration allows the retailers to team up with 79 million engaged customers and provide consumers with access to exclusive products, experiences, and offers.
  • Shein’s largest ultra fast-fashion online brand uses AI as its central engine to determine trends and predict consumer demand patterns.
  • It leverages the combined scale of influencers and key opinion leaders on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok to run marketing campaigns and drive sales promotions.
  • Abu Dhabi’s Galleria Mall’s Fashion3D fitting room combines thermal body-mapping technology with HD garment rendering, enabling shoppers to ‘try on a virtual wardrobe, complying with GDPR regulations.
  • Comprising a motion detector HD camera, and a life-size screen that acts as a virtual mirror, the system takes three seconds to scan the customer before stylists then dress the digital image with a selection of garments.
  • Home Depot accepts Bitcoin payments via Flexa’s checkout systems installed in their stores.
  • Checkout is seamless using Bitcoin, because Geminis’s partnership with Flexa has taken out all the friction traditionally involved with Blockchain technology.
  • Narvar’s messenger chatbot helps over 400 retailers streamline the post-purchase shipping process. The bot can answer questions about tracking and delivery.
  • Lululemon, the Canadian athletic apparel retailer, has opened a 3500 sq ft community space as part of its flagship store in Manhattan, including a “retreat space” via a collaboration portal for shoppers, called Hub Seventeen.
  • In addition to regular fitness and yoga workshops, the space includes a pop-up art gallery and a program of evening dinners called “The Gathering”.

THE OMNICHANNEL RETAIL FRAMEWORK


Effects of omnichannel are being felt on all entities of the store and retail ecosystem

The image contains a screenshot of the Omni-Channel Retail Framework.

With customers using numerous channels, online and offline are being increasingly viewed as one channel, forcing retailers to respond accordingly

  • To personalize effectively, retailers first must know who their customers are – Retailers are optimistic that by being able to deduce a consumer’s shopping objective quickly, the experience can be fine-tuned to meet the consumer’s objective: offering the right products, prices, content, and services.
  • Retailers need to also ensure unified transition across channels – Retail stores continue to play a big role in the customer experience by bringing in impulse purchases, acting as brand builders, and efficiently traversing the last mile to get purchases into the hands of consumers faster than ever.

BOPAC

(Buy Online, Pick Up at Curbside)

BOPIS

(Buy Online, Pick Up in Store)

BOPIL

(Buy Online, Pick Up in Locker)

Average time to order

5.5 minutes

4 minutes

>30 seconds

Average time to return an order

Limited availability, substantial wait time

3-5 minutes (once greeted by a store associate)

>30 seconds

Projected retailer labour cost ($15 an hour)

$1.38 per order

$1.00 per order

$0.13 per order (employee time + 30 seconds)

Observed wait time for customer

8-12 minutes

2-5 minutes

>2 minutes

Sales impact and customer loyalty

Sales increases of 2X (approximately double)

85% of shoppers buy additional items when picking a BOPIS order

Shoppers are 4X more likely to repeat purchases if the wait is under 2 minutes

Source: Quadient

Awareness and Readiness

Retail brands are under pressure to keep up with consumer demands and personalization.

The legacy e-commerce platform may not be the best choice now. The retail industry is now definitely entering the third generation of e-commerce.

  • Gen. 1.0 was standalone.
  • Gen 2.0 was integrated with back-office processes.
  • Gen 3.0 is all about e-commerce services being vital to retailers’ operations

Current e-commerce solutions promise better performance, adaptability, and scalability. It is driven by an ecosystem of digital technologies such as microservices, headless, API-first, and cloud-native SaaS.

Technology will likely double store profitability and improve the customer experience

The image contains a graph to demonstrate how technology will double profitability and customer experience.

Awareness and Readiness

This example from retail grocery usage shows the financial effect of in-store technology; this impact will be evident across the sector.

  • Personalized offerings and optimized assortments drive sales and cut waste, while prospects upsell and cross-sell, and increase basket sizes and conversion rates.
  • Generally, the store of the future is estimated to achieve earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins twice those of today.
  • The in-store technologies called out exist currently; they are not just a prototype or proof-of-concept.
  • Retail leadership should act now to prepare their enterprises for a technology-enabled revolution in customer experience.

Real-time business intelligence presents the best opportunity to help retailers respond to rapidly changing consumer instore and hybrid demands

The image contains a diagram of real-time-business-intelligence and its impact on consumer instore and hybrid demands.

Awareness and Readiness

Optimal shopper experience through real-time convergence of sensors, advanced analytics tools, and mobility.

SENSORS

InfraRed, Grid EYE IR-based Occupancy, iBeacons, NFC Tags, QR Codes, In-Store Video Cameras, Thermal, Temperature, Pressure Sensors, Intelligent Display Experience Suites and IoT Gateway

MOBILITY

Retailer App M-Commerce

PLATFORMS

New-generation cloud-based platforms are easily extendable, enabled by AI/ML, encourage innovation, and form the foundation on which retailers can offer a personalized, highly relevant experience and help build consumer loyalty.

Technology is now used to engage with customers before the start of actual in-store shopping

Pre-Purchase

Key Technologies

Experience

Retailers

Geofencing

Technology

  • Location-based services available on mobile allow retailers to track potential customers in the vicinity (geofence) of the store.
  • Retailers can use this technology to attract customers into the store by sending out messages on products, promotions, exclusive deals to customers in the geofenced area.
  • Starbucks sends out messages with discounts/offers to any customers within a half-mile radius of its store.
  • With the Spotify integration, consumers can view what songs are playing in that specific store and add them to their playlists.

Augmented Reality

Virtual Assistants

Chat Bots

  • Augmented reality has already gained acceptance in both pre-purchase and purchase journey.
  • Apps/chat bots based on augmented reality using object recognition and GPS can help customers in locating and finding their way to store.
  • L'Oréal's Facebook make-up try-on.
  • Snapchat's new augmented reality (AR) features allow real-fit try-on from major fashion brands.

Interactive

Display Technology

  • Interactive displays with touch screens can offer an engaging and an interactive personalized experience to customers.
  • Allow online/in-store showrooming to carry out virtual trials of products aiding the shoppers in making purchase decisions, leading to an increase in conversions.
  • Superdry stores leverage Samsung Dynamic LED signage to increase foot traffic in stores, and lower costs due to a more efficient advertising process.
  • Samsung has an interactive display at stores to showcase its new products, enabling window shoppers to virtually explore.

Wireless Hotspots

IoT (Beacons)

  • Geo localization service available with the Smartphone app triangulates the mobile signal strength from various Wi-Fi/IoT (beacons) access points to pinpoint the customer location.
  • Retailers are using this information to send out messages on new product launches, exclusive deals, etc. via mobile apps, to draw shoppers.
  • Copenhagen airports use data from Wi-Fi tracking to send out information on promotions in restaurants and retail stores at the airport.
  • Beacon signals enable passengers to navigate around the airport more efficiently.

Leading retailers are already reaping business benefits from adopting technology instore and hybrid

Purchase

Technology

Application

Business Benefits

1

Real-time monitoring technology like video/ web analytics

Intelligent tracking system that identifies the customer, their last visit date, purchases and returns.

Customer behaviors intelligence, customer loyalty information .

2

Smartphones

Apps provide a virtual map for the store layout, aisle information.

Easy access to information, greater functionality, faster connectivity.

3

QR Codes/Mobile coupons

Coupons related to any product promotional campaigns can be directly sent out to customers.

Promotions for targeted customer segments, call-for-action, faster connectivity.

4

Augmented reality/surface computing devices

Check product information, stock levels, product placement on aisles in store or online.

Customer engagement, interactive experience.

5

Tablets/Wearables

Assisted selling by store staff for an interactive and personalized customer experience.

Process-driven selling, customer conversion, up-selling and cross-selling.

6

E-paper signage/digital signage

Supporting customer service by providing information relating to product, pricing, availability, etc.

Price accuracy, dynamic pricing, improved customer readability.

7

Smartphones/tablets/virtual assistants

Facilitates customers in making informed decisions by providing price comparisons, review.

Customer experience, information aggregation.

8

Self-checkout kiosks/advanced POS systems

Alternative to traditional POS for faster and easier checkout.

Self-service, queue management, faster checkout.

9

Mobile payments/NFC/Touchless/ Transact

Transactions authorized using mobile devices have enabled speed and convenience at cash counters.

Faster speed of transactions, information security, customer personalization.

10

Mobile POS/ Self-checkout system/ Grab n Go

Supports sustainability efforts by retailers with providing paperless receipts and quicker checkout for customers.

Quick checkout, paperless transactions.

Retailers are positioning innovative models and technology tools to provide post-purchase services to customers and gain their loyalty

Post-Purchase

Info-Tech Insight

“Pre-purchase and post-purchase” are indispensable yet ignored stages of e-commerce. Repeat customers account for ~40% of the store's revenue; a strong post-purchase strategy will drive repeat engagement.

The image contains Amazons logo. The image contains Walmarts logo.
  • Online purchase returns are very high. Approximately 15-40% of online purchases end up being returned, costing $550 billion in 2020. According to CNBC and Statista,
    • Retailers are partnering to enhance the shopping and return journey. Amazon partnered with Kohls for online purchases to be returned at Kohls locations.
    • AI-enabled tools assist in optimizing the return method even before customers leave their home.
  • The (RaaS) returns as a service-based model keep pace with the barrage of unrelenting returns to encourage customer loyalty, reduce financial impact, increase recovery, and reduce needless waste caused by discarding low-value returns.
  • Amazon offers a seamless returns experience via “Click and Collect lockers” – convenient, cost-efficient online delivery leveraging their grocery stores network.

Waiting in-line for returns is a pain. Walmart launched Mobile Express Returns – an innovative, industry-first personalized experience that combined Walmart’s more than 4,700 sites with the Walmart app to make returning an item fast and easy.

  • Mobile Express Returns Experience – In the Walmart app, the customer selects the transaction and item(s) to return and starts the returns process; they then receive a QR code in real-time, a personalized in-app experience.
  • Channel – Mobile, in-app notifications.
  • Approach – In-store at the customer service desk, advance through the line via the Mobile Express Lane. Scan the QR code shown on the card reader with the Walmart app and hand the items to the associate.
  • Data Considered – Contextual data, customer preferences, customer activity, past purchases.
  • Outcome – Refund credited to the customer’s payment account as soon as the next day. They no longer must send off their products and wait days for a credit.

Retail store environments now present an opportunity to play a far greater role…

THE RETAIL STORE OF THE FUTURE

Smart Store Hub combines future innovative technology trends across retail, including in-store robotic fulfilment, contactless checkout, live personalized dynamic pricing, and other transformational activities to provide an all-in-one connected experience.


The image contains a screenshot of a diagram of the retail store of the future.
  1. Store as a Market Place Hub
  2. Retailers use their stores to extend engagements via the platform. Amazon is the most popular online marketplace worldwide, averaging about 5.2 billion visits a month (Statista, 2021).

  3. Store-as-a-Service Hub
  4. Retailers who have developed operational expertise can sell it as a capability to other organizations. For example, Amazon Go has streamlined in-store dynamics, providing in-aisle experiences and eliminating the checkout aisle bottleneck. Amazon will sell this expertise to other retailers as a service (RaaS) offering.

  5. Store as Replenishment Hub
  6. Leading retailers such as Walmart are using their physical stores as replenishment and fulfillment hubs for online orders. This is cost-effective since they are using existing resources. As the click-and-collect trend grows, retailers will find it increasingly necessary to fulfill orders from stores.

  7. Store as Growth-Generating Hub
  8. Digital e-commerce brands such as Casper (home), Third Love (apparel), 5 Element Pet Food Therapy (pet food and care), and Away (accessories) have opened stores to generate sales and increase brand awareness.

  9. Store as Brand Image Building Hub
  10. Consumer goods manufacturers like Samsung are rolling out stores to showcase new products via interactive display technology. The Lululemon NYC community space offers a pop-up art gallery, events of evening dinners called “The Gathering,” and a space for transformation.

  11. Store as Invention Hub
  12. Retailers such as Walmart, Nike, Adidas, and others use their stores to experiment with new formats, products, technologies, and services.

Case Study: Walmart incubates companies with the potential to transform the future of commerce | Store No. 8

STORE AS INVENTION HUB

Store Nº8 was set up in 2017 as part of Walmart’s larger innovation mission to shape the future of retail.

Goal: Fuel the core business, create new operational efficiencies, and unlock amazing experiences for our customers in the long term.

Solution

At its Intelligent Retail Lab (IRL), a New York-based store that emerged from Walmart’s tech incubator Store No. 8 focuses on the potential of AI in retail. Walmart experts explore AI applications in a “live shopping environment,” using an array of cameras and sensors that can generate real-time data on inventory levels and more.

Target investment areas include frictionless shopping, mixed reality, sustainability, the future of food, and health and wellness.

Walmart and Store Nº8 have teamed up with the MIT Media Lab to drive this initiative with cutting-edge research, the world’s best interdisciplinary thinkers, and a network of peers from 45 corporate members.

Results

Walmart launched Mobile Express Returns; in-store purchased items can be returned online and then dropped off in person using a QR code. In-store return transaction times dropped by 74% (CB Insights).

Other initiatives include

  • Conversational commerce
  • Frictionless checkout
  • In-store digitization
  • Last mile delivery
  • Mixed reality
  • Shopping automation
Source: MarketScreener, 2021. Storeno8, 2021.

Case Study: Starbucks and Volvo have entered a partnership to offer EV charging at Starbucks locations

Volvo Car USA and Starbucks collaborated to establish the first public electric-vehicle charging network at Starbucks in the United States.

Goal: Fuel the business growth, create new operational efficiencies, and unlock amazing experiences for our customers in the short- and long-term.

Solution

The pilot program calls for Volvo to install up to 60 Volvo-branded, ChargePoint DC fast chargers at up to 15 Starbucks locations along a 1,350-mile route between Denver and Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters.

They plan to install a charging location every 100 miles or so, which is well within the battery range of most electric vehicles. ChargePoint DC fast chargers can bring EVs like the Volvo C40 Recharge from a 20% charge to 90% in about 40 minutes.

While cars are recharging, drivers and their passengers will have the option to eat or drink at the Starbucks store.

Results

This is a well-strategized partnership that aligns with both companies’ values and business models.

Volvo plans to be a fully electric car company by 2030, and Starbucks desires to be an industry leader in reducing and controlling its carbon footprint – an effort that embraces its EV charging initiative as well as increased investment in solar power at its locations.

"We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to test how we can charge our customers’ electric vehicles at Starbucks stores," said Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Kobori. "Imagine a future where Starbucks helps our customers to connect – more sustainably“ (VolvoCars, 2021).

Source: VolvoCars, 2021.

Envision infrastructure components, cost & competitive advantage creators in unison

The image contains a screenshot of a diagram of the retail store of the future that includes infrastructure components.

Capitalize on infrastructure technology to evolve for the future

1. Assess Infrastructure Integration

  • Make sure that the right infrastructure is in place to support the technologies.
  • Putting new and emerging technologies as bolts to legacy infrastructure will only slow things down and make experiences worse.
  • Too many retailers struggle integrating new technologies with old systems.

2. Review Service-Led Support Model

  • Software and infrastructure technology will need to be continually updated to keep up with new development.
  • Associations between retailers and technology partners must shift from transactional installments to service-led support.

3. Develop Holistic Strategy

  • Reconsider all technologies while planning advantage creators.
  • Many enterprises do not recognize Augmented Reality, AR or VR as vital to their business. But interest in these areas is accelerating quickly as web 3.0, digital currencies, non-fungible tokens, and the metaverse create new prospects for value creation.

Best Practices

Info-Tech Insight

As retailers streamline infrastructure and capture the benefits of real-time insights, ensure IT specialists have sufficient time to execute new applications. Retailers need to consider a solution that can be augmented for each specific location, whether it be a leading flagship or a smaller store.

#1 One size does not always fit entirely

Retail brands are forced to buy a one-size-fits-all solution and try to roll it out across all their sites. That means some sites can end up with too many solutions, while others can end up with too few. The optimal solution is a resolution that is uniform, yet configurable for location needs, and allows non-disruptive growth.

#2 Too much complexity leads to waste

Replicating a data center platform stack on a smaller scale can lead to unnecessary software licensing and hardware costs. Complex system design means higher purchase cost, higher support cost, and more risk to the business.

#3 Deployment takes a significant investment of time and capital

For a retail organization with hundreds or even thousands of locations, just physically getting to all the locations becomes a challenge. It takes time and is costly to send a technician to every site to add new services.

#4 Costs are difficult to predict

Margins are a top priority so solutions must provide a strong return on investment, which is often difficult to predict with disruptive technologies.

#5 Security must be strong - be prepared for ransomware

Given the size of data shared over networks between central and remote sites, minimizing network intrusions and breaches is critical. Retail brands need to ensure that remote sites have secure connectivity, up-to-date firewalls, antivirus, and patches. Given the surge in ransomware attacks, store back-ups and other security protocols need to be encrypted in a secure connection.

#6 Back-up frequently

Data at remote sites need to be backed up often, particularly if the information is critical to the enterprise. Handling remote site backup and failover can be expensive and time-consuming.

#7 Manage and support monitoring services

Systems need the capability to be remotely managed both individually and in aggregate to lessen costs and safeguard up-time. Support services must be tied into system-managing consoles for a swift resolution to failures.

#8 Invest in IT capability at REMOTE sites

Maximum remote retail sites do not have local IT support. Most retail workers are not specialists in different hardware, operating systems, or applications. Extremely specialized systems necessitate a high level of expertise, which isn’t available.

Related Info-Tech Research

Retail Industry Business Reference Architecture

  • Leading organizations require business reference architecture techniques such as strategy maps, value streams, and capability maps to design usable and accurate blueprints of your retail operations.
  • Assess your initiatives and priorities to determine if you are investing in the right capabilities. Conduct capability assessments to identify opportunities and prioritize projects.

Infrastructure and Operations Priorities 2022

Discover Info-Tech's four trends for infrastructure and operations leaders – a framework to dive deeper into the trends most relevant to you and your organization.

Determine different prioritization that is being demanded in 2022. Discover a framework to dive deeper into the trends most relevant to you and your organization.

Improve IT Operations With AI and ML

Deliver your IT services efficiently, go above and beyond, and exceed manual repetitive tasks. Perform a current state assessment to spot which areas within your operations management are the least mature and cause you the most grief. Identify which functional areas within operations management need to be prioritized for improvement.

Create a Ransomware Incident Response Plan

Execute a systematic assessment of your current security and DR practices to identify gaps and quick wins. Quantify ransomware risk to prioritize investments and drive security awareness. Run tabletop planning exercises for ransomware attacks to build a more effective incident response plan and further identify projects to close gaps.

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How the retail store is transforming to meet customer needs.

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Author

Rahul Jaiswal

Contributors

Bisheban, Nastaran, Chief Technology Officer, KFC Canada

Shankar, Rajiv, Chief Information Officer REDTAG, United Arab Emirates

Search Code: 99638
Last Revised: October 12, 2022

TAGS:

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