Published on in RetailDigital Transformation

We all know digital is booming. The likes of Amazon and Amazon Fresh has really shaken up the retail industry, and as a result, others are now jumping on board the digitalisation train to keep up.

According to Fujitsu’s Digital Inside Out research, online shopping is one of the most valued (63%) and most used (66%) digital service. One in four consumers always choose digital if possible when it comes to retail.

It’s clear the industry understands the impact of digital and how it can be used in customer interaction. As a result, many retailers have now created an integrated offering that enhances the customer experience – a recipe for success.

But what about the employees? What does this transformation mean for them? According to the same research, two-thirds of retail employees believe technology services and applications are vital to the future success of their company. Yet despite this, 29% of respondents stated their ability to do their job is being hindered due to poor digital services. And that is just people who understand the benefits technology can offer in a work environment. This number is likely to be much higher when you take into account those who still don’t understand how digital can enhance the work place.

The challenge is that outside of the workplace, employees have access to high-quality digital services. Therefore they have expectations, while sometimes unrealistic, of how these digital technologies should translate into their work lives.

In order to maximise employee productivity, retailers can provide staff with devices like tablets to improve the workflow throughout the organisation. This means not being tied to checkouts or workstations. Staff can instead focus on serving customers.

Not just that, retailers should also consider digital tools like Wi-Fi beacons to better understand customer data in-store. This can then be analysed anonymously to build customer profiles and as a result, help staff improve efficiency.

It’s only when employees are appropriately equipped with technology that retailers will see satisfied staff and can reap the benefits of a more digital workforce.

It will be those retailers that ensure they are digital from the inside out – that have a robust infrastructure to integrate both the internal and external offerings, creating a balanced, efficient offering that caters for all audiences – which will be the ones to remain successful.

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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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