If there was any lingering doubt about the need for digital transformation in the retail industry, it was removed by the pandemic. Lockdowns and health concerns forced consumers to digitize their consumption habits, and the benefits of digital transformation in retail became painfully clear to brands still reliant on legacy architecture. Companies had to adapt quickly to survive.
The rapid shift to digital commerce set a high bar for many retailers as customers demanded the personalized attention and custom experiences they enjoyed in-store while they shopped online. Businesses that have not yet embraced the retail digital transformation trend are at risk of making themselves irrelevant. Yet many companies are still struggling with how to integrate legacy systems with the new technologies needed to meet current demands.
What’s Holding Retailers Back?
84% of US shoppers say the pandemic affected their purchasing habits. The most common changes? New shopping methods and different brands. Consumers have clearly adapted. Why is digital transformation in retail lagging so far behind?
The digital transformation journey can be daunting. Many retailers have invested heavily in legacy architecture unable to effectively support an omnichannel experience. Without this capability, buyers can’t access products or services through the channel of their choosing – whether website, app, chatbot, or physical store – and core data remains siloed and inaccessible.
Complexity & time
Lack of skills
But dependence on legacy, monolithic architecture doesn’t have to mean that embracing an omnichannel strategy is beyond your reach. Retailers who integrate legacy systems can realize a host of benefits that offer a competitive edge over those who haven’t embraced digital transformation.
1. Connected Customer Data
“The ability to view data, derive insights from it, and have one source of truth could be your advantage over competitors who are held back by silos and poor quality data.”Michael Paladino, CEO of RevUnit
An effective omnichannel strategy requires that your existing systems be connected and communicating:
- Order management
- Enterprise resource planning
- Point of sale
- Customer relationship management
- Ecommerce platforms
In most legacy architecture setups, the only way to view data from all of these systems at once is to download it from each source separately and combine it manually – an inefficient process that cannot support selling across multiple channels.
The right integration solution will allow data to flow efficiently between core and support systems, providing you with cross-platform insights into consumer behaviors and interests, so you can deliver personalized experiences however shoppers choose to interact with you.
2. Oversight of Orders and Inventory
Another benefit of digital transformation in retail is the ability to connect and equalize your order module across multiple channels for an integrated view of all orders and requests in your OMS, regardless of where each purchase originated.
Integrating legacy systems can also improve your ability to manage inventory – another sensitive issue for retailers. To fully support an omnichannel strategy, your inventory must be 100% integrated, or you could find yourself facing a host of problems that can affect customer loyalty and experience:
- Missing products
- Early billing
- Delivery errors
The global view provided by retail industry digital transformation also lets you leverage physical stores for use as distribution centers. Many retail giants have built centralized and exclusive stock warehouses for virtual operations, but this is not a solution that translates to a smaller-scale retail operation.
3. Improved Efficiency and Agility
Integration of legacy systems facilitates the automation of your organization’s entire operational flow – from order generation in various channels to monitoring delivery at your customers’ homes. Automation significantly reduces operational errors and omissions, increasing efficiency and improving the customer experience.
By connecting stock in your brick-and-mortar locations to your centralized system, you gain the capacity to run a highly automated, low-cost ecommerce operation leveraging your existing interfaces and systems.
Set your payment transactions to complete automatically ONLY when ordered products have been properly separated for the customer.
This ensures shoppers are only charged for what you actually deliver and eliminates additional processes like having to issue refunds for out-of-stock inventory.
When your legacy architecture supports (not obstructs) your retail digital transformation strategy, an omnichannel approach is within your reach and competition with digital natives is possible.
Enterprise iPaaS for Digital Transformation in Retail
The “new normal” is here. And the benefits of digital transformation in retail will only become more compelling – but how do you achieve them? The retail industry never stops, and brands can’t afford to put business on hold while overhauling their systems for digital transformation. Enter iPaaS – or integration platform-as-a-service for enterprises.
Discover how we helped Payless integrate their secure ecommerce platform with over 200 stores in 15 countries in just 30 days!
Enterprise iPaaS lets your brand integrate legacy systems without the need to tear down and replace old, monolithic architecture. Connections can be built on top of existing solutions to connect aging (but critical) solutions to the new technologies you need to support an omnichannel offering.
We get it
Digibee understands the pressures faced by retailers and CPG companies. Our innovative enterprise iPaaS lets you realize the benefits of digital transformation without lengthy disruptions or significant upfront investments.
Request a demo to learn what we can do for you.