“58% of business leaders are investing in either new digital products, services and digital channels to reach new customers in new ways.” – Boston Retail Partners

Most of us know that change in any aspect of our lives can be daunting and takes time. However, we also know that change is not only constant, but necessary, especially when everything around us is transforming due to advancements in technology. Rather than waiting to make necessary transitions because the market is moving (with or without you) to meet the demands of modern consumers, it is time to find new ways to assess your current business model and take advantage of the endless opportunities that rise from digital transformation.

According to Cisco’s recent research, $506 billion digital value at stake exists globally in the retail industry, yet retailers have only realized 15 percent of its potential. Today’s digital consumers are using mobile technology in their everyday lives, from watching their favorite shows, to sending payments, to checking their home security system or bank accounts on their laptops or tablets. In today’s digital age, we don’t need to be in a specific location to find information we need or get things done. This is the beauty of living in the digital age: Everything is at our finger tips.

When it comes to the retail space, digital consumers are also using multiple channels to shop for their latest gadgets, groceries, or apparel. Not only that, they use their mobile devices to do research about items they are interested in purchasing before coming to your store, whether they are looking up reviews, price information, in-store inventory, they have the ability to do this anytime, anywhere.

According to a report from InReality, 75 percent of store shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping at stores, and 25 percent make a purchase on their mobile device while in-store. In fact, an increasingly common model is that shoppers buy online, but do so at a store with a local presence that allows them to make exchanges or manage returns. This means that retailers have the opportunity to engage with shoppers in new ways by capturing and using real-time data about their customers. Knowing who is walking in your store helps deliver a more personalized customer experience. With customers demanding digital experiences, digitizing your business becomes no longer an option, it’s a survival imperative.

But how do you get started? Cisco helps you to identify how to get started and where you are on your digital journey with a Digital Transformation Readiness Assessment. This powerful tool analyzes your current state of preparedness and provides deeper insight into each of the four key industry imperatives and each of twelve digital capabilities:

Retail imperative #1: Deliver a differentiated customer experience through:

  • 360° customer monitoring and insight
  • Engaging customers dynamically in-store
  • Predicting and personalizing experiences

Retail imperative #2: Improve associate productivity by:

  • Empowering employees with the right information and tools
  • Digitizing and automating workflow and processes
  • Virtualizing expertise, service, and support

Retail imperative #3: Optimize business operations by:

  • Optimizing real estate
  • Integrating supply chain partners and logistics
  • Accelerating the development and adoption of new products & services

Retail imperative #4: Secure operations and manage risk by:

  • Mitigating theft and fraud
  • Simplifying regulatory & process compliance
  • Securing physical and digital assets

Becoming a digital business is not easy. You need a unified strategy across all aspects of your company and channels in order to be successful. Take the Digital Transformation Readiness Assessment today, and find out where you are on your journey to becoming a digital business.


Brian McDonald

Global Retail & Hospitality Industries Marketing Lead

Private Sector Industry Marketing