For the first time in decades, technology has outpaced the evolution of business processes. Increasing volumes of data, advancements in data analytics and intelligence, and the ubiquity of cloud computing have shifted both what customers expect as the result of being armed with information in a way not previously possible, as well as what companies can deliver to meet those expectations and reinvent the value they offer.
As retailers navigate these new consumer expectations, what worked in the past in terms of increasing margins and creating customer loyalty isn’t going to mean success in the future. It’s not enough to just digitize paper-based processes and stich together solutions that cover the seams between the digital and physical. To stay relevant and compete in this evolving industry, retailers will need to re-imagine their customer experiences and business processes from the ground up.
We call this digital transformation—implementing technology in new ways as well as cultural changes that help improve customer engagement, empower employees, optimize operations and transform products, and ultimately drive growth and opportunities for the business. In this paper, we discuss the opportunities for the retail industry to grow, adapt and evolve to address the changing needs of customers and capture new business potential, and how Microsoft can help accelerate digital transformation featuring insights from Tracy Issel, General Manager of the Worldwide Retail Sector at Microsoft.