Developing Retail IT Road Maps With Customers as the Cartographer
With the first half of the fiscal year in the rear-view mirror, it’s a good time to evaluate the impact of newly implemented technology and understand where technology is still needed on the IT road map. Optimizing sales, margin and inventory across all operation channels is important, but how do you know which technology to prioritize?
According to the National Retail Federation's Summer 2019 Consumer View report, consumers appreciate the role of technology and “want retailers to focus on technologies and solutions that take the guesswork out of the pre-purchase experience.” To them, it's most important that retailers have technology in place for stock visibility and real-time, location-based inventory availability. Whether browsing online or getting assistance in-store, shoppers want to know where an item is available and how quickly they can receive it.
Knowing this, retailers need a holistic understanding of how each piece of technology fits into their broader enterprise IT strategy. How can retailers act on consumers’ eagerness to adopt technology and strategically build a road map that understands consumer needs? Implement with speed and let data tell you how new technology impacts the customer.
Jeff Gragg is partner at Columbus Consulting, experts in retail business processes and systems. Gragg has significant experience in leading companies through turbulent and difficult periods of change; either in various types of transformations or playing a role in turnarounds or establishing new businesses.