How Retail Can Survive the Technology Disruption Tsunami

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Traditional grocers need to adapt key aspects of their business to eliminate data silos and enable processes to meet the demands of the digital consumer. To change the current ecosystem means taking a digital transformation initiative that will not only manage the complexity of using tech-solutions that will converge the store’s physical and online reporting systems, but to also deliver a distinct experience that will delight and engage shoppers – and in the long run, drive brand loyalty and grow profit. 

The Struggle: Reduce Cost, Simplify Security and Manage Centrally 

Every retail business started as a ‘mom and pop’ store around the corner; you probably know one. Just like many of these, Farro Fresh had their humble beginning as a small shop with 10 staff way back in 2006. As the business grows, so does the need to address challenges in managing key areas like real-time inventories, people, supply chain, customer buying habits and much more. It’s not easy! 

With 350 full-time staff in six different locations across Auckland (and growing), the cost and difficulty of managing and maintaining enterprise-wide security is a real struggle.    

As Bryce Howard, CEO, said, “We need a system both stable and operational 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Without that, we won’t have a business.” To have a stable, operational and secured network is vital for them to keep their boutique supermarket chain running for 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. 

Fortunately, they found iT360 to help them deal with the complexities of running a highly available, efficient, and secure infrastructure that could be leveraged for current and future services. 

Digital Transformation: Leading the Way for Change in the Supermarket Industry 

When heavy demand to diversify products and provide more convenience to shoppers are called for, you need to up your game if you want to survive in the retail world. According to PwC’s 2017 Total Retail survey, 70% of shoppers worldwide still prefer to buy their groceries in-store.  This means the store must continuously evolve to hold this position of strength by integrating both physical and online services to meet consumers’ needs. 

Here are 5 Ways New Zealand Businesses Can Survive the Retail Apocalypse: 

Virtualise Your Security 

Maximising security without compromising performance is a must when you want to streamline protection across a central data centre and the cloud. This can be done with the help of hybrid cloud security to help you lower operation costs and risks – while having a rapid response to threats in real-time. This means having a peace of mind knowing that your active and dormant virtual machines are protected. 

End-to-End Network Solution 

To ensure that your company’s network will be up all the time, you need to take advantage of integrating wired and wireless technologies for your applications and communication system to run efficiently while serving your customers in-store, and online. Don’t learn it the hard way!  Like what David Wilson, General Manager of iT360 said about Farro Fresh, “they’re a business that needed something done in all aspects of IT.”  

Go PCI-Compliant 

If you’re accepting card payments, you must see to it that the cardholder’s data is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant and validated by a qualified security assessor. This means protecting your customer’s sensitive information in a world of identity theft, phishing, fraud and other threats.  

Digitise Your Supply Chain 

If you’re running a full-blown ‘brick and mortar’ operations that rely mostly on paper trail, you will have to completely reengineer the process. This means digitally connecting your supply chain – from supplier, distribution, store, to customers – so you can manage your inventories better and support demand for certain products accurately, in real time. The last thing you want is for people to walk in your store only to find empty shelves or have a surplus of discounted produce that’s about to expire. 

Empower Your Customers 

In the name of convenience and better options, you need to setup a digital store, other than the physical one you have right now. It doesn’t stop there. You can equip your store associates with the knowledge on how to cross sell or up sell online. You may even use beacons and GPS trackers to know who is interacting with which products and go as far as employing AI tools to predict consumer buying habits. The opportunities are limitless! 

At the end of the day, building trust with consumers is crucial, something that goes beyond all things digital and physical. Your preparedness is key to winning in an ever-changing and competitive landscape, on top of the increasing adoption of AI devices that your customers engage with. 

Are you winning IT lately? Don’t fret, there’s still time! Just Reach Out. Let us help you achieve your digital transformation goals today.

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