What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the journey of integrating technology into changing business models to bridge the gap between customer expectations and the true brand values.
In other words, digital transformation is a growth strategy based on technologies that enhance customer experience. This process not only improves business processes and systems with more advanced applications, but also requires a comprehensive change in management thinking and business strategy.
Since customers have been shifting to online shopping, it’s the right time for brick-and-mortar stores to adopt digital technologies for modern demands.
Why should businesses need digitalization?
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the result of limited physical interactions, social distancing and strict confinement measures implemented to avoid contagion, have put brick-and-mortar in danger of collapse.
The statistic says in America, retail and food services sales between February and April 2020 declined 7.7% compared to the same period of the previous year. However, most e-commerce providers’ sales increased by 16% and 14.8% respectively.
At the same time,iIn the EU, retail sales via the Internet in April 2020 increased by 30% compared to April 2019, while total retail sales decreased by 17.9%.
It can be seen that digital transformation has become an inevitable trend of businesses around the world.
3 benefits of digital transformation for brick-and-mortar stores
Walmart is a typical example of brick-and-mortar stores transforming into digital successfully. The firm is the world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer. It participated in the digitalization race and caught up with Amazon. Currently, Walmart now ranks as the 3rd largest online store globally.
These 3 particular advantages once a traditional stores transform to online model:
Take an example of an online store. It is open 24/7 with no cashiers on duty, which means sellers can have orders even while they’re sleeping. Store owners can choose a reasonable time to process the above orders without immediate service.
Selling online also helps to share the pressure during peak hours. For example, at the time of holidays, some traditional stores are facing overloaded problems, leading to the loss of a significant number of customers due to the lack of capacity.
Generally, applying technology into your business would facilitate workflow management more efficiently in various aspects.
Strengthening competitive position
Nowadays more and more businesses reshape their model and do digitalization as a common trend. If traditional stores keep running the same way, they are likely to fall behind. On the other hand, operating on multi-channels brings the benefits of brand’s recognition, narrowing the gap between their rivals.
Attract and retain customers
Although the Covid 19 pandemic has caused heavy damage, it has also contributed to accelerating the change in consumers’ perception of online shopping. They love the experience of being able to shop anytime, anywhere with just a phone or laptop.
Besides, today’s young customers also tend to search and compare products online before making a decision. For example, in the field of fashion consumption, up to 65% of customers will preview the item they want to buy online before having a try at stores.
Therefore, expanding your business will help the brand approach new customers from many different sources such as through social networks, forums, groups, etc. Plus, you are able to retain the loyal ones by improving customers’ experience.
3 ways for bricks-and-mortar thrive the digitalization
1. Help customers reach out to your store
According to Google, 63% of all shopping occasions begin on the web, which means that customers are more likely to search online before making a purchase in any store (online or in stores).
You can reach customers online through the main selling channels: Owned Websites, eCommerce stores, Social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube,…)
You should implement a comprehensive tool that allows visitors to reach your stores from any page, so you can better capture leads and have welcoming interactions with them.
Alt: Digital Transformation is a good way to promote your brand to many new customers
2. Attract customers to your store
After creating an online sales channel, you need to make your brand become popular as well as develop relationships with customers on these new sales channels. As many requirements need to be carried out; therefore, a fully digital marketing strategy is a must to help guide specific activities such as building new websites or eCommerce stores, running social media advertisements, implementing email, SMS marketing,…
3. Manage the multi-selling channels by using POS system
Having control of many channels and its activities may be a tough thing to do. Point-of-sale system is recommended for every brick-and-mortar store to fully manage their works in one system.
Point-of-sales (POS) is also known as a business owners’ assistant to help gather information and works of both online and offline stores into one dashboard. Nowadays, with API technology much more useful functions have been added into a POS Integration, making it automatically accomplish more duties, which were only done by hands in the past.
Technology strengths are helping startups gain an edge over traditional industrial sectors. This trend creates important changes in value chains and global supply chains. In the context of the current digital economy, it is imperative that traditional organizations, businesses make drastic swifting moves in order to continue to exist and develop.