A dominant majority of retailer executives now believe that digital technology needs to play a central role in the way they interact with their customers, a new study shows.
The study, which was carried out by Wipro Limited and Planet Retail, involved more than 300 senior executives from some of the world’s biggest retailers. The execs, who all came from corporations with annual revenue of at least $750 million, hailed from Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
According to the study, which is titled “The Era of the Individual: Unleashing the Power of ME,” more than four in five of these executives (82 per cent) said they feel significant investment in digital technology and operational enhancements would assist them in reaching customers with various types of promotions. At the same time, less than one in five of those senior execs (18 per cent) said they feel “extremely happy” with their current ability to reach customers.
In essence, the world’s leading retail business thinkers recognize that offering their customers a digital way to connect with them – say, through email, text messaging, or apps – is a must. Just as importantly, most of those business leaders feel their organizations are not doing enough to implement such cutting-edge customer service systems.
Srini Pallia, Chief Executive of Wipro Limited’s Consumer Business Unit, says the study is evidence that the world’s leading retailers have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to satisfy their existing customers and draw new ones.
“The research clearly highlights that, while retailers have embarked on their digital journey, much remains to be accomplished to support more meaningful engagement with the consumer,” said Pallia. “Further, consumers entering the store today are painfully aware of the obvious divide between the physical and digital worlds.”
Looking ahead, Pallia says the companies that leap ahead of the competition will be those that offer their customers digital channels for communicating with them. “Harnessing the power of the individual and creating meaningful experiences is imperative to gain[ing] competitive advantage,” Pallia said.