Digital Retail Transformation: A Paradigm Shift in the Retail Industry

You might say it all started with the barcode. Others will point to the evolution of the register. The facts are plain and simple, retailers are adopting digital technology to wow customers, gain insights, and keep their competitive edge. At Darko, we help you stay ahead of the competition with cutting-edge technology for your digital display programs. 

Our clients know that digital transformation isn’t just about adding some tech like LED displays to wow customers. Digital transformation is a comprehensive strategy. It helps customers get what they want, and also unlocks value and return on investment that benefits retailers.

“Darko’s tech team coordinates optimal hardware options that integrate seamlessly with custom developed systems and software, delivering the intended CX.” Ops Director, ROKU

What is the digital retail transformation? 

Digital retail transformation refers to the process of integrating digital technology into all aspects of the retail business. This transformation reshapes three key areas of retail strategy. Digital retail technology makes stores more customer-centric, data-driven, and provides operational efficiency. Digital technology is always evolving and retailers have to adapt to these changes.

The Need for a Retail Digital Strategy

To embrace digital transformation you have to understand why you need these new technologies in the first place. More to the point, how will retail technology boost sales and increase revenue?

  1. Digital transformation is consumer centric

Consumers today have everything they need to make a purchase decision at their fingertips. Thanks Apple! Shoppers are leading the digital revolution by bringing their phones with them, shopping the competition while walking our aisles. 

With the increasing preference for online shopping, brick and mortar stores are facing a significant challenge. Retail digital transformation allows traditional retailers to compete with the digital retail space. It offers unique shopping experiences that leverage both physical and virtual realms.

Digital transformation enables retailers to meet and exceed customer expectations. Retailers can use attention grabbing technology like QR codes to guide shopping experience. Other technologies enhance the shopping experience, providing information and delighting consumers as they engage with products. With a strategic approach to harnessing these technologies, retailers are creating retail spaces that harness the best of brick and mortar and online shopping within their store footprint.

  1. Digital Transformation is Data Driven

By harnessing customer data, retailers can better understand customer preferences, personalize shopping experiences, and increase customer engagement. Here are a few examples.

  • Website sales data can inform local stock needs during peak seasons. This enables local retailers to know what will sell and when like never before.
  • Online traffic, search, and engagement data can reveal product trends, enabling retailers to anticipate customer demand.
  • In store inventory and product engagement can reveal shopper behavior and preferences allowing retailers to offer inventory that will move, lowering shelf life and time to purchase.

The data analytics available to retailers today is game changing. A strategic approach enables retailers to tie this data together from multiple sources. Data driven decisions are made faster and they remove the guesswork and hours of analysis from lower quality data that retailers used to rely on. 

  1. Digital Transformation Improves Store Operations

Incorporating digital transformation in retail also streamlines operations, leading to a more efficient retail management system. It allows for real-time inventory tracking, automated customer service, easier payment methods and shopper access to locked products using QR codes.

By empowering staff with these tools retailers are cutting costs while improving the working experience. Hours spent by staff searching for misplaced or unaccounted items, and responding to shoppers requests to gain access to products in cases, are gained back through self-service options and real-time inventory information.

Innovations like this enable new opportunities for personal shopper control, self check-out, and ‘on the spot’ check out, making retail transactions more customer friendly, leading to increases in customer sales.

These are just a few of the strategic improvements that come from strategic use of digital technology in retail stores. To get it right here are the “must haves” for a good digital retail strategy.

Key Components of a Successful Retail Digital Strategy

  • Data Analytics: The use of data analytics in retail digital transformation is crucial. It helps businesses interpret complex data to make strategic decisions, understand their target market better, and foresee industry trends.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: AI and machine learning technologies play a significant role in the retail industry's digital transformation. These technologies can predict customer preferences, automate customer service, and enhance the overall shopping experience.
  • Mixed Reality: Digital signage and experiences, virtual, and augmented reality can revolutionize the retail experience, particularly in a post-COVID world. These technologies provide a unique, immersive shopping experience, merging the convenience of online shopping with the tangibility of brick and mortar stores.

Benefits of Digital Transformation in Retail

Digital transformation has to make sense financially for retailers to invest. In our experience, it does every time. Successful digital retail programs are increasing sales and revenue while bringing down costs.

Digital transformation facilitates better communication with customers, leading to increased engagement. Through personalized messages and targeted marketing campaigns, retailers can build a stronger connection with their customers.

Digital technologies streamline retail operations, reduce costs, and increase profitability. Automation and real-time data allow retailers to make informed decisions quickly, boosting operational efficiency.

Embracing digital transformation helps retailers stand out in a highly competitive market. By providing an exceptional shopping experience, businesses can retain existing customers and attract new ones.

Examples of Digital Transformation in Retail

  • Moen worked closely with Darko, a custom retail display company, to develop a multi-year scalable solution that enhanced the customer shopping experience with digital retail innovation, heat and motion sensor activation, and interactive video to highlight and showcase Moen’s own game changing water innovation and technology in their product lines.  Moen Digital Interactive 
  • Amazon wants innovation. Amazon disrupted online, and they didn't stop there. From online retailer to product innovator, to full brick and mortar. Once Amazon became more than an online retailer, Darko came in at the right time to explore along the way, providing guidance, problem solving, and real solutions. This includes Evergreen Support, which monitors real time shopper engagement data. Our data & analytics can be used to deliver relevant product info in-store. Amazon Innovates In-store
  • Arlo needed a display solution that was product-first and easy-to-replicate in stores around the country, smart and attractive enough to do justice to their products, and flexible enough to evolve along with their product line. Working in our dedicated development center, we built, tested, and refined their retail displays to ensure they worked for the brand in a range of retail settings. A custom pod with capacitive touch and circuit board that allowed customers to preview products individually or as an entire Arlo smart home system, including showcasing features, exploring apps, and introducing subscription service options. By building a custom design out of standard devices, we were able to create a system that showcased the uniqueness of their product line, while still being scalable for multiple stores. Arlo @ Best Buy 
“Customers want more engaging content. They want their experiences to be personalized, they want to feel a sense of belonging, and they want to be entertained, and digital retail is what enables that. To compete with online shopping, retailers have to step up their game and invest in technology and digitalization to position their products and retail experiences in the heart and mind of the customer.”

— Lee Dydo, Technology Development Manager at Darko

The Future of Retail is Digital

The retail digital transformation is a necessary evolution in today's fast-paced, digital-centric world. It enhances the shopping experience, increases efficiency, and gives businesses a competitive edge. As technology continues to advance, the retail industry's digital transformation will lead the way in reshaping how retailers operate and engage with their customers.

Finally, retailers need to embrace the retail transformation wholeheartedly, keeping up with the latest digital trends, understanding their customers better, and enhancing their overall business strategy. The future of retail is undeniably digital. 

Ready to discuss how ShopperAccess can improve the ROI of your anti-theft program?

At Darko we don’t just blog about this stuff. Our solution ShopperAccess is already earning its keep with some of the largest retailers in the world.
Let’s Talk ShopperAccess