Why Retail Has to Adapt with Digitalization

Competitive retailers always look for an edge. And in today’s climate of omnichannel engagement, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and changing consumer behavior and expectations, that desire for strategic change is all the more urgent.

The challenges may have been brewing for years, but they now monopolize retailers’ ability to fend off store closures, bankruptcies, and dwindling margins. For example, McKinsey & Company cited margins in apparel have been trending down five percentage points between 2015 and 2021. Meanwhile, BDO reported that 42% of surveyed retail CFOs expect to restructure or reorganize as fallout from the pandemic persists.

How can retailers overcome this high-stakes landscape to move ahead of the competition and grow? According to IDC, the answer is adopting a new paradigm that integrates the complete content life cycle within business processes.

Outpacing Market Changes with Greater Efficiency

With supply chains facing scarce labor at ports, driver shortages, rising warehouse expenses, and higher prices, retailers are experiencing significant challenges in stocking all the product they need to satisfy skyrocketing demand. This situation is becoming so dire that some brands are warning industry analysts to expect lackluster cost management and sales growth due to shipping delays and the possibility of waning demand when inventory finally arrives.

Without a doubt, retailers have no other option right now but to actively find every advantage to respond to changing market needs and consumer demand as nimbly and quickly as possible. They must come to terms with the fact that operations that were inefficient before the pandemic will only become more ineffective months or even years later. Otherwise, they risk losing customer loyalty to competitors or, worse yet, joining an extensive list of industry-wide bankruptcies.

The first step toward steering the supply chain towards greater efficiency is technology-led operations that use SAP enterprise content management (ECM) solutions by OpenText to help digitalize and connect content, data, and processes.

Retailers can capitalize on unstructured content – such as promotions, customer communications, invoices, product descriptions, and sensor data – by collecting them into one source and routing the information to the right person and location. Furthermore, data processing can be automated – from capture to sorting and classification – and information can be shared across the entire value chain with greater ease.

But perhaps the most profound impact of SAP ECM solutions by OpenText is how employees can become more empowered to engage with customers more consistently and responsively. By simplifying how back-office departments, physical stores, and e-commerce channels leverage information, retailers are well positioned to take advantage of customer trends with less friction, including:

  • Putting customers first across the value chain: Provide omnichannel interactions with a curated assortment that does not leave customers overwhelmed.
  • Serving the “segment of one”: Personalize the consumer experience with purpose, differentiating through value-added services and digital capabilities that meet unique needs and preferences.
  • Implementing digital supply chains: Support a circular supply chain – from suppliers’ facilities to consumers’ homes and back – by designing out waste and extending the product lifetime.
  • Redefining the store experience: Connect the digital and physical spaces to fulfill any customer request and empower store associates to bring value to every consumer interaction.
  • Innovating new business models: Expand service offerings and continuous engagement with your consumers with sustainable outcomes and higher brand loyalty.

Just think: how could your retail business benefit from these trends if every single one of your employees could access a connected ecosystem of content, processes, and data? That’s the power of SAP ECM solutions by OpenText.

Redefining Retail for an Evolving, Consumer-Driven World

Ubiquitous access to information has shifted power from the retailer to the consumer, increasing pressure on retailers to invest in innovative business models and new ways of creating value for their ecosystem.

Now, retailers must take their turn by leveraging their customer and operational content with enterprise content management technology that is consistent, complete, and personalized. Those that excel in this area will win over consumers with reliable and profitable outcomes that consumers expect – no matter which channel they use.

Ready to learn how SAP enterprise content management solutions by OpenText can turn your retail business into a provider that fulfills customer needs and remains profitable? Read the info sheet, “Enrich Customer Experiences with Complete, Consistent, and Personalized Content.”