How retailers and brands are tackling retail transformation

Date : 04 March 2019

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

The IGD team reports from the Shoptalk retail event in Las Vegas, USA on how retailers and brands are tackling the challenges of retail transformation.

Focused on the future of retail

The opening day of this four-day event, focused on the future of retail, saw business leaders from several companies including Ahold Delhaize, Albertsons, The Hershey Company, Swarovski and Facebook share their experiences in managing digital transformation. We identified five key elements which were outlined as critical in setting up for success.

Source: IGD Research

  1. Cast a business-wide vision – it is essential to outline the vision of what digital transformation means, enabling all teams to align around a shared goal. Creating a high level of transparency and roadmaps to support the process help to develop buy-in. To improve collaboration, Albertsons had people from different sides of the business, grocery and technology, to report into each other at different levels of the organisation.
  2. Provide the right incentives – it is important to create incentives to drive the right business behaviours which support an omnichannel approach. Swarovski provided store teams with incentives to encourage customers to shop online to access a broader range of products. Previously, store teams would have been reluctant to move customers into a digital channel.
  3. Identify routes to new capabilities – companies should determine how they will bring in new capabilities to the organisation, with options to develop in-house, partner or make relevant acquisitions. Albertsons developed its grocery ecommerce marketplace in-house, partnered with a specialist company for its digital marketing programmes and acquired a meal kit company to accelerate progress in this area.
  4. Compete for talent – the war for talent was identified by several of the companies as a major challenge. Ahold Delhaize described how the company’s purpose and vision are important dimensions beyond compensation in attracting tech talent, along with continuing to provide interesting and meaningful work. At Swarovski, cultural fit is considered more important that recruiting to meet specific hard skills.
  5. Move at pace - consumers are moving quickly into new forms of consumption, e.g. Facebook stories. Many disrupters and digitally-native brands are inherently successful because they can respond to changes in the marketplace very quickly. Traditional retailers should view these rapid changes and new models as opportunities to tap into new sources of growth and address the barriers which are preventing them from moving at pace.

Join a tech-focused Retail Safari with our experts

Use our expertise to unlock digital innovation across leading European and North American cities through our analyst led study tours.

Find out more »