The way people shop has been changing. Over the past several years, Digital transformation (DX) has dramatically impacted the retail sector in a big way. According to recent studies, 90 percent of pre-purchasing research happens online. And 90 percent of shoppers use their smartphones in stores while they shop. These trends have spurred retailers to rethink their digital strategies in order to remain relevant and take advantage of new opportunities.
Retailers, both large and small, have begun to embrace next-generation technologies such as cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) to improve the delivery of digital services to consumers, and dramatically enhance the customer experience. When combined with online shopping, these new technologies are literally transforming business models. Failure to embrace DX puts retailers at risk of losing their competitive edge and even becoming obsolete in the eyes of the consumer.
Today’s data-driven technology offers the opportunity to leverage critical insights to troubleshoot the retail experience, accessing critical information faster than ever before. To ensure they are delivering the best retail experience possible, IT teams need to monitor application and service performance in order to pinpoint the root-cause of problems anywhere, day or night. The simple truth is, customers won’t wait around, abandoning online shopping carts at the first sign of delays.
For IT, a combination of visibility, knowledge and speed is absolutely imperative. Pervasive visibility into the entire network - and anywhere along the service delivery path – is key to fulfilling digitalization strategies. As retailers embrace applications such as video, instant messaging and voice services, and rely on a converged IT infrastructure that includes hybrid cloud and sensors, it becomes even more important to have a service assurance and security strategy.
At the heart of the best DX strategies is an understanding that smart data can provide retailers with vital knowledge and intelligence to control business outcomes. Traffic data collected from the IoT edge to the data center, through private and public clouds, can be turned into smart data. This smart data can deliver actionable insights that allow retailers to ensure that the customer journey is a positive one, and, most importantly, that they remain competitive in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
It goes without saying that service assurance and security are not only critical for retailers today, but as the digital economy continues to grow larger and more complex, attaining visibility throughout the entire IT environment will be imperative to success of the business.
This blog is based on the article, Digitalize To Survive: How To Ride The Change, written by Ron Lifton, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager at NETSCOUT, which was published on Retail Touch Points.