Retail is increasingly hyperpersonal and omnichannel. Pandemic lockdowns and supply chain disruptions have actually raised the bar for consumer expectations as they found they could have anything delivered right to their doorstep. That raised bar means that retailers are increasingly relying on data and AI to map consumer sentiment and needs, and they are deploying digital technology including virtual reality and other immersive technologies to improve the customer experience. However, all of this requires investment and seamless orchestration of multiple technologies. This is best done with partners.
These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s Retail Digital Services 2022–2023 RadarView™. The report is a comprehensive study of retail digital service providers, including top trends, analysis, and recommendations, and it takes a close look at the leaders, innovators, disruptors, and challengers in this market.
Avasant evaluated 36 providers using three dimensions: practice maturity, partner ecosystem, and investments and innovation. Of the 36 providers, we recognized 20 that brought the most value to the market during the past 12 months.
The report recognizes service providers in four categories:
- Leaders: Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, IBM, Infosys, and Wipro
- Innovators: Reply, TCS, Tech Mahindra, and UST
- Disruptors: Atos, CGI, DXC, Genpact, and Zensar
- Challengers: Litmus7, Mindtree, NCR Corporation, and NTT DATA
Figure 1 below from the full report illustrates these categories:
“Retailers are increasingly relying on data to make better decisions,” said Carlos Hernandez, Avasant partner. “They are being forced to invest in new business models, build new formats for brick-and-mortar stores, and looking to social and empathy selling to improve customer conversion rates and customer loyalty.”
The full report provides a number of findings and recommendations, including the following:
- Strengthen omnichannel retail by prioritizing customer convenience and experience.
- Focus on providing additional convenience to customers through hyperpersonalized services and enabling a seamless experience across critical touchpoints.
- Elevate the overall customer experience by increasing presence on social media, empathy selling with products and services, providing virtual tours, and streaming live events.
- Build an intelligent digital supply chain to streamline processes and expedite delivery.
- Optimize operations by deploying computer vision and bots for warehouse management and AI analytics solutions for calculating the best fleet route or predicting local and regional demand.
- Evaluate partnerships with ride hailing companies, prioritize investments in drones and autonomous vehicles, and establish micro fulfilment centres to expedite last mile delivery.
- Redesign stores to minimize cost and increase customer foot traffic.
- Re-evaluate brick-and-mortar store layouts and assess different revenue generating options such as conversion to dark stores and sub-leasing.
- Digitalize stores and enhance overall customer experience by facilitating inventory tracking through smart devices, digital fitting rooms, and contactless payments.
“Although retail is bouncing back, customers are demanding a more seamless experience.” said Pooja Chopra, research leader with Avasant. “To align with this shift, omnichannel retail is crucial. Digitalization across critical touchpoints, both online and offline, is a must.”
The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of 20 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting retailers in digital transformation.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of the Avasant’s Retail Digital Services 2022–2023 RadarView™ (click for pricing).