Why Digital Transformation is Essential in Retail

Retail has been through a rapid digital transformation over the last few years. According to a recent McKinsey global survey, Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technology by up to seven years. By adopting technology, retailers can transform their customers’ physical experience and strengthen their future success.

Technology can be incorporated in various ways: creating experience-orientated opportunities, increasing convenience for shoppers to linking a retailer’s online platform.

Experience Led

Immersive and memorable experiences are something that e-commerce cannot offer. It is these experiences that are driving footfall back to physical stores and where technology can be used to elevate the moment and leave a lasting impression on shoppers.

Brands are being creative with how they integrate technology into their in-store experiences. For example, Nike has just opened their latest concept, ‘Nike Style’ in South Korea, which they say ‘blurs the lines between physical and digital’. Customers are offered AR experiences related to product innovation and incorporate the art installations in-store to delve into the store and its products virtually.

AR has been used effectively in many retail formats. With the ever-increasing discussion on the Metaverse, it can be expected that more brands will incorporate AR into their retail plans. Now is the time to plan and implement to become a leader in this space.

Increasing Convenience

Convenience is where technology can add real benefit to the shopping experience. For example, Amazon Go has created a barrier-free shopping experience by allowing customers to grab and go, using their app for payment. Customers have widely praised this store format for its ease of use and time-saving benefits. Due to its success, many of the major competitors are now rolling this format across their platforms.

With customers more conscious of their time, technology can be used to simplify the customer journey. Embedding digital and interactive touch screens throughout a space can offer customers the opportunity to learn about products, request help or order a product. These quick and easy touch points help to speed up traditional processes with their target customers.


Combining existing customer data with in-store technology can create a tailored experience that customers now expect in this new connected world. Customers have access to technology 24/7 with their mobile phones, and retailers should leverage this connection in-store.

Encouraging customers to ‘log in’ while instore via apps can give customer service agents a deeper understanding of their previous purchases and offer recommendations allowing a friendly, engaged personalised one-on-one service missed with online shopping.

Retailers can also use customer data for insights into how to deliver more personalised services in-store and an opportunity to stand out amongst competitors. By looking at local shopping habits in an area and adapting a store to meet those needs, EE is designing community hub stores that offer products and services that local consumers seek.

The retail landscape has forever changed, and store designs must adapt if retailers want to entice customers in-store. By adopting digital-led innovations, retailers have changed how they interact with their customers, removing previous barriers in the customer journey and creating memorable and personalised in-store experiences.

At Grant, we understand the importance of adapting digitally within the retail landscape. Our expert teams can discuss how best it can transform your next retail fit out to meet your overall goals.

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