The seven-day long London Tech Week, held in Europe’s technology capital, gives people and companies the change to come together and showcase London as the technology hub it has become. At the TechXLR8, the week’s flagship event at the Excel Exhibition Centre, there was a great deal of discussion about innovations and how companies can change their infrastructure to stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital world. What does this mean for retailers and why is it essential to reinvent their approach?

The problem of a poor infrastructure

One point that came up repeatedly at the TechXLR8 was the poor infrastructure within companies. The Zone President – UK & Ireland from Schneider Electric has a clear opinion and sees the poor company infrastructure as a main reason for missed opportunities. This is particularly noticeable when we take a look at the technology teams within typical businesses in the UK. Coop, also represented at the TechXLR8, is already investing in technology with the goal to make their inventory management more effective. This is also shown by the fact that 20% of all investments in retail are related to technology. To identify the real issue, it is therefore necessary to go one step further.

The digital transformation within a company is particularly no longer defined by the size of technology teams, but their greater involvement in decision making processes. This brings us back to the idea of this article that the frequently discussed theme of the right team is not the main challenge retailers face today. They should therefore not lose sight of the fact that the primary objective of innovative technologies was the improvement of customer satisfaction and planning processes. This strategy can only succeed if the existing expertise of technology experts can be used to improve the communication with each customer.

Reinvent retail

As mentioned previously, retailers are trying to tackle the challenge with hiring the right team, but these technology teams are often not connected to commercial teams, well known as organisational silos. To achieve this goal, it is essential to move away from the approach of seeing technology only from the technology perspective and the customer experience only from the commercial perspective. As seen on various retail events this year, it is essential to build a mixed team, as the main challenge is to make use all benefits technologies can bring. What we can observe is that C-level executives are pushing this idea, which is why we can expect impacts very soon.

“The communication with customers is based on an effective internal communication between data scientists and commercial teams.”

Our 3 key takeaways

1.       Integrate technology departments in decision making processes.

2.       View technology from the commercial perspective and business development from the technology perspective.

3.       Don’t miss our next blogs and learn how data can be used more effective to help customers.