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The age of transformation

business,path,iconAs consultants we wait for those briefs – the ‘blank page’, the ‘game changer’. The types of briefs where innovative, market leading clients realise the need for true change and put their business in your hands to write the future.

Transformation has been the hottest topic in retail of late. Across the world the impact of technology and the evolution of customer expectations has left the industry in a constant state of flux.

With market dynamics putting pressure on traditional retail channels, retailers, and brands are having to reassess how they create value.

As a result we are seeing an increased appetite for change. While we hear a lot about the Ubers and Airbnbs, physical retail is also at the forefront of this transition.

Embarking on a journey of transformation can be challenging. For those brave enough they can work to design their own destiny by redesigning the channel or category.

We see retailers adopting a new approach to their network strategies, exploring non-traditional retail footprints and embracing temporary and curated spaces.

In addition to this, many retailers are re-writing the rules for sales and service and moving away from transaction-based relationships with their customers.

Forrester, a research and advisory firm, recently reported on the leaders and laggards in customer experience in the Australian market.

Those winning the battle are taking a holistic approach. True change will not come accidentally. As Richard Umbers, CEO of Myer, said recently it’s about ‘deliberately investing in making change happen in the business’.

Businesses need to consider the way in which they interact with customers across the entire business as well as ensure the business is operationally able to support the strategy.

The answer therefore is customer-centricity, but customer centricity-coupled with good business practice. Drive change from the top, make it part of the organisational culture and approach it with deliberate, strategic intent.

Karen Spear is experience manager, customer practice at Deloitte.

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