Even before the digital transformation was a buzzword, much less became a top priority, every retailer has been shouting about the growing importance of customer experiences from the rooftops. In 2020, the customer mindset went through a sea of change – influenced by lockdowns. Faced with delivery uncertainties, the online retail world saw an unprecedented surge. It led to a large demand for hyper-personalization and omnichannel capabilities. As a new world of unified commerce emerged, with a surge in chatbots and virtual assistants, the more engaged the customers – anytime and anywhere, the loyal they tend to be.
However, another unfortunate reality is that many retailers are simply ill-equipped – and it’s taking a toll on customers. Many studies have already rung the alarm. Nearly “78% of customers have opted out of a transaction due to bad customer experience, and close to 60% have said that “long holds and wait times are the most frustrating parts of a service experience.”
Why Retail IT Support Is a Key Differentiator
Modern retailers continue to face immense pressure to sustain digital transformation momentum. One of the primary reasons for this is the lack of a streamlined IT ecosystem. While it’s difficult to orchestrate backend and frontend business processes while making them flexible enough to accommodate changing customer expectations, it’s an essential part of the digital transformation journey. Modern supply chain dynamics are also responsible for growing the business and increasing the cash flow, which has mounted a lot of pressure on IT systems and applications to remain operational, nimble, and unified.
Without a cohesive and proactive IT ecosystem, it can lead to business process complications as well as unexpected system disruptions.
Let’s look at some of the primary business challenges that are faced by retailers in the event of unstable or unpredictable IT performance.
- Lowered enterprise technology ROI which can be traced back to poor IT resource planning and optimization
- Inability to add or improve customer channels because of an unscalable support mechanism
- Financial and reputational losses caused by ineffective business continuity measures
- Customer dissatisfaction – driven by unreliable 24×7 support
- Lack of focus on growth opportunities due to firefighting with current IT problems
Five Key Focus Areas of IT Support Transformation
Proactively addressing system-related issues with real-time support
The influx of AI-driven automation into support technology has helped retail IT teams to take a proactive approach to enable disruption-free business continuity. It has made their lives easier – from extracting real-time insights to evaluate the health of systems and applications to identifying troubleshooting areas and resolving them before they turn into incidents. Other proactive tasks include nightly batch monitoring, daily/weekly health checks, and monitoring dashboards.
Meeting the unprecedented importance of scalability
Whether opening a new brick-and-mortar store or expanding the product line, retailers must be on their toes as far as business growth is concerned. But every time they expand, no matter the type of infrastructure that was involved in fueling it, the need for support increases too. Hence, it is crucial for retail IT ecosystems to be scalable and remain uncompromised on performance and security – especially during periods of growth.
Supporting innovation on the cloud
Unified retail experiences are no longer a future promise. In the recent past, they’ve become a current reality. Unless retailers are cloud-friendly, they face the threat of extinction. Today, it’s all about how much and at what pace they can innovate on it. With the emergence of AR, VR, and IoT technologies, it is key that support bandwidth should be aligned to transformation goals that tend to either thrive or perish on the cloud!
Continuously improving customer experience
Without achieving truly omnichannel capabilities, it is impossible to deliver seamless experiences that appease the ‘anytime anywhere’ expectations of customers. It’s why retailers are scrambling to streamline 24×7 proactive and real-time support across all customer touchpoints. Some of the support drivers in this journey include enabling KPI-based reporting, continuous review and governance mechanisms, and SLA dashboards.
To maximize your ROI on any solutions in Oracle’s Retail suite, your ecosystem needs to be scalable and flexible enough to leverage their true capabilities while staying tuned to market expectations. You also require the benefits of single-provider support so that you can focus on achieving more strategic growth without worrying about the lack of highly responsive 24X7 global support. With a trusted managed services partner like Aspire Systems, you can also make your Oracle Retail suite more powerful than ever before. We act as a natural extension of your internal team to ensure that your Oracle solutions perform at top efficiency and speed.
Our proactive 24X7 Managed Services Model enables smart integration and alignment in your IT ecosystem and continuous improvement in service orientation journeys while taking an uncompromising stance on quality. From corrective maintenance and knowledge management to proactive monitoring and minor patches, we empower your Oracle solutions – from Retail Merchandising and Retail Omnichannel to Retail Supply Chain and Retail Planning and Optimization.
Over two decades of specialized retail experience have equipped us to future-proof any retail IT support ecosystem, no matter how competitive the marketplace.
Read more on how we can support your digital transformation efforts.
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