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PGDM-RM 2nd year
Impact of Information Technology in Store Operations
Retailing is a “technology-intensive" industry. It is a well-known fact that the retail industry always works on razor thin margins and the key to survival lies in optimization of resources both in space and time dimensions as well as maximization of customer satisfaction. Successful retailers today work closely with their vendors to predict consumer demand, shorten lead times, reduce inventory holding and ultimately save cost. Access to timely and even real-time information to a wide variety of channel and trading partners, sales personnel, line managers, store managers etc. is the key to achieving this. Over the years as the consumer demand increased and the retailers geared up to meet this increase, technology evolved rapidly to support this growth. It is technology that will help the retailers to score in such fierce competition. There are hardware and software tools that have now become almost essential for retailing. Consumers have come to expect more value and higher service levels. As a consequence, the technology continues to grow and retailers search for ways to measure technical business value and to balance the effective utilization of the technical resource. Retailers want to get more value out of technologies and ensure they are spending their limited resources in ways that improve their overall offer to the customer. Technology has proven to be a competitive weapon in retail, which is a dramatic shift from a decade ago. In response, retailers generally need to become more disciplined in managing the IT function. Completing and delivering IT projects on time and on budget is overwhelming enough without the project team considering their project’s interdependencies with other business initiatives and corporate goals.
Technology has transformed the buying behaviour of customers everywhere. Technology in the store is all moving toward integration and more and more savvy customers. POS is undergoing major changes because of broadband access, the need and ability for inventory visibility, customers ordering online, returns and pick-up in the store and also the movement toward an ASP (application service provider) model. “Better broadband access is incredibly important and is one of the true disruptive technologies” as said by Greg Buzek president of IHL consulting. It is broadband that will help to transfer the information fast and help retailers to serve their customers on time. Technology offer retailers the potential to know exactly how many customers are in their stores by department and time of day. The Footfall division of Experience was at NRF making the case for accurately counting customers to produce valuable data that influences operational decisions, such as labour scheduling. "Findings proved that a mere 20% of shoppers are actually advocates of retailers," K. Jotwani. Director, marketing and strategy. Retail Store Solutions, IBM Systems and Technology Group, which leaves 80% of shoppers who do not advocate, let alone give their loyalty, to any specific retailers, which shows that there is a room for improvement to give better customer service with the help of technology. As today’s world problem of global warming, technological companies have understood the importance of “Going Green” and are taking green initiatives by producing environmentally Earth-friendly products and processes to reduce the burden on the environment. IBM unveiled its Green Retail Store, a portfolio of technologies and services designed to improve energy and operational efficiency across a retailer's IT operation. Retailers are finding ways to get communicate with customer and new ways of marketing and technology has made it easier for them such as Downtown Locker Room (DTLR) expects to increase...