Enabling digital transformation in the retail sector

Digitisation enables organisations the opportunity to be better connected with their customers, increasing understanding for both parties. For consumer goods manufacturers, it presents the opportunity to increase engagement with consumers and build brand and product knowledge, as well as sell directly, rather than rely on third party retailers.

 

To meet these ambitions requires a full digital transformation and, a change of mindset. We live in a world where customer expectations are rising, and digital touchpoints are preferred, with a clear need for mobile first. This necessity has placed customer centricity at the heart of the approach for how best to shape digital transformation. Our customer, a global designer and manufacturer of household technology, has always focused on providing consumers with easy access to both the purchase and support of products. Their initial e-commerce capability evolved rapidly and successfully to meet consumer and business expectations, but they needed to build a firm foundation for the future to enable them to scale to the levels required.

Challenge

Increasing direct-to-consumer sales was at the core of their strategy, which required a digital transformation in both technology and mindsets. To set themselves up for success, they had to consider how to exceed digital expectations set by competitors, along with meeting the ‘always on’ expectations of direct, digital online retail sales and support. To enable this, they invested in a significant upgrade to not only their e-commerce platforms, but also content creation processes, the underlying logistics and customer support capabilities required to underpin exponential growth in direct sales. This digital transformation was the global programme that drove this organisation, and Project One is proud to have been a partner in making it a success. 

 

The results  

 

The programme set out to deliver a future-ready, global e-commerce infrastructure. This was one of the largest and most complex transformations in the organisation’s history, requiring enterprise-wide collaboration, while maintaining sales and support to their customers 24/7.  

 

It has enabled the organisation to respond rapidly to changing customer needs and has delivered: 

 

  • Global standards: applying common frameworks across the world to ensure consistent look and feel, along with a consistent, low effort customer experience.  
  • Local customisation: enabling specific markets to adapt to regional variations, such as language, tax and local sales agreements with partners.  
  • Flexibility and scalability: to thrive in the peak periods of retail engagement, such as China Singles Day and Black Friday trading periods, with confidence in the merchandising and fulfilment capability. 
  • Increased self-service: digital transformation enabling customers to complete transactions and enquiries with limited support to improve customer satisfaction and reduce the cost to serve. 
  • Owner support: enabling owners to resolve issues relating to purchased products and, if required, purchase replacement parts to extend the life of appliances.  
  • Agile delivery and development: enabling rapid development of new features and capabilities, to improve the overall customer experience and the value to customers.  
  • Data compliance: ensuring alignment to GDPR and other similar data compliance regulations. 

 

This was an end-to-end transformation of interactions with both potential customers and existing owners, undertaken in parallel with the continuous development and introduction of new, innovative products. Taking a more Agile approach to delivering new products and propositions into the market and has created process efficiencies, cost reductions and, most importantly, a step change increase in direct sales. With omnichannel considered as a core requirement from the start, customer and owners of their products are put front and centre. 

Approach

Leading an integrated team of internal and industry partners, Project One drove the programme from a change assurance review (following the first market launch to Great Britain and Ireland), through to the largest market launch to North America. We went on to establish the foundations to enable on-going global deployments, with efficient support from the centre.

 

Project One adding value  

 

  • Independent programme assurance
  • Programme Management and workstream leadership
  • Fostered effective cross-functional collaboration
  • Established effective testing strategy and execution
  • Implemented release assurance through stage gating
  • Ensured effective business readiness and go-live support
  • Integrated cross-programme plan development
  • Embedded Agile ways of working
  • Addressed digital and Agile skills, in addition to capability shortages.
Outcome

The platform is now engaging and supporting customers across major markets. Since the launch, customers have benefited from a series of enhancements that have not only significantly increased traffic and online conversion but have also enhanced owners’ ability to address issues when they arise with their appliances.

 

Having made this Digital Transformation, this organisation is now in a position to capitalise further, through both the deployment to further global markets and enhancements that support the continual growth of direct sales. 

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