Digital transformation can help retailers unlock US$2.95 trillion value

Caption: 
photo courtesy of iStockphoto

Investments in new, digitally-driven business models will give consumers greater choice around how they purchase goods and services, and enable companies to deliver profitable, differentiated experiences.

Accenture Strategy’s ‘Painting the Digital Future of Retail and Consumer Goods Companies’ report revealed that retailers and consumer goods companies could unlock US$2.95 trillion in value for the industry and consumers over the next decade by accelerating digital transformation, according to a new report by Accenture Strategy.

The report further noted that that nearly a third (US$2 trillion) of this value will come through cost and time savings.

“The next decade will be a golden age for consumers, with technological innovation creating a variety of shopping experiences that will give consumers the simplicity, convenience or excitement they crave,” said Chris Donnelly, senior managing director, global retail lead, Accenture Strategy.

“The success of retailers and consumer goods companies to unlock value will be dependent on their ability to gain a deep understanding of consumers, embrace disruptive technologies and adopt innovative business models.”

Figure 1: Understanding the digital value chain

The Retail and CPG value chain

Source: Painting the Digital Future of Retail and Consumer Goods Companies

Industry transformation

As a by-product of industry transformation, there is potential disruption for people and society which companies, policymakers and regulators need to actively address to:

Minimize impact on local communities – With an increasing number of retail stores downsizing or closing due to the rise of digital commerce, local communities need to respond by businesses and government establishing economic development strategies and partnering with communities to repurpose physical space as hubs for experiences, leisure and lifestyle activities.

Reskill the workforce – Emerging technologies will drive a range of efficiencies which will significantly change the nature of the industry’s workforce. Business leaders and policymakers must focus on accelerating reskilling people, creating partnerships with educational institutions, and influencing public policy to meet the needs of the future workforce.

Ensure sustainability – Meeting consumer demand for rapid delivery needs to be achieved in parallel to minimizing environmental impact. Shifting to electric vehicles and exploring load-sharing can help while also enhancing delivery efficiency. Furthermore, innovation in packaging design and supporting recycling infrastructure is also critical, helping to build a more circular economy. 

“To thrive in the next decade, organizations must aggressively pursue innovation and be willing to disrupt themselves. The winners will be those organizations that prioritize adopting a partnership mindset to offer customers new value, innovatively meet consumer demand for new services, and implement advanced data sciences to derive deeper customer insight to enable better decision-making,” said Donnelly.

Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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