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Cisco: Retail remain in the early phases of digital transformation

Cisco research reveals that despite risks, retailers across the globe are moving at a slow pace towards digital transformation.

Mike Weston, vice president, Cisco Middle East.
Mike Weston, vice president, Cisco Middle East.

A new research report released Cisco explored the impact of multi-channel shoppers who are driving digital disruption and challenging the global retail market to push for digital transformation.

In its report titled Reinventing Retail: Cisco Reveals How Stores Can Surge Ahead on the Digital Transformation Journey, Cisco concluded that despite the risks, the global retail market is not moving fast enough towards digital transformation.

Mike Weston, Vice President, Cisco Middle East, said: "The shakeup caused by digital disruption is already underway with many major retailers announcing the closure of hundreds of their brick and mortar stores in recent months, in order to better compete in a landscape where physical and digital channels are increasingly converging."

He added: "Yet, there remains a tremendous opportunity, with the potential for retailers to generate more than $506 billion in value that can be achieved through digital transformation. Retailers need to make more progress in digitizing their workforce and their core operations in order to execute on the innovative customer experiences they want to deliver, and to position themselves for success in the new retail landscape."  

Key highlights from Cisco's report, which compiled shared data from over 200 retail executives from North and South America, along with regions of Europe, showed that 49% of retailer digital investment priorities remained in the early stages of the overall roadmap.

Retailers are also not investing in different areas to create competitive differentiation and enable novel revenue streams. Only 29% of retailers' investment priorities were focused on the "differentiate" phase of their respective roadmaps.

The report concluded that retailers are missing out on an $187bn opportunity by prioritising investments in employee productivity. Furthermore, Cisco's report found that retailers are investing too much towards customer experience. Digital investments in customer experience use cases could limit retailers from gaining potential operation value that they could have digital transformation of their business functions and workforce.