Deloitte recently established a physical ‘connected retail experience’ at its Greenhouse innovation space in Cape Town.
The interactive experience allows visitors to gain a practical look at every aspect of the connected retail ecosystem – allowing people to sample new technology which is set to be introduced to the retail shopping space in the near future.
“Digitalisation and the store of the future have been topics of discussion in various forums, but at Deloitte, we believe it’s now time to make the concept real for the clients in our market and link business value to practical solutions,” said Neville Hounsom, director at Deloitte Consulting.
“Here you can experience ‘1.0 of the art of the possible’ in your own business to understand the value of digital transformation – from enabling technologies to, store management, inventory management, connected supply chain, connected workforce and advanced analytics.
“It’s part of Deloitte’s new focus on ‘show not tell’ and we’re confident it will give our retail sector clients a significant advantage over their competitors as they position themselves to avoid the pitfalls and capitalise on the enormous opportunities offered by the Connected Retail wave,” he said.
Senior manager Corniel van Niekerk added that connected retail technologies will not only make for a vastly improved shopping experience for customers, but retailers and suppliers who embrace and implement them effectively will see a significant boost to their bottom line.
“In this sense, it’s a genuine win-win situation,” he said.
While Deloitte’s new store is only an example of the technology that could be introduced in the near future, a wave of innovation is sweeping the retail sector – both abroad and in South Africa.
This is according to Mike Vincent, consumer industry leader at Deloitte, who said that the changes will manifest themselves in:
- shorter queues at checkout;
- improved shopping experience;
- a much better selection of goods and traceability;
- personalised and relevant special offers;
- the ability to have out-of-stock items delivered to customers’ doors.
“Retailers globally are being disrupted by digital, yet less than one-quarter of retailers are actively doing anything about it,” Vincent said.
“The changing retail landscape is driven by exponential changes in technology, innovative business models and changing customer expectations. This disruption is both an opportunity and a threat for retailers. Operating in South Africa does not mean that our industry will not be disrupted – digital disruption is already here.”