Retailers aren't transforming quickly enough, claims Cisco

Retailers are not digitally transforming their businesses quickly enough. A new report from Cisco stated those companies still in the early phases of digital transformation are missing out on a $187 billion opportunity by not deploying technologies to improve employee productivity.

Cisco said retailers should be deploying technologies to increase employee efficiency, such as check-out optimisation and improving worker collaboration. This not only makes the business more productive, but improves the customer experience and increases loyalty.

Cisco's Current State of Readiness in Retail report – which surveyed over 200 retail executives from North and South America, as well as Europe – stated retailers are also not investing in the right technologies to modernise their businesses, claiming retailers are spending too much money on customer experience.

The report said while improved customer experience can deliver an estimated $91 billion, but if retailers plough too much into the end-user experience before upgrading business functions and productivity, the efforts could prove futile.

"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," said Kathryn Howe, director of US commercial digital transformation, retail and hospitality industries at Cisco.

"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 digitising 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."

But Fujitsu’s recent Fit for Digital report claimed the UK retail industry is still enthusiastic and excited about digital technologies.

Nearly all (96%) of the retailers surveyed by Fujitsu are innovating their businesses to keep up with the digital world, but 66% want to deploy technologies faster. 

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