Filippo Battaini (Head of IDC Retail Insights, Europe)

These unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions, and the retail industry is no exception. It is fascinating to see the acceleration in digital transformation that retailers have been capable of following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Innovative, forward-looking retailers have shown resilience and the ability to grow in the current challenging environment. Their example prompted laggard retailers to catch up with their innovation journey.

Over the past few months, many retailers reported an acceleration of planned digital transformation investments that would have normally taken place over as much as two years.

The Roadmap to The Next Normal

In IDC’s five phases Roadmap to the Future, we summarize the strategic focus areas for retailers to return to growth and prepare for the “Next Normal.” Agility characterises the descending phase of the curve, in which retailers — affected by the crisis — respond by adapting their business model and operations to ensure business continuity and cost optimization.

Resilience comes into play in the second half of the curve. Retailers emerging from the crisis return to growth through targeted investments and by designing a future enterprise business model that will help them thrive in the “next normal.”

Retail industry
Source: IDC 2020

Technology is the Great Enabler

Each of the phases of IDC’s Road Map to the Future corresponds to a honeycomb of technology-enabled business use cases that help retailers deliver long-term value through effective customer experience:

  • Last-mile fulfilment, cybersecurity, and ecommerce are some of the key business use cases for retailers to overcome the crisis, go through the economic slowdown, and help to build the foundation for further digital transformation.
  • Augmented mobile shopping, real-time contextual marketing, and automated commerce are examples of advanced business use cases retailers are adopting to return to growth and prepare for the “next normal.”

Technology is instrumental in making the rollout of business use cases possible. So, the collaboration between technology providers and retailers is now more important than ever, given the pressure on retailers to accelerate their digital transformation.

DAE: A Platform Connecting Technology Providers and Retailers

To encourage a dialogue between retailers and technology providers about digital transformation and preparation for the “next normal,” IDC is launching Digital Accelerate Events (DAE) as a content marketing platform supporting valuable relationship building and lead generation capabilities.

DAE offers access to IDC’s Retail Executive Community in Europe. Executives are currently in need of orientation and defining new partnerships. We are hosting our Digital Executive Retail Forum on October 20 on the DAE platform, educating retail executives and engaging them in urgently needed conversations to build the pipeline for your future business.

For further information on how to join the forum contact Helena Chappell

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