The terms digitization and digitalization trick many people with their similarity, so let’s define each of them once for all to avoid further confusion. Digitization stands for converting data to a digital format, like loading a software system with customer information an employee received from talking to a person. Or changing the paper document base to electronic one by manually typing in the existing information in a PC.
Digitalization, in its turn, is a process of using technology to manage a company’s operations with a minimal amount of manual labor. Internet-connected devices, CRM and ERP software, automated reporting and analytics ― these are the components of digitalization at workplace.
As you can see, even though digitalization is a broader term, the transformation isn’t possible without taking the digitization measures as the first step towards digital transformation for any business. Regardless of their close connection, the two discussed terms should not be used interchangeably with one another, since it might affect the meaning you put in your content.
Digitalization of business: the biggest trends in retail
The boom of tech startups, growing smartphone adoption, deployment of 4G networks, have an enormous impact on shopper’s preferences and therefore, on retailers’ business activities. There are many ways in which company digitalization is changing the retail world, but the following are the trends that will probably continue to shape the future of the industry.
Smart Beacons are small transmitters that send signals to other smart devices with the help of low-energy Bluetooth technology. Beacon technology was first introduced in 2013 by Apple and now is widely used in various industries, including retail.
How exactly can Beacons help to increase customer loyalty and engagement? There are different areas of applications of beacons. They can be installed in the parking lots and help drivers comfortably navigate to a free parking space when they arrive at the shopping mall. Smart beacons can assist shoppers in finding their destination with in-store navigation.
Beacons are also a great tool for marketers as it helps them to reach the right people at the right time. The technology can send push messages with coupons to the customers passing by the restaurant or provide the information about the best offers to the visitors of the shops. All this increases the likelihood of a visit as well as of the purchase. In addition, with the help of beacons retailers get a chance to develop the individual client approach by tailoring personalized product suggestions or providing special deals to loyal customers.
The analysts predict that demand for smart beacons is expected to grow in the future. According to the researchandmarkets.com report, the beacon market is expected to increase from 1,363 mln in 2017 to 19,805 mln by 2023.
Grab and Go
The idea of Grab and Go technology isn’t new. It was first introduced more than a decade ago by IBM with its RFID technology. Grab and Go was pushed forward by the world’s largest retailer Walmart. In 2015 both Walmart and Walmart-owned company Sam’s Club launched applications that allowed customers to scan products and pay through the mobile app.
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