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Building culture and skills

Robert Hetu, research vice president and agenda manager for retail at research consulting firm Gartner, said the firm’s findings show that the biggest impediment to implementing a digital business strategy is a lack of the right culture and skills.

He outlined three steps retailers can take to remedy these deficiencies:

  • Define the enterprise’s digital ambition. Carefully assess the viability and execution status to ensure it will support new and effective customer engagement;

  • Execute a pilot for a new digital business development model, measuring revenue growth and value in terms of increased new opportunities, improved efficiencies and strengthened partnerships; and

  • Create more value by adopting such practices as design thinking and microlearning that consumer technology companies use when they create new products or processes.

Narayan Iyengar, senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce at Albertsons, said the retailer has been adding digital expertise by bringing in new talent and forming partnerships in the industry.

“We are aggressively investing in skills and capabilities, and bringing in some great resources from other industries, and putting them together with grocery experts and quality experts,” he said. Iyengar noted that while the company has several new digital offerings on track to launch in the coming months, “the digital transformation is not just about building apps and websites. It’s about changing the way the company thinks.”
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