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Retail faces a digital skills challenge – will investments in more tech help or hinder?

  • 2 min read

The UK high street is facing a serious digital challenge, according to new research from

A quarter of UK and French retailers consider there to be a widespread digital skills shortage within organisations. Many of the 200 senior Retail executives surveyed have found that they do not have the right talent or expertise in place within their business to maximise digital investment, which is important for their future growth.

Most industries can justify a need for a clear digital strategy, but the Retail sector is among those most in need of action when it comes to digital. Following several high-profile store closures across the UK high street, there is an obvious and pressing need for these retailers to investigate the connection between their stores and their eCommerce to be able to meet customer needs, particularly as the digital landscape continues to grow in importance across the sector.

Retail is at a digital tipping point…

Retail is at a turning point, with the industry showing a tremendous appetite for investment in technology to help reach their physical and digital customers more effectively. This research suggests that over the next 12 months, retailers will be focusing specifically on increased investment in their mobile technologies, including mobile coupons, mobile payments, beacons and geofencing technology.

The goal of this digital investment is the considerable improvement in the customer experience it is expected to bring. However, without the skills internally to maximise this tech, will it be money well spent?

Building the ultimate view of a customer

Most of this tech investment is undertaken with a view to understanding customer movements more completely, to build more effective connections between online and offline customers. This is particularly important for multichannel retailers where 49% consider it best practice to invest in both the physical and digital shopping experience.

Identity resolution – the solution for Retail

As the relationship between online and offline shopping develops, there is a clear demand for a unified view of the customer across real world and digital. The ultimate challenge for retailers is to deliver a consistent experience across every channel. To do this, they need to tie together all insights and multiple touch points across both online and offline platforms.

From our perspective, this is best achieved using identity resolution, which connects the disparate dots to provide an intrinsic understanding of every customer. Once you identify all channels, platforms and data sources, you can build a fully rounded profile of each and every customer. This then provides a foundation for a greater insight, that will in turn drive an increasingly personalised experience.

Only when interactions across all touchpoints new and old, online and offline, can be aggregated, will retailers be able to effectively understand and respond to customer needs.


Find out more about why identity resolution is the way forward for retailers