Enabling retailers to navigate their digital transformation journey

Topics
Retail
Author
Danny Groenenboom
Publication Date
22 October 2021

Enabling retailers to navigate their digital transformation journey

With a passion for innovation, Danny joined the Mobiquity team this year. Leading the retail team he shares how they are working to enable retailers to navigate and optimise their digital transformation journey. He also gives his experienced opinion on the future of retail and what can be expected.

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Danny Groenenboom: I live in Utrecht with my wife and three children. I enjoy playing and watching soccer, and used to play semi professional. My favourite team is Feyenoord. I also like handball and will often, together with my kids, go abroad to watch competitive handball games, which is a lot of fun. Aside from sports, I enjoy listening to a mix of music, from Rolling Stones to Dutch rap and party music. I also have a rare hobby taking photos from retail stores and brands and showcasing them on my instagram page. I have over 1.000 pictures uploaded to date.

I studied Sport Economics, an additional CRM HBO, and did a Marketing for Executives course at TiasNimbas. I have worked in consulting, business development and product management since 2001, mostly with a focus on retail. I have had various roles which have given me a great wealth of knowledge, from the agency side, to research, to IT, and of course the business side. My love for innovation in retail started around 2009, when I implemented the first innovations around waste management and dynamic pricing in a grocery store and a petrol station. In 2015 I became responsible for digital retail in Benelux and Nordics, and started creating my own retail demonstration stores. One of the biggest projects I have been involved in, was the Albert Heijn Tap to go - seamless payments innovation, which enables customers to buy products in the convenience store of AH to go and walk out within 20 seconds only using the mobile phone or a small NFC card at the shelf and never see a Point of Sale. Before joining Mobiquity I worked as a CIO, responsible for the complete digital transformation of Fit For Free and SportCity which are both private equity owned.

Why Mobiquity? I enjoy working in an environment with lots of other experienced and knowledgeable colleagues. There are some great people around me here that support and inspire your entrepreneurial spirit. It really enables you to hit the ground running and bring value to the team from the moment you join. It’s a cool company that can deliver innovation from a to z, incorporating strategy, design, development and engineering. I also like the level of freedom you have. There is a task to do, and you have the possibility to reach that goal in a way that works for you, so long as you keep within certain boundaries and in line with the company culture.

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Guiding retailers to realise their full digital potential

As part of my role as Strategy Director Retail Europe, I look after our clients in the retail segment, working together with them to innovate and enable their success. Alongside that, my other main focus is building the Mobiquity brand within Europe within the retail industry, so we can continue to help other retailers optimise and prepare themselves for the future. This involves a lot of business development and working on strategies of improvements for retails that connect back to our own value propositions.

I am currently working on developing further our partnership with Amazon AWS, the store of the future. Together, we are going to build on the principles of the Amazon Go solution, investigating further how it can be implemented and deployed for various retail stores, and what benefits and advantages it can provide in this ever competitive and changing industry. We are also working closely with a Dutch Association for retailers called Shopping Tomorrow, where we will help retailers prepare for the future of retail. We will host some expert groups, with a focus on helping retailers understand and gain knowledge on how they can get to know their customers better, along with discussing the benefits and concerns of using more digital technologies not only in their online stores but also in their physical offline stores. When a customer shops online at for example Amazon, it is quite easy for retailers to track the customers journey, interests and spending habits, and in turn can create a very personalised expertise for the user. However, when a customer visits your physical store offline, for example a grocery store, it is difficult to know how long the customer spends at the bakery department versus the wine department and so it is difficult then to create any kind of personalised shopping experience. By using the technology of AWS in combination with Mobiquity’s digital retail expertise, a retailer will be able to know their customers from a to z and in turn provide a much more personalised service.

Improving your digital offering

The retail space is a dynamic and fast changing environment. Our team recently conducted a Retail Friction Report where we compared traditional supermarkets that offer online groceries via their app versus new challengers app only and / or instant delivery, over three markets: UK, The Netherlands and Belgium. It is interesting to see that as a result of COVID-19, there has been a rapid adoption of digital among retailers which has changed the way in which customers interact with retailers. Customers now expect digital tools from their favourite brands, but not all retailers' digital solutions are satisfying customers' needs. Our report was able to highlight the main friction areas the customer encounter and offer recommendations on how to improve digital offerings, by finding out what customers really think about certain applications. As a follow on from this we are offering all retailers the opportunity of creating their very own personalised friction report, which would provide a great insight into how they are performing against the top players in their region. If this sounds interesting for your business, please reach out.

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The future of retail

In today's world digitalisation is becoming more and more present in our everyday lives. For the younger generation who have grown up with the rise in technology, they expect digital options to be available. In another fifteen years or less it will be completely normal to have the entire shopping journey digitised, with the physical store acting as just a touchpoint in the entire omnichannel landscape. A shopper will decide when, where, and how, he or she wants to shop. The entire retail landscape is changing and retailers must be ready to adapt.

What does the future of retail look like? From my perspective, I strongly believe that there will be only two types of stores; digital and non-digital. The digital retail store will be completely immersed in technology and digital touchpoints for the customer, following every step of the shoppers journeys, generating highly personalised interactions for the shopper merging on and offline seamlessly. The more the shopper interacts and engages will determine the type of service they will receive. And the non-digital store, will be the exact opposite, with no technology, and act almost as an escapism for the shoppers who want to be left to their own and not tracked or monitored in any way. To be able to survive in a consumer marketplace as a non-digital store, I think this will only be possible if you have a product that brings real value to the shopper, is exclusive, and has a strong enough presence that shoppers don’t mind not having digital offerings. It is already time for retailers to start thinking about the future. Those who don’t choose one of these paths will have a very hard time trying to survive and I’m not sure that they will manage to still be alive in another fifteen years.

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