Digitalisation and the 'Rights of Retail'

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The digital revolution continues to influence how the world does business. While the ‘6 rights of retail‘ remain as relevant and robust as ever, businesses need to adapt their systems and processes to account for increased digitalisation.

The traditional ‘rights of retail’ include the people, products and place that define your business, as well as the price, promotion and quantity that help you reach out and engage with your customer base. In order to succeed in this brave new world, businesses need to respect the evolution of these ‘rights’ and embrace the challenges they present.

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Traditionally, people refers to customers; the lifeblood and most important asset of every business. In the retail sector, customers are not the only important people, with staff and other stakeholders also fulfilling a crucial function. While online media is a great way to reach out to your customer base, it’s also important to engage with people directly in the real world. By implementing technology in new ways and taking advantage of actionable data both online and in-store, you can recognise the individual, tailor the customer experience, and re-imagine the traditional relationship between business and consumer.


In the traditional ‘rights’ model, the product refers to the item or service sold by the retailer. Even though the basic transaction is the same, digitalisation has changed how people interact with goods and services. The Internet has made the world smaller and more focused, which means retailers need to pay increasing attention to time saving services and on-demand products. Customers can already get exactly what they want online, with retailers needing to think outside the box by providing greater transparency and more socially and environmentally responsible product selections.


In a world full of online shopping experiences, the place in which you do business helps to define your value as an organisation. There is an increased demand for retailers to differentiate themselves through the notion of ‘place’, both from online retailers and real world competitors. As customers look for somewhere exciting to hang out, meet friends, and spend money, experiential shopping has become the new buzzword. Along with embracing your physical status, digitalisation also presents businesses with an opportunity to integrate real world environments with innovative technology applications.
Shop assistant with ipad and product digitalisation of retail


In the traditional ‘rights’ model, price refers to the currency value you set for goods and services. With increased access to price and sales data, digitalisation has changed how customers interact with price information. Price transparency has become a new standard, which means fewer price differences between comparable products and less room to move for businesses who use price as a way to define value. Trust and other intangible factors have become the new currency, with businesses needing to provide new and novel ways to differentiate themselves from the competition.


Promotion is how you reach out and get your message across to the wider world. Digitalisation has had a profound effect on how businesses communicate with their customers, with social media and online marketing often used to promote goods and services. At the end of the day, the digital revolution is all about using data to build and enhance relationships. Personalisation is more important than ever, with retailers more likely to meet the needs and expectations of their customers when they have access to targeted and actionable data.


The quantity of goods and services at your disposal is almost as important as the quality. Without sufficient quantity to meet demand, you will be unable to maintain service and budget levels. Digitalisation has made it much easier for retailers to get ahead, with inventory visibility and advanced data analytics available across the supply chain. New technology also provides challenges, with brick-and-mortar shop fronts now expected to have in-store ordering options and real-time access to stock levels. The digitalisation of the retail sector is only likely to accelerate over the next few years. With online shopping having a big impact and customers already accustomed to a more personal shopping experience, retailers need to evolve and take advantage of the data at their disposal. Whether it’s setting up new relationships with people and products, embracing your physical place, or using data to link price with promotion and inventory, businesses capable of adapting to this brave new world are the ones likely to thrive.

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