The Retailer Winter Edition 2023
THE RE TA I L ER
THE PRODUCT APPROACH: THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Alex Antonov Chief Product Officer Unlimint
D igital Transformation is quite a vast term that doesn’t have a clear description, and its goals vary from company to company. A common trait, however, is optimizing a compa ny’s business processes with the help of mod ern technology and practices. To beginwith, we need to questionwhy a business would need this in the first place. The answer is simple, to stay afloat. Every company aspires to spend less, earn more and rapidly adapt to the industry’s changing landscape to surpass the competition. In addition, the current level of technological development allows any process in the company to be optimized, making it faster and more precise, sometimes even completely removing the human factor from it, while modern managerial practices allow a certain level of flexibility for prompt reactions to market changes. But where should you start? How do you guarantee you plan and distribute the resources and budgets correctly so your business can make the most out of its Digital Transformation? After all, unless you are Amazon or Walmart, you really won’t be able to fully digitalize all of the company’s processes. In my opinion, the best way to approach this is the Product Approach, a company’s work organization method that predominantly focuses on developing products to satisfy the maximum of customers’ requirements. Teams implementing this approach have business KPIs and base their decisions on measurable customer satisfaction metrics. The product, in this approach, is seen as a set of results that the customer expects to receive, as well as the actual process of achieving them. A product can be both an online shop or company website, or a CRM system or delivery service, while a customer can both be external (a shopper) or internal (warehouse employee).
Let’s look at the stages of this approach’s implementation: Stage 1 – Task Setting: Like any other task, Digital Transformation requires us to establish the problem, set the right tasks, and assess the capabilities before we proceed. For example, your goal might be to improve customer service quality by organizing delivery in narrow timeslots or increasing your website’s conversions. The main thing to remember is that a goal must always have a measurable criterion of achievement: NPS, number of orders, cart abandonment rate, etc. At the end of this stage, a Product Owner needs to be assigned, who can be chosen internally or hired externally. Stage 2 – Planning: After the goals are set, it is time to decide what kind of product will be created as part of the Digital Transformation. This doesn’t always imply an actual development process and often requires several pinpointed changes using existing tools or integrating modern market solutions. The journey towards the goal needs to be set in the form of a Roadmap, during the formation of which the Product Owner needs always to answer the following questions: • What are the customers needs? • What solutions or practices are available today to satisfy these needs? • What value will the developed product bring? • Does it have development potential? • How much will it cost?
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