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    Digital Transformation Consulting Services

    Before we understand digital transformation, what digital is must be understood. Even a Google search for ‘what is digital’ does not show up the dictionary meaning of the term digital on page one. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, digital (adjective) is recording or storing information as a series of the numbers 1 and 0, to show that a signal is present or absent. However, in business vocabulary, the term digital is used to connote computers and the internet. We may keep adding stuff to this idea of digital but the essence would not change.

    Digital transformation is when businesses choose to adopt ‘digital’ ways of existing and operating as distinguished from anything else. It could be in the form of computers, laptops, smartphones, printers, scanners, emails, servers, cloud, internet, ERP, digital marketing, analytics, biometric system, auto-replenishment systems, AR/VR, mobile app, website, etc. Thus, the scope of digitizing a business or adopting digital transformation is wide and can range from being simple to complex.

    Digital Transformation is not just limited to businesses. Even consumers these days are constantly evolving and changing their behaviour with the use of technology. Consumers prefer booking a cab on their smartphones rather than looking out for taxis and auto-rickshaws. They prefer buying groceries online rather than going out to supermarkets. ECommerce businesses that were once used to sell books are now selling apartments and cars.

    Digital business transformation is now a matter of survival. An article echoed that 27% of senior executives believe that going digital will not just give you a competitive edge over others but it has also become necessary to survive in today’s world.

    According to a report, about one-third of senior marketing leaders believe that their businesses will no longer be known as traditional service providers but as digital businesses in the next 5 years.

    According to a recent study by IDC, worldwide spending on technology and services enabling digital transformation will reach about USD 2.3 trillion in 2023 at a CAGR of 17.1% from 2019 to 2023. This reveals that digital transformation is considered as a long-term investment by firms.

    Benefits of Digital Transformation

    Achieving break-even is a concern but digital transformation is a long-term investment and also a continuous activity. It can only start. We have listed some of the key benefits of adopting digital transformation.

    • Cost-efficiency, increased accuracy, and appetite for more :

    What can be done digitally or with automation should be done that way. The reasons are speed, accuracy, and volume leading to increased effectiveness and efficiency. An even bigger reason is that the benefits of having better and efficient internal processes could be passed on to make a business model more profitable and more value-adding to customers.

    In any business, there are several manual operations and activities which can be fully or partially automated by digitizing them. For example, monitoring the inventory levels done manually can be a tedious and time-consuming job. This process can be automated using RFID or any other suitable technology. This would increase process efficiency and also eliminate the chances of errors and misjudgements.

    With growth in business and expanding customer base, companies need to be more technology-driven and less dependent on manual execution of routine operational tasks and activities.

    • Scalability :

    One of the major advantages of digital transformation is breaking free of slower legacy systems and leveraging modern, scalable alternatives. Digital transformation is not just limited to back-end processes but it can also mean unlocking the power of selling through digital channels. It could mean having the IT prowess to manage more stores or operate in more locations.

    Suppose that you run a chain of supermarkets and have various stores located in a city. By using retail digital transformation, you can come up with a website/app to take online orders and provide home delivery service. By adding a digital channel, you can scale up your business and serve the target market online. This gives you more sales and more revenue.

    Because going digital facilitates better management overcoming the barriers of distances, volume, and complexities of dealing with intermediaries and facilitators businesses can think of expanding to new market territories or improvise their business models.

    • Glocalization :

    Going glocal in simple terms is ‘thinking globally, acting locally’. Glocal can be in two ways – a local enterprise implementing a global business concept locally or a global enterprise customizing and implementing their business concept in a foreign local market. A new local restaurant with an international cuisine line would be an instance of the first way. The second way could be in the form of a fast-food giant like KFC or Pizza Hut customizing their products to suit the tastes and preferences of a local market.

    The thing with almost every globally successful company is that they are extremely technology-driven. Implementing similar business models simply would not be possible without adopting digital transformation. For instance, a conventional mom and pop store cannot become a mini Wal-Mart store without choosing digital transformation among other things.

    However, drastic digital transformation may not be necessary for the big MNCs in their glocalization efforts as they would already possess the knowledge and expertise of the required IT infrastructure to manage overseas markets.

    • Asset-Light Model :

    One of the biggest hurdles for businesses to adopt digital transformation is capital. It takes a significant investment to build an entire IT infrastructure that could support digital business. The asset-light model helps businesses to go digital without investing in a lot of capital assets and owning them. Uber and Airbnb would be good examples here. In both cases, these companies do not own the physical assets required to deliver their services. At the fundamental level, they provide the connecting platform between customers and service providers and define the standards of service to be delivered by the service providers.

    The COVID-19 lockdown has reinstated the importance of the asset-light model where employees are mostly working from their homes. The need for lush and large office buildings and spaces is staring at a somewhat bleak future.

    By adopting suitable digital transformation solutions, companies can shed off the burden of owning the physical infrastructure required to deliver services.

    • Agility :

    Agility is one of the biggest boons of going digital. Digital technologies have become one of the core foundational elements of business. Today or tomorrow, almost all traditional businesses will have to adopt digital transformation in one form or the other. Business without digital technology has become nearly unthinkable. But once a business goes digital, it is empowered to extend its market reach and uplift and modernize their internal operations.

    Going digital increases the agility of an enterprise to respond to the changes in a business environment where the use of technology is increasingly becoming a standard and often a reason for disruption. A very common example would be restaurants tying up with food delivery aggregators. This is mostly a marketing decision but it involves the adoption of digital transformation.

    We can also take the example of banks. By adopting digital transformation in the form of ERP for internal operations, mobile banking for customers, token system and automatic passbook update machines in branches, etc. banks have been able to cater to changing needs of their customers and uplift their internal operations to suit the business requirements.

    • Data-based Insights :

    When a business goes digital, its systems also begin to generate data from all the corners of the enterprise. This data is gold for business. Data analysis can reveal meaningful insights for improving business strategies and performance across all the departments. Typical insights may include cost per hire, social media metrics, product performance, sales trends, cost of acquisition, reorder levels, etc. Such insights are extremely useful to improve strategies and operations. For example, if the cost per hire is showing a quarterly increase, the company needs to look into the reasons for the same. It can opt for comparative analysis of the figures for costing and hiring.

    Many ERP applications already come with inbuilt analytical capabilities with dashboards and metrics to help in decision-making.

    Overcome COVID Recession

    With more than 175 countries being affected by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the world is fighting something that has not been dealt with more in a century. Case growth has seen a colossal increase and almost all the industries are getting affected. Most of the countries are locking down and asking everyone to stay inside in a bid to stop the spreading of the virus. During the lockdown period, all the businesses have been asked to shut down except the essentials which include all the daily essential supplies like groceries and medicines.

    The above image is not just something to be taken on a lighter note but is a bare truth. COVID-19 is one of the biggest disruptions almost forcing businesses to adopt digital transformation.


    The post-lockdown world will be laden with a host of changes for businesses. People around the world are now adapting to what is now being called the ‘new normal’ marked by social distancing, fewer outings, and unavoidable safety measures. The regulatory environment has stringent measures in place for carrying out business operations from production to delivery. Digital payments and contact-less delivery are being encouraged. New workplace conditions have to be maintained. WHF is a new reality. All of these leave a radical impact on how businesses will operate from here on.

    An emerging necessity from COVID-19 is digital transformation. Businesses that were not even thinking of using digital channels are now in consideration mode. We have seen brick and mortar stores taking grocery orders on WhatsApp and providing home delivery options due to lockdown. We have also been seeing increased collaboration between businesses to use each other’s capabilities to serve their customers. Additionally, businesses need to understand that before a full-proof vaccine is available and administered at a massive scale worldwide, the new normal will have to be embraced with all the grace and humility.

    Digital Transformation in Retail & ECommerce

    COVID-19 situation will be a driving force for retail and eCommerce players to adopt or uplift their digital platforms. But fear should not be the primary reason for doing something constructive. Since long before COVID-19, digital technologies have played a big role in transforming the retail industry and especially by creating its alternative face – eCommerce. That does not mean digital transformation is only meant to cover the journey from retail to eCommerce. Companies like Ikea, Amazon (Amazon Go), and Zara to name a few have transformed the face of conventional retail with retail digital transformation. Likewise, many innovative eCommerce players are also redefining industry standards.


    Companies use digital technologies to improve their omnichannel customer experience. A contemporary example would be the feature to change the payment method at the time of delivery for online purchases. To make things easier for customers, the request for change of payment method can be initiated by the delivery partner in a matter of seconds and the transaction would be over quicker than settling for the changes.

    Gone are the days when customer support was only customer support in black and white responses. The next level of customer support via retail transformation is delivering personalized experiences. Like in traditional retail, valued customers also need to be delivered a similar experience in eCommerce. This is possible with CRM-ERP in place. The customer support teams will need to understand a customer’s history with the company. New customers may have a different set of expectations than old customers.

    Another big thing knocking the doors of retail and eCommerce is IoT. Hyper-personalization is now a reality with IoT. Customers will have lesser worries for product/asset maintenance or replenishment of inputs. Queues in stores would be better managed which is often a complaint generator. With GPS and RFID, eCommerce companies will be able to track individual items precisely like never before lending operational transparency with their supply chain partners.

    With digital transformation in the retail industry, self-service checkout is another surprise for retail customers borne out of digital technologies. Customers now need not wait in long queues for checkout. This is a critical element of customer shopping experience. Many customers do not visit certain stores only because of the frustrating checkout time.

    At the end of the day, whether it is retail and eCommerce, going solo or with the help of digital transformation companies, proactive business leaders are leveraging digital technologies to create UVPs and competitive edge for their business.

    How YRC Digital can help?

    YRC DIGITAL is the service brand of YRC dedicated to digital products & digital transformation consulting. YRC takes pride in having consulted over 500+ retail and eCommerce brands and 150+ B2B companies, which included start-ups, SMEs and multinational conglomerates, spanning across continents, with a success rate of 95%. And there’s so much for us to learn.

    Our experience and expertise in the retail and eCommerce industry have given us a thorough understanding of the digital technology requirements for retail and eCommerce businesses. From digital business planning to digital marketing campaigns, our dedicated experts shall work closely with your business at every stage. We shall guide you with the selection and customization of digital analytics platforms in consideration of your specific business requirements. We also understand that delivering a superior customer experience as a part of a digital transformation strategy is of critical importance to stay ahead of the competition in the world of digital businesses. In short, we can help your business build a digital transformation roadmap.

    By helping your business achieve digital transformation, our vision is to ensure that your business remains growth-oriented and achieves long-term sustainability.

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    We work only for Visionaries.

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.