Overcoming Three Key Digital Retail Challenges with Unified Observability

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It’s no secret that the retail industry has always been highly competitive. But in recent years, it’s faced new and unique challenges, including:

  • Rapidly evolving consumer behavior: The COVID pandemic has shifted customers from physical stores to online platforms, demanding exceptional digital experiences. Even with brick-and-mortar stores back in operation, consumers continue to expect seamless service across websites and apps. According to Riverbed’s 2023 Global Digital Employee Experience (DEX) survey, which polled 1,800 business and IT decision-makers across 10 countries and seven industries, 96% of retail leaders believe that offering a seamless digital experience is crucial (with 59% considering it critically important) for competitive advantage.
  • Technological advancements: Artificial intelligence. Augmented reality. Cloud. SaaS. Virtualization. The pace of technology has never been faster, spurred by the rise of hybrid work and escalating customer expectations. It can seem impossible for retailers to know what to invest in and where they’ll see the best return on investment, without adding to an already-complex technology stack.
  • Financial constraints: It’s expensive to run a retail store. Let alone several, let alone several hundred. It’s even costlier when staff can’t work to their full potential or productivity due to shortages and skills gaps. Despite this, teams are still expected to reduce costs through IT optimization while satisfying both customers and employees.

If these challenges sound familiar, you might have explored or invested in digital tools to address them. Yet, deploying more (and more complex) solutions can introduce new issues. Below, we outline three common digital hurdles and how Riverbed Unified Observability can help.

Operational inefficiencies

Better tech doesn’t necessarily mean better organization, and retailers often struggle with operational inefficiencies that can impact productivity and profitability. These inefficiencies can stem from factors like supply chain complexities, poor inventory management, and disjointed communication among employees.

Unified observability steps in as a comprehensive monitoring and analytics platform, providing real-time insights into operational performance. By capturing and analyzing data from end-user devices, applications, and networks, it helps identify bottlenecks, streamline processes, and optimize resource allocation, leading to improved operational efficiency.

End-User experience gaps

You know you must deliver seamless, personalized experiences to attract and retain customers. But you’ve also got to provide your employees with these exceptional experiences, and 95% of retail leaders recently surveyed believe they’ll need to provide more advanced digital experiences as new generations of employees enter the labor market.

This is a crucial point for you to consider, as Millennial and Gen Z employees comprise a larger portion of the retail workforce than other industries. 61% of survey respondents in retail said there would be a disruptive and reputational impact on their company if digital natives’ experience expectations weren’t met; they also claim that 73% of younger-generation employees would consider leaving the company if they didn’t have a seamless digital experience. Less than ideal, considering staff shortages are rife in the industry (39% agree)–and costly to your business.

Unified observability aids in keeping customers and staff–and keeping them happy–by monitoring the end-user experience. It collects data on application responsiveness, transaction times, and user interactions for everyone using your systems at each end, enabling retailers like you to identify and proactively address performance issues. This comprehensive visibility and data into your user journeys help retailers optimize their digital channels, enhance website and app performance, boost staff productivity and satisfaction, and ultimately provide an exceptional experience, no matter the end-user.

Optimizing IT infrastructure

The more technology, the more complexity. Maintaining a robust and agile IT infrastructure is vital for retailers to support their operations effectively–but managing a highly complex IT environment can be challenging, especially when it comes to identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks.

The Riverbed Unified Observability Platform offers a holistic approach to IT infrastructure monitoring. By analyzing the performance of network infrastructure, servers, and databases, it enables retailers to detect and diagnose issues in real-time, reducing outages and guaranteeing uninterrupted operations. This proactive monitoring and troubleshooting capability allows IT teams to resolve problems before they impact critical systems or disrupt the customer experience.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, retailers must embrace innovative solutions to overcome challenges and stay competitive. By leveraging Riverbed’s monitoring and analytics capabilities, retailers can transform their businesses and thrive in the dynamic retail landscape of today and tomorrow. Get in touch with us today to learn more, view our retail infographic for more interesting DEX survey findings or visit our retail website page.

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