Retailers Starting to Realise How Much Telcos Could Improve Their Business
Retailers are slowly but surely becoming aware of telcos’ retail offerings and their expertise in creating connected stores and personalised shopping, according to GlobalData. BT has opened a store concept, for which it created the designer store brand Alexander Black that uses internet connected devices and interactive screens to drive engagement and understand customer behaviour and demand.
“Telcos, such as AT&T, Telefonica and Telstra, are also jumping on the bandwagon with retail-specific solutions, but only a few of them offer holistic concepts. Most are still just differentiating on fixed line broadband and phone service and slowly adding analytics, Internet of Things (IOT) connected devices, and security. Telcos still need to shrug off their traditional fixed-line image and build out retail expertise by hiring skilled consultants, developers and data scientists. They risk getting into key partners’ territory and face a head-on clash with systems integrators when competing for digital leadership in retail.”, commented Andreas Olah, Technology Analyst at GlobalData.
While telcos can use their communications technology expertise and existing relationships with the largest retailers in their country as an advantage, they also need to move away from the network-centred approach and think about improving the customer experience, retailers’ supply chain issues, and operational efficiency.
Olah added that GlobalData believes retailers should evaluate their telco’s digital leadership capabilities beyond the ability to supply broadband connections. He also notes that while some retailers have strong IT expertise in-house or are tied into long contracts with their technology suppliers, others could benefit from their telco’s digital and vertical-focused expertise, and may be surprised by how innovative these previously state-owned utilities have become.