Reshaping Retail explores the impacts of the digital revolution on retail industry

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Impact of technology on retail

Impact of technology on retail

Reshaping Retail, a new book by three McKinsey executives, explores how to make sense of the new technologies impacting retail and retailers in the near- to midterm.

It sets out the driving causes, current trends and consequences of a transformation in retail triggered by technology. The changes go far beyond making items available for sale on the internet, claim the book’s authors. Starting by briefly setting the historical and business system contexts for retail and describing the role technology has played in the creation of modern retail, the book explains the underlying technological drivers behind the current revolution – radical changes in the capacity of both hardware and software, mobile telecommunications changes and the advances of the Internet.

Ultimately, success will hinge on more than competence; it will come down to a way of thinking, the book suggests. Customer-centricity will need to be valued not just by the store owner, as in the past, but also by all employees in the organisation. It will need to become embedded in their daily tasks. The same applies to technology, which must be at the centre of the organisation and recognised as such by everyone. With a combination of extensive desk and global field research, interviews with leading retailers and technologists, together with the real world experience of practitioners in this area, it is claimed Reshaping Retail will inspire and help store retailers to make the necessary transformation now to win in the new consumer driven world.

McKinsey’s work with retail clients has highlighted to them that few incumbent retailers are in any way equipped to meet the challenges that are upon them, Reshaping Retail represents the collective knowledge, research, best practice, strategies, tools and techniques of their European Consumer Sector team.

Stefan Niemeier is a director of McKinsey & Company and leads its European “Technology in Retail” group. He has advised retailers around the globe and across many retail sub-sectors. Stefan holds a PhD in Economics and a Master in Business Administration.

Andrea Zocchi is a director of McKinsey & Company where he leads the Consumer Practice in Southern Europe. Andrea is also an adjunct professor at IMT – Institute for Advanced Studies – in Lucca (Italy), where he holds a course on advanced problem-solving techniques for PhD students. Andrea holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and prior to joining McKinsey, he worked for Hewlett Packard Italy.     

Marco Catena is an associate principal of McKinsey & Company. He works with retail and mobile telecommunications players on commercial and performance transformation topics. Marco holds a PhD in Industrial Management and a Degree in Management Engineering.