The retail industry is at the centre of a dramatic shift in the way consumers shop and interact with retailers.

The retail industry is at the centre of a dramatic shift in the way consumers shop and interact with retailers. After hundreds of years of customers ‘going to the store’, the store is now coming to the customer.

Customers, using digital tools and channels, have broken down the retail wall and today, they demand that retailers be wherever they are: at home, at work, travelling, even just waiting in line.

Working with leading retailers worldwide, TCS has pinpointed these five new rules of retail that will guide retail success in 2012 and beyond.

1. Win in the digital world: look to online, mobile devices, tablets, social and more to meet the demands of the new digital world. Use digital strategies to optimise the entire retail value chain, from supplier to customer

2. Personalise and empower the store: eliminate the competitive disadvantage with online retailers that come from impersonal stores. Carefully executed, technology allows on-the-floor sales associates to engage and inform customers, individualise offers, instantly locate stock and delivery information and accurately guide them to the next offer

3. Embrace and reward the customer: move beyond long-term loyalty and traditional cross-sell and upsell. Retailers need to create unique profiles for each customer, and use them to deliver targeted, relevant and immediate offers, across whichever channel the customer prefers

4. Business agility: growth means exploring new formats, new geographies, new channels and new customer segments. Ensure your business processes and IT have the integrated agility to support that growth

5. Optimise, optimise, optimise: use strategy and technology to streamline every element of the retail operation: price, promotion, markdowns, assortments and more.

  • Siddharth Upadhya, Head of business development – retail (UK and Ireland), Tata Consultancy Services