Joel Layton

Joel Layton, Vice President Marketing Technology & eCommerce, The Children’s Place

How You Know It's Time to Digitally Transform Your Business

With all the talk about digital transformation, how do you know your business is ready for change? Today’s reality is that if you’re waiting for the right time, you’re already falling behind. Technology is changing the world. You need to embrace changes that can strengthen your business, because your competition is already doing so. For many businesses, the big question is not if or when, but where, to start.

“If you’re paying attention to the world around you, you know it’s time.”

If you’re paying attention to the world around you, you know it’s time. Technology is moving at such a rapid pace, it’s incumbent on any organization to keep up. In the retail business, if you are asking when you should digitally transform, you might already be too late. The advent of the internet and digital commerce has changed everything over the last decade.

Still, you need to step back and look at your business. Some years ago I joined a fashion-retail business serving a young demographic to help build an e-commerce strategy. At that time the company’s mantra was that to grow business, you have to open more stores. Yet 15% to 20% of the group’s stores were unprofitable. Its core demographic was between ages 17 and 27. If you want to reach them, you need to meet them where they are, and they are at their computers and on their cell phones — they’re engaging with your brand at a digital level. Launching more stores was not the answer. That was the moment when I realized what was wrong with classic American retail.

Digital transformation is evolutionary: You’re either adapting to the world around you, or you’re going to be left behind.

This is an excerpt from The Essential Guide To Understanding Digital Transformation. The eBook was generously sponsored by Iron Mountain.

Iron Mountain: The Essential Guide To Understanding Digital Transformation