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Woolworths' Primary Goal

Questions:

1.Identifies and Discusses  the Sales Goals and Objectives that this Retailer has  for online sales, and for Store-Based Sales.

2.Identifies and Discusses the Tools this Retailer uses, or could use, to Analyse and understand the competitive environment in which they Operate.


3.Analyses the role of Strategic Alignment between Goals and Objectives and the Technology that Facilitates the achievement of these Objectives.How could    Alignment be Improved?


4.Discusses the benefits of Data Management for your Retailer. 


5.Discusses why it is Important for this Retailer to adopt web2 and web3 Technologies.

6.Discusses the Threats that this Retailer faces due to this Complex and Dynamic Technological Environment.     

Woolworths is the leading supermarket giant retail in Australia serving millions of customers weekly. They are the biggest food retailers in Australia and still strive to be the best by focusing on quality, range, convenience and prices. The large customer acceptance boosts the companies to grow beyond boundaries and enhance their capabilities (Moorthy et al. 2015). Woolworths has launched several strategies and made significant technological changes that make it the most outstanding retail company. This report shall focus on the technological environment, its effects and challenges faced by Woolworths (Arli et al. 2013).

The primary goal of Woolworths is to put customers first. The company intends to build a great team that takes care of its customers by continually improving product offer and improve shopping experience. The company aims to be the best and most preferable retailer for kids and families (Woolworthsgroup.com.au 2017).

Woolworths aims to maximize its product offerings in the store-based sales. It aims to extend leadership and grow new businesses. The company is expanding its retail stores and taking over convenience stores to address the needs of busy customers. The convenience stores may be expanded by 20% within a year by opening convenience stores across Australia. The company aims to become a lean retailer and invests in the customers for improving efficiency, decreasing cost and gaining greater market share (Woolworthsgroup.com.au 2017).

Moreover, online sales form a significant part of Woolworths strategic and business market plans. Another objective of Woolworths is to enhance its online presence, accessibility and visibility. The online sales may be improved by 25% within a year with increased marketing, advertising standards and improvisation of technology. It aims to increase market visibility and leave the competitors behind. The objective is to push shoppers for online purchasing as it is convenient method of shopping. The leadership in food and liquor aims to be extended for more growth (Woolworthsgroup.com.au 2017).    

It is important to gather competitive intelligence as it taps into market information and deduce a competitive pattern. According to The Australian Financial Review reports, Woolworths invests $20 million in Quantium, a data analytics company that provides Woolworths with the information about shopping habit of Australian consumers (Theaustralian.com.au 2017). Further, Woolworths gathers data using the transactions in its loyalty card ‘Woolworths Rewards’ that provides data on their spending habits (Rubinsztein-Dunlop 2014). The Woolworths Rewards loyalty cards combine the data with other partners such as WebJet, Qantas, Medibank and others so that a comparison can be made. Such data can be used by Woolworths to interpret how far it has been able to meet its consumers’ needs. The data in Flybuyers or others are tracked to evaluate if the others are scoring higher and the consumers are more loyal towards other supermarket retail brands (Turner and Mortimer 2014). The data is interpreted by Woolworths so that it can give better schemes and enhance product image.

Woolworths' Sales and Expansion Strategies

Strategic alignment with goal and objective is necessary to improve operational execution. Considering the technological advancements in the business environment, the strategic planning process can be improved and managing the organizations. The IT activity or project adds to business value. The retailers need to be aware of their IT resources and potential success so that alignment can be efficient. The business-technology alignment can help Woolworths improve financial performance and market competitiveness. The difference between culture and objectives need to be bridged. Usually, businesses have a tendency to rift in expensive IT systems. Moreover, the goals and objective setting shall depict a clear picture and establish strong correlation between successful company and effective goal setting. Goal setting enhances quicker execution of company strategy. Therefore, implementation of IT processes can create organizational agility. The employees at the organization need to understand the manner in which their support and contribution helps in attaining short-term and long-term objectives. Therefore, goals must be clearly communicated and integrated without wastage of time and resources (Wu, Straub and Liang 2015).


The alignment can be improved by providing consistent feedback. Job feedback should focus on growth and forward thinking by and how employees can learn from their mistakes.  Some project-management platforms provide real-time goal-tracking and present it in charts and graphs to demonstrate individual and group progress. It is not easy to translate large, wide-reaching organizational goals into smaller, everyday tasks while not losing sight of the big picture. But it is not impossible, either. Consistently checking in with employees individually, recognizing their efforts and reminding them of their purpose is what constitutes a successful organizational goal-alignment strategy (Biggs, Brough and Barbour 2014).

The retail supermarkets have intense competition in the Australian market. The retailers are looking for ways to handle pricing pressure and operating costs. The focus is to enhance customer loyalty, profitability and market share. However, in the intensely competitive market it is difficult to do so as the customer data is difficult. The customer data is scattered and duplicated across multiple systems. Such scattered data makes it difficult for the marketing, sales, operations and customer service department to gain critical information. Therefore, the retailers need efficient data management for point-of-sale, e-commerce and manage data (Savitz 2013).

The retailers leverage a single version of customer data so that duplicates can be recognized and conflict across multiple systems can be resolved. A holistic view of customer can be related to drive further sales. The traditional transactional information that was received in the form or invoices or orders can be combined with social media data to gain a complete view of the customer. All these benefits can be attained within the realm of master data management technology. To understand the view of customers, data conflicts need to be resolved across multiple sources. Data management can improve the quality of data and eliminate inconsistencies while synchronizing data. The increase in online shopping and product research has made the economy difficult as it drives smaller margins and lower prices. Therefore, data management lowers the cost of managing and handling data with its technical capabilities (Savitz 2013).

Competitive Intelligence and Data Analytics

Web2 and Web3 are the second and third generation of World Wide Web that focuses on ability for people to collaborate and share information online. The companies are increasingly investing in Web 2.0 Woolworths may adopt Web2 as it is low-cost in nature and there is less risk in buying them. It has very little downtime and the search engine becomes more proliferate. Woolworths may adopt it as it can facilitate collaboration. The interactivity allows the employees to contact at a lower cost. It also helps in strengthening bonds with suppliers and outside partners. Web 3.0 increases information linking. It offers better marketing techniques. The web browsing can be made more efficient (Nations 2016).


Both the technologies encourage idea sharing and increase participation in projects. There is greater scale and scope of knowledge. The increased access to knowledge experts and reduction in travelling cost shall add to the advantages. As both the technologies improve employee satisfaction rate, Woolworths may adopt Web2 and Web3 technologies. Using these technologies, the company can forge closer ties with its customers. The innovation skills of the companies can be improved by jointly shaping products. The previous studies show that the implementation of Web2 and Web3 technologies gain better results of ties with the partners and suppliers. The operational cost of Woolworths can be reduced thereby increasing profit margin (Nations 2016).

Technology transforms the competitive environment. The retail giant, Woolworths faces constant pressure and threat from its competitors. The increasing competition in the field of technology makes it difficult for Woolworths to cope up. The other retailers such as Aldi and Coles are increasingly innovating technologies to enhance their operations and point of sale processes (Lumpkins 2015). There is a greater chance that if Woolworths tries to adapt all technologies, it may not be successful. The SAP merchandising system may not be successful. There is potential threat that the company may not be able to produce reports with proper data collection methods (Di Pietro, Pantano and Di Virgilio 2014).

As Woolworths is adopting latest technologies to excel in the retail industry, there are risks involved such as the employees may not be able to adapt to the latest technologies. The employees may not be able to understand the core working process or method of technology. Further, there is loss of job threats involved. With the processes significantly relying on technologies, the number of retail jobs is likely to decrease. A large number of jobs may be lost due to introduction of new technologies (Kurnia et al. 2015).

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusively, Woolworths is expanding its retail stores and taking over convenience stores to address the needs of busy customers. It aims to increase market visibility and leave the competitors behind. Woolworths gathers data using the transactions in its loyalty card ‘Woolworths Rewards’ that provides data on their spending habits. The business-technology alignment can help Woolworths improve financial performance and market competitiveness. The alignment can be improved by providing consistent feedback. Data management can improve the quality of data and eliminate inconsistencies while synchronizing data. The increased access to knowledge experts and reduction in travelling cost shall add to the advantages. The employees may not be able to understand the core working process or method of technology.

It is recommended that Woolworths must continue its focus on the customers. The company can come up with latest technologies and data management so that it can beat competitors such as Coles and Aldi. The products may be innovated using technological advancements. Customer service and value can be enhanced using compelling offers and innovation.

References

Arli, V., Dylke, S., Burgess, R., Campus, R. and Soldo, E., 2013. WOOLWORTHS AUSTRALIA AND WALMART US: BEST PRACTICES IN SUPPLY CHAIN COLLABORATION. Journal of Economics, Business, and Accountancy | Ventura, 16(1).

Biggs, A., Brough, P. and Barbour, J.P., 2014. Strategic alignment with organizational priorities and work engagement: A multi?wave analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(3), pp.301-317.

Di Pietro, L., Pantano, E. and Di Virgilio, F., 2014. Frontline employees? attitudes towards self-service technologies: Threats or opportunity for job performance?. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(5), pp.844-850.

Gerow, J., Thatcher, J. and Grover, V., 2014. Six types of IT-business strategic alignment: an investigation of the constructs and their measurement. European Journal of Information Systems, 24(5), pp.465-491.

Kurnia, S., Choudrie, J., Mahbubur, R. and Alzougool, B., 2015. E-commerce technology adoption: A Malaysian grocery SME retail sector study. Journal of Business Research, 68(9), pp.1906-1918.

Lumpkins, W., 2015. Protecting Yourself with RFID: Embracing the benefits of wireless tracking technology. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 4(2), pp.97-99.

Moorthy, M.K., Seetharaman, A., Jaffar, N. and Foong, Y.P., 2015. Employee perceptions of workplace theft behavior: A study among supermarket retail employees in Malaysia. Ethics & Behavior, 25(1), pp.61-85.

Nations, D., 2016. What In the World Is 'Web 3.0' and Is It Even Here Yet?. [online] Lifewire. Available at: <https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-web-3-0-3486623> [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Rubinsztein-Dunlop, S., 2014. Coles, Woolworths preparing to enter home loans market. [online] ABC News. Available at: <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-06/coles-woolworths-preparing-to-enter-home-loans-market/5653288> [Accessed 19 Feb. 2017].

Savitz, E., 2013. Why Retailers Need To Focus On Mastering Customer Data. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/15/why-retailers-need-to-focus-on-mastering-customer-data/#43b8eec65149> [Accessed 19 Feb. 2017].

Theaustralian.com.au, 2017. Woolworths invests $20m in data analytics. [online] Theaustralian.com.au. Available at: <https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/woolworths-invests-20m-in-data-analytics/news-story/eec6c312cedda9b32060592ac434c2ea> [Accessed 19 Feb. 2017].

Turner, K. and Mortimer, G., 2014. How your shopping choices will help Coles and Woolworths take on the banks. [online] The Conversation. Available at: <https://theconversation.com/how-your-shopping-choices-will-help-coles-and-woolworths-take-on-the-banks-30353> [Accessed 19 Feb. 2017].

Woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2017. Strategy and objectives - Woolworths Group. [online] Woolworthsgroup.com.au. Available at: <https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/about-us/our-approach/strategy-and-objectives> [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Wu, S.P.J., Straub, D.W. and Liang, T.P., 2015. How information technology governance mechanisms and strategic alignment influence organizational performance: Insights from a matched survey of business and it managers. Mis Quarterly, 39(2), pp.497-518.

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