RISE with SAP – An Approach to Digital Transformation

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Globally, the retail industry is going through a phase of digital transformation. One sign is the growth of digital channels. For instance, the global market for eCommerce is expected to reach a value of $55.6 trillion by 2027. In this competitive environment, retail companies are looking at digital technologies to strengthen their market position.

Technologies like cloud computing and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) are no longer just tech “buzzwords” but are enabling retail companies to enhance their productivity and improve customer experience. An ERP solution based on RISE with SAP is playing an important role in integrating these technologies to enable faster digital transformation.

SAP retail customers are driving tech-based innovations with improved visibility into real-time shopping behavior or by cutting the planning process times. It’s no surprise that 75% of American retailers are planning to increase their investments in digital tools by at least 10% over the next couple of years. One in every four retailers plans to increase their investments by 50% or more.

What are the benefits of RISE with SAP in the retail sector? Let’s check them out.

5 benefits of RISE with SAP in the Retail sector

To avoid major disruptions, every retail organization needs to build new business models that can elevate innovation.

RISE with SAP offers a complete solution for retailers with:

  • Provide a cloud-based ERP solution that can meet every business requirement
  • Leverage the power of business process intelligence (BPI) and analytics.
  • Improve the business outcome with extensive SAP services and integrations from SAP partners.

Here are 5 major benefits of RISE with SAP solutions for the retail sector:

  1. Cost efficiency

Automated retail technologies such as drones are reducing delivery costs by up to 86%. In its July 2020 report, Gartner emphasizes the importance of “innovative technologies” for businesses to optimize their supply chains. The challenge is, how to integrate such new methods into retail processes like supply chain and inventory management?

RISE with SAP solutions can optimize costs and efficiency by reducing supply chain planning costs by 5-30%. This SAP solution can reduce the cost of carrying retail inventory by 5-25% and improve savings in tactical sourcing by 2-15%.

With the RISE solution, retailers can further reduce costs using an intelligent merchandising process with shorter planning cycles. Along with reduced inventory levels, this can cut costs in-store operations and logistics.

  1. Easier migration

RISE with SAP enables retail organizations to migrate existing SAP customers to SAP S/4 HANA. The SAP-based readiness check application helps its customers identify any defects and improvements for smoothy moving to SAP S/4 HANA.  Similarly, applications for custom code migration enable an analysis of the existing ERP code and safeguard the business investments into SAP ERP solutions.

This leads to a reduction in digital transformation risks and customized code footprint.

  1. Reduced environmental footprint

As an intelligent and customer-specific SAP product, RISE with SAP is enabling business organizations to migrate to the cloud platform. Along with industry best practices, SAP retailers are building flexibility into a range of fundamental processes like their supply chains. These processes enable retailers to manage the environmental impact while making them profitable and sustainable.

Retailers can now reduce or optimize their environmental footprint with supply chains that are resilient to disruptions. SAP-enabled replenishment waste management can help in reducing waste and emissions.

  1. Revenue generation

An Epsilon study found that 80% of retail shoppers are likely to choose retailers offering personalized services.

The explosion of retail technologies is “hyper-personalizing” retail products for individual customers. Further, the expansion of social media platforms is driving a friction-free shopping experience with high product visibility, easy product returns, and customer reviews.

Besides, the hyper-personalization trend is driving the upselling and cross-selling of recommended products, thus creating “new” revenue streams. RISE with SAP enables efficient and sustained retail growth by empowering personalization with accurate consumer data and valuable insights. Outcome-based business models (enabled by RISE with SAP) can deliver more revenue streams with a focus on products and positive customer experiences.

  1. Process excellence

Inefficient retail processes arise from “siloed” functions or poor system integration. With RISE with SAP technology, retailers can “discover” their process inefficiencies through BPI and SAP S/4 HANA. Retail businesses can run process discovery reports on their production system to evaluate its process performance for every transaction. Along with creating awareness about required changes, RISE with SAP provides specific recommendations for process improvement. Further, it can identify automation opportunities and help in achieving process excellence.

McKinsey and Harvard Business Review studies have found that 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail. What are the biggest challenges to digital transformation? Let’s consider.

Challenges to digital transformation in the retail sector

Digital transformation in the retail industry cannot succeed without a strong foundation. According to an Oxford Economics survey, business transformation works the best when “every part of the organization (including partners and customers) is agile and interconnected.”

Primarily, there are 3 facets to digital transformation challenges in the retail sector:

  • Cultural challenges where digital transformation requires a unified approach across all business functions.
  • Lack of in-house technical expertise where retailers need to determine where to obtain expertise from a third-party technology partner.
  • Investment-related challenges for low-margin retailers, leading to pushbacks from the leadership team.

To achieve a competitive advantage, retail companies need to adopt a digital-first approach for transformation projects, which fail due to poor communication and business planning.

Every digital transformation roadmap must be customized to the organization’s business needs and must contain the following steps:

  1. Proper auditing of the existing system, including identifying processes with the highest priority.
  2. Defining business priorities like “building blocks” and choosing technologies that can easily scale and integrate.
  3. Building the digital roadmap with attainable goals along with concrete migration strategies.
  4. Preparing your team by addressing their concerns and taking their ideas.


Overall, the global retail sector is realizing the importance of digital transformation to survive and sustain its business growth. By enabling “business transformation as a service,” the RISE with SAP tool and services can encompass different components of a digital transformation initiative. SAP-driven process insights can effectively transform retail businesses by resolving customer pain points.

As an SAP technology partner, Groupsoft has enabled the digital transformation of its retail customers through its host of SAP products and services. As a solution partner, Groupsoft Retail has driven digitalization for omnichannel retail on the SAP Cloud and S/4 HANA platforms.

Know how to transform your retail business with digital innovation? Contact us today.

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About author
Chetan plays the role of making digital technology "simple" for enterprise businesses. Chetan has years of experience in solution selling, transformation, design, development, and implementation of digital systems. He specializes in solving complex problems for businesses. He works as a Delivery Partner at Groupsoft.
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