Discover S/4HANA opportunities for companies in the Retail sector 

  • July 20, 2023
  • 8 minutes of reading

It all boils down to a more complete view of customer behavior, the ability to make more informed decisions and of course, increased profit potential! 

Technology is playing a key role in transforming the retail industry, driving operational efficiency, improving the customer experience and providing valuable insights for strategic decision-making. In this context, the migration to SAP S/4HANA has stood out as a strategic choice for retail companies that want to make the most of advanced technological resources and gain competitive advantage. In this article, we'll explore key insights into migrations specific to the retail industry, highlighting the benefits, challenges and best practices involved in this transformation process. 

Moving to SAP S/4HANA offers a series of benefits specific to the retail sector. Some of the main benefits include: 

  • Comprehensive view of the business: S/4HANA enables a holistic, real-time view of all areas of the retail business. This includes information about sales, inventory, purchasing, supply chain and customer interactions. With this comprehensive view, retailers can identify trends, patterns and opportunities for growth, allowing for more agile and accurate decision-making.  
  • Improved customer experience: With S/4HANA, retailers can more effectively personalize the customer experience. Through advanced data analysis, you can better understand customer preferences and needs, enabling personalized offers, relevant recommendations and more meaningful interactions. This results in an improved shopping experience, greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. 
  • Operational efficiency and agility: S/4HANA simplifies and automates operational processes such as inventory management, purchasing and pricing. This improves operational efficiency by reducing costs and time spent on manual tasks. In addition, the platform provides real-time insights into demand, enabling an agile response to market needs and better supply chain management. 

Specific challenges of migrations in the retail sector: 

Despite the benefits, migrations to S/4HANA in the retail sector also present specific challenges. Some of the common challenges include: 

  • Data volume and complexity: Retail companies deal with large volumes of data, coming from various sources, such as sales, inventory, CRM and e-commerce. Ensuring a smooth and accurate migration of all this data is challenging, requiring careful planning and a robust migration strategy. 
  • Integration with legacy systems: Many retail companies have complex, custom legacy systems that need to be integrated with S/4HANA. This requires thorough analysis of integration requirements, interface development, and rigorous testing to ensure compatibility and continuity of operations. 
  • Cultural change and team training: Migrating to S/4HANA involves a significant change in processes and ways of working. It is essential to involve and train the team so that they adapt to new features and take advantage of the platform's full potential. Resistance to change and lack of adequate training can hinder the effective adoption of S/4HANA.

Best practices for successful migrations in the retail industry:  

To ensure a successful migration to S/4HANA in the retail sector, some best practices can be followed: 

  • Detailed planning: Thorough planning is essential to identify specific business requirements, define clear goals, estimate necessary resources and establish a realistic timeline. A detailed migration plan helps you avoid delays, minimize risk, and ensure a smooth transition. 
  • Data evaluation and preparation: Data quality is critical to a successful migration. Performing a thorough assessment of existing data, cleaning and standardizing the information, and correctly mapping the data to the new S/4HANA structure is critical to ensuring the integrity and consistency of the migrated data. 
  • Team engagement and training: It is important to involve the team from the beginning of the migration process. Clearly communicating migration objectives, providing adequate training on S/4HANA functionalities, and encouraging active team participation throughout the process helps promote effective adoption of the new system. 

How S4HANA can increase sales in this sector? Which global retail companies are already on S/4HANA? 

OS/4HANA, as an advanced business management solution, can boost sales in the retail sector in several ways. Here are some ways S/4HANA can increase sales: 

  • Personalizing the customer experience: With S/4HANA, retail companies can gain a comprehensive, real-time view of customer behavior, preferences and purchasing history. This information can be used to personalize offers, recommendations and promotions, creating a highly relevant shopping experience and increasing the chance of conversion into sales. 
  • Advanced data analysis: OS/4HANA offers real-time data analytics capabilities, enabling retail companies to identify patterns, demand trends, and cross-selling and upselling opportunities. With more accurate insights into consumer behavior, companies can adjust their pricing, inventory and merchandising strategies to optimize sales. 
  • Agility in responding to market demands: OS/4HANA allows for more efficient and agile management of the supply chain and logistics, ensuring fast and accurate stock replenishment. This means companies can meet market demands faster, ensuring the right products are available at the right time, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction. 

With regard to retail companies that have already migrated to S/4HANA, there are several world-leading organizations that have adopted the solution. However, it is important to highlight that the choice to migrate to S/4HANA is a strategic decision and varies according to the needs and objectives of each company. Some retail companies that have migrated to S/4HANA include: 

  • Adidas: The multinational sporting goods company adopted S/4HANA to gain real-time insight into its global operations, improving efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs. 
  • Levi Strauss & Co.: The famous jeans brand migrated to S/4HANA to integrate its business processes and improve data visibility across the organization, enabling more informed decision making. 
  • Luxottica: The leading glasses and lenses company migrated to S/4HANA to unify their financial and operational processes on a centralized platform, improving efficiency and enabling closer collaboration between departments. 


Want to know how your environment can prepare for migration? Get in touch with our team:

These are just a few examples of retail companies that have opted for S/4HANA, but there are many other organizations around the world that are taking advantage of the benefits of migration to boost your sales and gain a competitive advantage in the retail market. 

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA is literally a turning point, however, it is important to be aware of the specific challenges and follow best practices to ensure a successful migration. Based on research conducted by SAP, it is clear that retail sector-specific migrations have the potential to drive growth and the competitive advantage of retail companies. Therefore, it is crucial that companies in the sector consider S/4HANA as a strategic opportunity to make the most of digital transformation and stand out in the highly competitive retail market.