Navigating the Age of Digital Disruption for Retailers and Consumers

October 27, 2016 Barbara Basquill

Before a snowflake has fallen or a holiday decoration is placed, retailers and consumers indices’ have already planned on the sales expectations they want to achieve. While the digital frontier shows no sign of slowing, now is the time to prepare for 2017.

A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute estimated that by 2025, digitization could add up to $2.2 trillion to annual U.S. GDP. Yet surprisingly, that very same report also revealed that the U.S. economy has only reached 18% of its digital potential as of today. This figure shines a light on the expansive opportunities that lie ahead, as well as the challenge of continuously adapting to fill the gap between the promise and the reality.

Mastering Digital Growth: Check Out the White Paper

Digital Blur and the Return on Attention (ROA) Methodology

While 90% of commerce still takes place in a physical location, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between digital and physical worlds. This lack of distinction is forcing brands to re-think how they do business and how they can increase agility, innovation and responsiveness. Also, with more and more vendors competing for attention, consumers and retailers are turning to a new advertising metric called return on attention (ROA).  John Hagel helps shine light on this subject in a recent article in The Marketing Journal. It is becoming increasing clear that customers will pay for the opportunity to increase ROA and avoid the classic push model of advertising.

The Me-Me-Me Syndrome

The consumer’s expectations are all about “me.”  They look to their favorite retailers to enhance the shopping experience within a very complex and competitive digital world. In addition to being savvy shoppers, consumers expect a level of customer experience and brand quality that piques their interest, preference and ultimately their behavior to buy. Mindful retailers look for relevant, personalized marketing that consumers respond to and even brag about. Retailers have come to expect greatness from all the 2016 campaign efforts, but when they fall short, poor planning may be to blame.

Three Keys to Mastering Your Digital Growth Potential

Understand Your Organization:

When it comes to business growth, it’s easy to get hung up on external factors. But first thing’s first, you need to look closely at the internal landscape. Fragmented teams, intricate organizational structures and a lack of clarity on internal capabilities are all things that can make digital integration problematic and have a detrimental effect on growth.

Understand Your Customer:

The challenge to understand the customer gets harder with all of the digital noise out there. Customers are more than web visitors, more than the social media posts and more than coupon clippers. They are people with concerns and challenges, living in a digital flurry of myriad opportunities. They expect retailers to reach them at a deeper level­­–a personalized level, a level that helps them brainstorm, empathize and fill their needs. A good, solid understanding of your customers now and in the future is the heartbeat of delivering a perfect customer journey that gets brilliant results, on every platform.

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Understand Your Data:

As consumers create data at work, at home and on the go, businesses try to cope with the abundant change happening in a blink of an eye.  Disparate systems can hamper decision-making among retailers, and outdated IT architecture cannot cope with the huge influx of data–creating a siloed marketing effect. Marketers need easier ways to explore data, uncover new insights and make informed decisions instantly from any device. However, achieving this can be difficult for many organizations given the complexities of outdated IT infrastructures. If you are to leverage data properly and use it wisely, you will have to have a central point of truth that drives successful customer engagement.

Beating the Digital Disruption Dilemma

The pace and magnitude of the way we do business is known as “digital disruption.” With global competition on the rise, most companies are working towards the digital frontier–focusing on multiple digital channels to create a better customer experience. The increase of digital platforms is on the rise the thus increasing the importance of companies, of any size, from all over the world, being able to think outside the box and roll out products more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

This is the new digital frontier–the new age of supply and demand for customers. Are you prepared to meet the expectations of the consumer? Check out our latest eBook “Facing the Digital Frontier” to find out.

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