Read Time: 4 Minutes
According to Naomi López, Head of CX Strategic Programmes at BT TV & BT Sport, disruption has become the new black, particularly in industries like retail. Newer business models from the likes of Lush, the Disney Store and Dominos have granted them huge successes in a very short space of time, while older and more traditional businesses have suffered.
During NMPi’s latest seminar, Naomi talked about the fact that, since 2013, 1 in 5 shops in the UK have closed. With the rise of e-commerce and online-only stores, many brick and mortar stores haven’t been able to keep up. The ones who have survived are the ones who have embraced digital transformation. Consumers are looking for personal experiences now: they’re busy and they don’t have time to go into a huge store to look for the one perfect gift. This is the model that saw the downfall of Toys’R’Us.
Looking back at the stores that have closed, there is an overwhelming trend in their replacements. Sitting in their place are hair salons, nail salons, beauty salons and so on. The consumer is clearly indicating what they value: tangible experiences.
Creating Tangible Experiences
Naomi asks us to consider an online wine store: e-commerce, but with real-time service. As you search for the perfect wine to match your meal, an assistant from the store pops up to advise you on the best products to buy, ultimately, helping you find that perfect Pinot Grigio for your creamy salmon pasta. This provides value for the customer, is incredibly convenient, and is an overwhelmingly positive experience – likely to increase loyalty and even reduce costs for the business as a whole. All in all? A win-win situation.
This example demonstrates how the combination of technology and digitalisation has allowed us to put the customer first. We now operate within a highly connected ecosystem: the whole supply and delivery chain work together even if it’s provided by different companies. This is crucial as consumers have developed extremely high expectations. Naomi commented, “Some businesses are providing impeccable service, so why would a customer tolerate antiquated ways of working?”
With huge amounts of data available to businesses, retailers can now predict when customers will change their behaviours, thus allowing them to adapt accordingly and communicate much more effectively. Problems can be identified much easier, and employees are empowered by heaps of information, which means they can better help when the situation arises – once again providing a tangible experience.
Remember though – while computers can think, learn, process and adapt to much of the data available at a faster rate than humans, they don’t have the imagination, creativity and emotion to bring it to life.
Download Naomi’s slides: How Digital Transformation Can Help Us Succeed in a Changing World