Ever seen a product you liked on TV and wanted to buy it? Product placement in TV shows was estimated to be a USD 8bn industry in 2012, with over 75% of US prime-time shows placing products in their episodes. Can digitizing the customer's subsequent path-to-purchase improve the effectiveness of product placements? What if this process was completely automated? No intrusive 1-800 numbers or even QR codes.
Today it's possible. Brands can embed signals (inaudible to human ears) into the television episode at points when products are shown. These signals are recognized by an app on the viewer's mobile device. Based on the signal, the app can automatically pull up the right products, price, colors, sizes, availability, and the various ways to place an order. The viewer can simply tap 'Save' for later action or hit the 'Buy' button on the app to complete the transaction using pre-stored credit card or bank account details. In essence, there is a seamless handover from the television episode to the mobile device and to the e-commerce portal and payment methods.
At the core of this new customer experience is digital transformation. For Retail and Consumer Goods (CG) organizations, Digital Transformation can spell new products and capabilities, new markets, new customers, new points of purchase, new businesses and improved efficiencies; this, in addition to providing existing lines of business a major shot in the arm. In a business where product lifecycles are shrinking and competitive advantage belongs to those who respond in real time, there can be no argument against digital transformation. The trend is irrevocable - for the industry it is digitize or perish.
Yet, we see only a few retail and CG organizations are able to leverage digital transformation. The others are struggling with initiatives driven in siloes. A successful digital transformation strategy must holistically cover Customer Experience Transformation, Operational Process Transformation and even Business Model Transformation. What this means is that once the customer places an order across any channel (mobile, web, call center, brick-and-mortar), everything along the value chain, from order confirmation to order delivery must be digitized. This article talks about these aspects in detail.
So what are your thoughts on the holistic digital transformation journey of a retail or CG organization? How can it be leveraged to make the customer experience better, to shape new products, to influence buyer decisions and to bring down operating costs?
Leave your comments below.