Current digitization efforts are not enough
Retail and CG companies are scrambling to win the wallet share of millennials in ecommerce, but neither have strong ROIs to show for it. In the absence of meaningful loyalty programs, CG companies are falling short in reaching their customers. While some brick-and-mortar retailers have found success with white- and private-label brands, others are haunted by the perpetual bankruptcies, and store closings that plague the industry. Leading brands are shutting down stores by the hundreds and laying off employees by the thousands.
Given this uncertainty, retailers and CG businesses need to act quickly and step up their digital transformation or risk being swallowed by digital-native companies with an appetite for ambitious growth and ever-expanding areas of competition.2
The retail and CG of the future
To know what it takes to give consumers what they want, let’s consider a royal case study (Figure 2):
Within 24 hours of Meghan Markle showing up at Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas lunch in a self-portrait dress, the dress sold out.³ Social media allowed consumers to identify an influential celebrity and what she was wearing, driving demand to spike beyond the retailers’ ability to respond. This is a classic retail and CG Collaboration 4.0 use case, as a smart retailer using the latest machine learning technology could have spotted an opportunity and sent demand signals to the manufacturer who would have immediately shipped the dresses to the retailer. If the demand is overwhelming, the dress-maker can prioritize completing the 3D-printing, then manufacture the dress at a nearby facility. The customer who visits the retailer showroom sends demand signals for her desired customizations – a typical consumer insight which is critical in converting a consumer into a shopper. The manufacturer follows the same 3D-printing process and manufactures the dresses quickly, shipping them the same day to the retailer. This “Mock Up to Mall in a Month” is a win-win-situation for the retailer, CG manufacturer, and the customer.