We know that consumer behaviors have altered. As consumers ourselves, we already see the changes in the way we evaluate purchases and our motivations. Retailers and banks understand this well.
But there is a gap between understanding the shift and changing the business model to capture the opportunities.
It was the gap that a recent panel discussion titled “Identifying the Fresh Starts From Evolving Consumer Needs” examined recently. The panel was part of a more extensive webinar that looked at new opportunities in the new normal and featured:
The panelists identified three significant challenges that COVID-19 introduced. They include changes in consumer behaviors, working modes, and the value of physical operations.
For example, the fall in foot traffic at retail outlets due to lockdowns has led to consumers questioning their purpose. Those retailers and banks who relied on physical presence suffered the most.
Remote working or hybrid working has changed the reason why consumers had to go to the office. In turn, this impacted retail and banking operations that were close to office locations. The restriction in movement also affected retail operations that were travel-focused, for example, travel luggage.
Retailers and banks are adjusting.
One panelist pointed out how alcoholic beverage companies are now experimenting with non-alcoholic versions. They are also looking to build direct consumer channels that allow them to connect with their end customers.
Other retailers who used house visits as sales calls digitize the entire experience by bringing them onto video. This level of digitization allows them to build more data points.
While all panelists saw a massive opportunity in e-commerce, it also requires companies to focus on two issues: data and change management.
“It now becomes very critical for companies to get the right data. Beyond collecting and storing the data, they need to know how to use it for a holistic customer experience. And having data is one thing; using it to drive decisions is different,” said IBM’s Gupta.
Gupta called for the orchestration of intelligent workflow and building of intelligent platforms.
“In an era where agility is key, companies are building platforms embedded with AI and powered by Cloud to differentiate. I think this is where a lot of digitization or the push towards digitization is going towards,” he added.
Change management is another focus area for companies.
All panelists agreed that companies that are successfully agile are those who are good at change management. They are also able to communicate these changes across the organization.
It also does not need to stop there. IBM’s Gupta suggested if you can add empathy mapping, you can gain more benefits, like being able to target different generations who may be your future revenue generators.
“What’s more important in building empathy is that you get to learn what the client is thinking. You are then able to find value exchange from the client’s perspective,” said Gupta.
This leads to the rising importance of experience-oriented design. With the right data and platform, IBM’s Periasamy and Gupta noted that you could drive new levels of differentiation in today’s crowded online marketplace and drive sustainable revenues.
To schedule a discussion today to jumpstart your digital transformation plan, visit: http://ibm.biz/cdotrends
Image credit: iStockphoto/z_wei