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Digitisation and the consumer journey

Technological revolution and the rise of omni-channel: Introduction that discusses the ways in which the digital world has changed our daily lives.

Digitisation has the capacity to transform lives; from the way we work, to the way we live – digitisation has had an impact on our lives. At work it has increased our mobility, improved the tools we use to be more efficient and productive; leaving us more time and opportunity to enjoy a more integrated work-life-balance.

Let’s look at what this means in the context of consumers and retailers.

How does it feel for consumers?

The modern customer experience faces a barrage of information, fueled by big data, Internet of Things and web coding and design. Consumers now have endless online and offline options for research before they buy. In a way, information about products and services is literally at their fingertips. Digitisation puts the consumer in the driver’s seat, making them more informed, more demanding and more vocal about what they want and what they do not want.

What are the implications for retailers?

As a result of consumers’ new options, companies have been forced to become more accountable, transparent and efficient. From the retailer’s point of view, digital channels have become a critical means for executing promotions, stimulating sales and increasing market share..

According to McKinsey and Company, “[to] keep up with rapid technology cycles and improve their multi-platform marketing efforts, companies need to take a different approach to managing the consumer decision journey, one that embraces the speed that digitisation brings and focuses on capabilities in three areas: Discover, Design and Deliver” (see link below for more on this).

While digitisation has opened up new online venues for consumers to expand their purchasing options, it has not made offline shopping irrelevant. Let’s consider some statistics. Although online searches are fast increasing, “offline touchpoints still account for 61% of behaviour”, according to Laurens van den Oever, Global Director Travel of GfK Asia Pte Ltd., who adds that “customers are mixing offline and online activity. Rather than competing, the two channels work in a symbiotic relationship, each relying on the other to assist consumers in their tasks”.

We suggest you take a look at the “Six key lessons about hybrid customer behaviour” in the interesting links section to get a better idea on how customer behaviour has been “hybridised” (ie using both offline and online channels for shopping) and the way this impacts various business models. It highlights how digitisation has created a new generation of consumers who want nothing less than instant gratification.

How do you feel about purchasing online?

Reflect on the purchase process in your most recent online shopping experience. How did it go?
Share your experience in the Comments section.
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Business Futures: Understanding Omni-channel Retailing and Supply Chains

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