- Category: February 2016 - Digital Transformation
Self-determined and self-confident, informed at any time, at any place, in favor of convenience and time savings, thanks to continuous information availability through various channels – that’s how the usage habits of modern customers in the digital age can be characterized. At the same time, the transparency of markets increases, so that the next player is just a click away.
These effects are not new, yet many companies still struggle to adapt to modern customer needs, consistently debating on the strategic realignment of their business models. By now, however, numerous studies have already shown that customers use different channels to research into products and prices andthat the modern, self-determined user expects an intelligent cross-media integration in terms of optimal customer service. Hence, it is high time for any business to review existing business models, because when used properly, digital technology has huge opportunities to offer – in fact, entire new markets, segments and customer groups.
Finding the appropriate model is essential
Manufacturers, brand owners, and dealers must adapt offers and services as closely as possible to the customer's individual needs and bring them in line with the conscious perception of the customers’ position.
Detached from existing sales processes, many eCommerce projects, however, will fall short of exploiting the full online potential due to its rapid development. Unfortunately, decision-makers often focus on a simple adaptation of an original pure player concept that just leads to a dead end, because in such cases the high expectations of customers for responsive purchasing processes, fast delivery, flexible payment options and rehearsed services are not met.
Quite obviously, the relevance of detailed knowledge of the customer, the use of Customer Journey touchpoints and automated marketing processes, is constantly growing. In the long term, this means an overcoming of thinking in individual distribution channels in favor of networked, integrated cross-channel strategies. If it is possible to intelligently integrate this into the business model, USPs and market advantages can be worked out.
What’s down the road?
To be able to differentiate in the future, business models have to evolve their network capabilities continuously, cooperate actively, intelligently, and flexibly. Whether planning, purchasing, logistics, marketing or controlling, all divisions have to align its working practices to the long-term strategy. A company’s success in the future will depend more on how quickly and sustainably new innovations get integrated, how businesses understand the potential of digitization, interpret it for their business and use it in practice.
Digital business transformation meets companies evolving understanding of customers, business relationships and value chains, and recognizes its impact on business models, revenue streams and differentiators in the market. It affects organizations via the change management and deals with issues such as: How do I plan, maneuver, operate and optimize my supply chain in the digital era? How can I optimize existing corporate structures thanks to digital opportunities? Does my business model live up to the respective customers expectations? Etc.
Unfortunately, the biggest mistake currently taking place is that the digital transformation in companies isn’t driven fast enough - whether it is due to a lack of willingness to take risks, lacking know-how or just because of encrusted structures. But whoever misses to continually develop, is in danger of falling by the wayside. It’s important to break silos and drive change consistently, even if it is difficult. Consumers today are completely digital when on the go, but are often not picked up correctly where they are located - the potential is there, the technology available, but many companies are reluctant to adapt or react too late.