Many of our clients are evolving to meet the needs of digitally savvy customers. The ubiquitous nature of technology makes it easy for customers and organizations to connect, changing the way almost every organization does business. And if the way an organization interacts with customers is changing, it almost certainly is changing the way it operates inside of the business.
Technology opens up great opportunities for organizations – it makes it easier for organizations to identify customers, keep in touch with customers, and develop deeper relationships with customers. Technology also, however, poses challenges for organizations– it makes it possible for customers to share what they really think (good, bad or indifferent), to comparison shop, and to be more educated about their choices.
The digital age requires organizations to always be on top of their game. If they aren’t, there is another organization that is willing to take their place. Your customers can easily find those willing replacements, and those organizations can find your customers.
There are a host of changes that come about when an organization goes digital. How organizations identify, nurture, and serve customers is different today than it was 10 years ago. And that means how organizations are run to create different “outputs” needs to change too.
We have several clients that have been successful brick and mortal retailers for a long time. Those companies are now learning how to be online retailers. The shift to meeting customer needs online and digitally ripples through everything they do – pricing, logistics, assortment, promotions, inventory management, etc.… Every part of these very large organizations will look different in a few years because of their evolution into digital merchants.
So how do organizations make such a shift? It requires a lot of vision and a great plan, some strong project management, and a commitment to managing change for the people who need to work differently. To expect people who have been successful working in the old way to magically be successful in the new way is not realistic.
If the people in pricing, logistics, assortment, promotions, inventory management, and so on are not ready, willing and able to work differently, the endeavor will take a long time to get off of the ground. And that is just enough time for competitors to step in and meet their customers’ needs.