Digital Disruption is Transcending Borders

According to Forrester Research, the Year Zero intention of customers buying a new product or service is five times greater now than it was a decade ago. In plain terms, customers are now five times more likely to purchase a new product, compared to a more conservative past where early adopters would try out products first and the majority of the population would wait to see what it’s like.

This is a very interesting change in attitude over the past decade and implies that the digital disruption I have commented on several times here could be even more accelerated than analysts previously expected.

Digital disruption is not only transcending national borders and allowing innovative new companies to go global instantly, it is transcending industry borders too. Technologies are being introduced today in a way that influences many industries at the same time.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a great example. Last year the world caught Pokémon Go fever as the mobile phone game showed how games could blend the real world with a game. Characters from the game are overlaid on the environment your phone can really see – suddenly AR moved from being an interesting technology to the mainstream.

Now look at how the Google Tango system has industrialised this for industries such as retail. In the USA, the Lowe’s chain of home improvement stores is already trying AR in-store with customers. Imagine never being lost in a big store ever again because your phone can graphically guide you to the correct shelf.

This recent feature in Forbes by Bob Weiler, the EVP of Global Business Units at Oracle, lists a series of questions that executives need to ask if they want to stay in control of their business when faced with the shock of digital disruption. I found two of Bob’s comments particularly interesting:

  • How can I break down the barriers between customer channels? Brands need to create a personalised channel that blends both marketing and customer experience – creating a single view of the customer no matter which channel is used.
  • How can I be empowered by data, not intimidated? With so much information on clients now being recorded there is the issue of data security and how to best use the information too. Customers have big expectations for personal services today and they know that brands have the data, but not many are making the best use of all that information.

Staying vigilant in a disruptive environment is essential, but I believe that a structured approach is possible. It’s not good enough for executives to just watch the market. Often we can predict which new technologies are going to offer opportunities for customers before the customers are aware – therefore we have a chance to define the customer experience.

What do you think about the challenges of digital disruption and the customer experience? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

Photo by Paintimpact licensed under Creative Commons.


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