Forrester’s Michelle Beeson took to the stage at MagentoLive Europe on Wednesday to reveal the research company’s latest findings on digital transformation. Michelle’s research covers digital commerce and how technology impacts the way organizations engage with customers. Here are the five key takeaways from her keynote:
1. Digital transformation is never finished
Remarkably, 21 percent of business leaders interviewed for a recent Forrester survey reported that their digital transformation was ‘completed’! In this constantly changing commerce landscape, digital transformation is never over. Those same business leaders said that the biggest challenge to digital transformation is technology. “But it isn’t just about technology,” Michelle said. “It’s about what we do with the technology that’s important. It’s about the people and the processes too.”
2. Think about the long-term customer relationship
Michelle talked about Nestle BabyNes, a connected machine with pods that delivers hygienic, lump-free formula, and a happy bottle feeding experience for babies and parents. “They thought about the long term customer relationship that their brand can provide,” said Michelle. “The app tracks what the baby has eaten. There’s a notification that you’re running low on pods. Their product has become a service, using digital technology.”
3. Don’t be afraid to disrupt your own business
“When you’re disrupting your own business,” Michelle said, “it’s important to have a flexible, agile operation, and C-level support.” She cited Volvo’s “M” company, that will offer “dependable, on-demand access to cars and services through an intuitive app.” The program is a new service for Volvo, which is a shift from their core traditional business. But it responds to changing consumer perceptions of car ownership and the alternatives made possible through partnership and digital technology, Michelle said.
4. Collaborate to win
When the fashion house Burberry teamed up with the online luxury fashion retail platform Farfetch, they partnered with a would-be rival to extend their reach in a way they couldn’t do on their own, said Michelle. “When it comes to digital transformation, [Burberry] acknowledged that partnership is essential…Build what you must, partner where you can,” she added.
5. Digital transformation can create surprises
Digital innovators use technology to anticipate what customers need, said Michelle. Then they exceed those expectations along every step of their journeys. But sometimes the results are unexpected: “Gatorade is a brand that opened up a target market they hadn’t considered,” said Michelle. By going direct-to-consumer they were able to directly support smaller to medium-sized business, like independent gyms, that were too small to buy from a distributor. “Embracing digital technology allowed Gatorade to sell their products in new ways,” she said.