It's a well-known truism that the key to growth is following your consumers where they want to go. With technology now defining the consumer experience, digital paradigms are now defining the pathways to growth for Australia's corporates and government agencies alike.
Customers are now omni-channel consumers – they've been shaped by their experience of retail technology, such as Apple and Amazon, and now expect buying choice across any channel at any time and through any device. They want to connect in the shop front, through websites, mobile devices and tablets, through social media and via video. Power has shifted to the consumer – they're knowledge rich and price savvy and far less patient with poor service, out-of-stock products and late deliveries.
This attitude to consumption is by no means limited to the Millennial generation – it's a cross-demographic trend. According to the NAB Online Retail Sales Index for August 2014 – which measures retail consumption via online channels – the 35-44 age group is the biggest online spender. However, the over 65s are buying more online; growth has been positive for 11 consecutive months for this age group.
A multi channel approach to direct engagement both builds trust and engagement and provides valuable intelligence and data to help optimise stocking, pricing and sales revenue.
"The key issue is understanding why consumers behave the way they do; if organisations can better understand their customers to drive both business innovation and revenue growth."
Partner in Charge, Digital Consulting Services
Winning share of wallet from consumers and growing revenue is now far more dependent on providing a multi channel experience, regardless of whether the end product is clothing, banking product or insurance. Consequently technology platforms that facilitate connection across non-bricks and mortar channels are now of primary importance.
As the digital revolution continues to gather pace, it's clear that a fundamental shift has occurred; technology has moved from being a business enabler to being a key strategic growth lever for most industries.
Against this backdrop, organisations are facing numerous challenges and opportunities. Understanding why consumers behave the way they do, enables organisations design and deliver better customer experiences based on customers' real motivations. By mapping the 'digital rhythm' of consumers, organisations can gain competitive advantage, shape their strategies and product development and drive customer advocacy.
Organisations are using gamification techniques to assist their growth strategies. Gamification uses elements and design techniques from games and applies them to non game environments, including customer retention and sales strategies. In an environment where there is a greater expectation of more stimulating and engaging experiences, gamification techniques are being used to meet these customer expectations.
Robust data analytics are crucial – capturing activity across all consumer channels can inform business processes and improve profitability by helping shape demand, pricing and replenishment. Creating a single repository for customer data that can capture activity across channels could have a transformative effect on growth. Why? Because it provides an opportunity to create a seamless customer experience across all channels customers use, and at the same time use the interaction and the data that is gathered to improve business and profitability.
Technology is more than a way to manage processes better – it facilitates major growth opportunities as consumer behaviour changes. Want to grow your business? Move with the times.