Digital is doing a lot of good, but one of its most important contributions might be the one it is least credited for – its ability to completely undress the gap between what companies think they need to know about their customers and what they actually know.
What I often see as a result are companies entering a digital world with old strategies, that worked when industries where solid, pre-programmed structures and everyone where doing the same mistakes, but now when competition can come from anywhere don’t hold up.
The question to these companies become: are you fighting a digital problem or a customer problem?
In the article below changes in customer demand in the retail / grocery industry are being discussed. Digital investments seems hard to pay of, but ASDA seemingly has an ace up their sleeve and it has got nothing to do with digital and quite a lot to do with some sensible customer insight.
Three quotes from the Guardian article: Nervous supermarkets lefts with miles of aisles they don’t want ( http://bit.ly/1nM7UJP )
“The reality is that the model of retailing for the last 60 years is no longer fit for the changing needs of consumers,” says one senior industry source. “The question is: what are you doing to adapt your space to the new economics?”
“Ibbotson said changing shopping habits meant it had to “reassess” its strategy. “I have been in the industry for 30 years and in the past three years it has changed more [than the previous 27 years] and we expect for it to change more quickly over the next three years than the last [three],” said Ibbotson.”
“Asda is more exposed than most to this trend because the vast majority of its sales come through superstores, but what has insulated it is [fashion label] George, which is a destination brand,” he says. “Tesco has got a problem with its big box stores because it doesn’t have a George.”