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Omni-Channel, Retail Mobile and Big Data

Omni-Channel Retail Mobile and Big DataOmni-Channel Retail, Mobile and Big Data offers tantalizing glimpses into current and future omni-channel retail trends and technologies. I “sat down” with three thought leaders and a crowd of smart people on AllAnalytics’ real-time webcast, which featured real-time Q&A with the panelists afterward. You can watch it here.

Panelists Dr. Erik Brynjolfsson, Dr. Yu Jeffrey Hu and Dr. Mohammad Saifur Rahman collaborate on numerous projects, and they are intensely interested in retail transformation. They also referenced one of their recent papers, Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing, and I have added some of its points here as well. The webcast was well moderated by AllAnaytics’ Noreen Seebacher and Beth Schultz.

Although it wasn’t discussed in depth, I observe that big data is especially poignant to retailers for two reasons: they have extremely rich internal, proprietary transaction data on customers (loyalty cards, credit cards, returns information, call center information, service information) and retail customers are the most free-wheeling online. Retail customers discuss their experiences in situations in which they use most types of products. This gives retailers priceless information: […]

The Future of the Retail Store in the Omni-Channel Age

The Future of the Retail Store in the Omni-Channel Age[UPDATED] The Future of the Retail Store in the Omni-Channel Age is third in CSRA’s retail & omni-channel series, and it is especially relevant to Chief Digital Officers, who orchestrate profound organization change using digital technologies and processes. It also offers rare opportunity to high-stakes CMOs. Part1 of The Future of the Retail Store outlines several aspects of market disruption that are affecting retailers as a group, albeit by varying degrees. Part2 features examples of “reimagining retail” for mobile, banking, grocery, hardware and apparel “stores.”

“Future” provides practical examples for the main thesis carried through the series: retailers can thrive by thinking beyond “the product” and its selection, assortment, pricing, etc., because these have a decreasing impact on revenue and profit. Digital social enables customers and retailers to focus on how customers create value with products and services, so when properly used, social is a strong profit driver, and profits are what retailers need to survive and thrive. As examples illustrate, retailers can go with the “showrooming” trend by enabling customers to imagine and […]

How to Tap the Social Business Double Value Proposition [CDO Guide to Social Business Part2]

How to Tap the Social Business Double Value Proposition outlines an efficient and rigorous process for using social business for digital transformation in two ways: social business itself can drive reputation, preference and profit, and it’s the fastest way to develop requirements for mobile, ecommerce and big data investments.

How to Tap the Social Business Double Value Proposition [CDO Guide to Social Business Part2]

The social business double value proposition works because it discovers, engages and validates the organization’s understanding of stakeholder outcomes. Every organization’s crucial stakeholders have outcomes that they hope to attain by interacting with the organization or using its products or services. Developing deep and broad knowledge of stakeholder outcomes enables the organization to serve and quickly deepen their relationships with their stakeholders—by helping them attain their outcomes by collaborating online; moreover, since it opens fast and inexpensive communication and collaboration channels with them, it can create a continuous innovation process and sustainable advantage over rivals.

The Guide to Social Business Part2 shows how to maximize efficiency by using external and internal analyses to create and execute social business strategy, step […]

How Social Changed Retail: Empowered Customers and Omni-channel Commerce

Empowered customers and omni-channel commerce are mirrors of each other, and both are transforming “retail.”

empowered customers and omni-channel: retail and ecommerce disruption[UPDATED] Connected customers have the Internet in their pockets and use mobile and other devices in all stages of conceptualizing, considering, evaluating, buying and using purchased products and services. These customers want to interact with firms and brands in a seamless experience that features single sign-on as an entry point; they want the firm to respond using their individual data when that makes interacting more valuable. Omni-channel commerce refers to a collection of technologies, practices and strategies firms use to provide the personal individualized experience that connected customers expect.

IBM’s 2012 study of retail customers in eight mature economies (Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and the USA) and seven growth economies (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa) lays bare that the retail “shopping” experience has shifted profoundly, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at most offline or online retailers’ presences. The paper, “Winning over the empowered consumer: Why trust matters,” is a call to action […]

Mobile Transformation Roadmap [CDO Guide to Mobile Part3]

Chief Digital Office Guide to Transforming with Mobile

The Mobile Competency Center’s mobile transformation roadmap assumes “average” stakeholder (“user”) mobile adoption and enterprise competency, but its premise is that all organizations can use mobile to transform their relationships with stakeholders. This matters because most firms have weak customer relationships, which consist of mass communications, impersonal sales transactions and cost-minimized service processes. Done right, mobile offers visionary Chief Digital Officers a rare chance to increase their relevance to customers—and boost competitiveness.

This roadmap is necessarily a broad guideline because each organization’s optimal path of initiatives and milestones will depend on numerous variables. The sequence and priority of each part of mobile transformation will depend on the mobile adoption of highest priority stakeholders, how the firm wants to connect with them and the firm’s mobile resources and expertise. Knowing these variables will enable the CDO to sequence the roadmap.

Mobile Transformation Roadmap is Part3 of The CDO Guide to Mobile for Digital Transformation.

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How Mobile Transforms Relationships Between Brands and Customers [CDO Guide to Mobile Part2]

Chief Digital Office Guide to Transforming with MobileHow Mobile Transforms Relationships Between Brands and Customers presents underappreciated aspects of mobile user behavior before outlining three approaches for engaging customers and other stakeholders.

As outlined in Ubiquitous Computing Primer, “mobile” is much more than a channel or platform internet-connected devices. By any measure, the Internet’s information and utility are growing exponentially, and mobile devices put the Internet in people’s pockets, so they transform human capabilities and experience.

People plus the Internet have expanded abilities to act and perform. For example, having the optimal assortment of travel apps enables people to avoid many problems and capitalize on opportunities; they miss planes less often, pay less for hotels and suffer less crime. The same holds true for most human endeavors, so people without mobile internet are increasingly at disadvantage. [For more context, see: 1) the “Geoweb” and “Web 3.0.”

How Mobile Transforms Relationships Between Brands and Customers is Part2 of The CDO Guide to Mobile for Digital Transformation.

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Personal Individualized Experience: the DNA of Digital Transformation

Personal Individualized Experience: The DNA of Digital TransformationPersonal Individualized Experience is the DNA of digital transformation. It refers to using an optimal mix of people and digital technologies to provide personal interactions at scale, so it’s central to the mission of chief digital officers and CEOs and boards who hire them. Prior to digital and social technologies, organizations faced a trade-off between “personal” and “efficient” interactions with their stakeholders (customers, clients, employees, partners, regulators… hereafter “users”). Now this is no longer true; they can provide personal interactions at scale, once they learn how and where to interact efficiently and authentically.

Used well, digital and social technologies retain an authentic human element while digitizing key aspects of relating to people. Therefore, organizations/firms/brands (hereafter “firms”) can now provide the Personal Individualized Experience (PIE). This post explains the three components of PIE and shows how firms can use them to build and maintain authentic and profitable relationships with users.

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Chief Digital Officers and Transformation

Chief digital officers and transformationChief digital officers and transformation will go hand in hand as the position and its competencies take shape over the next few years. Historically, commercial, government and nonprofit enterprises, when faced with profound business change or technology disruption, respond by elevating new types of leader to the “C” level. Chief Knowledge Officer, Chief Process Officer, Chief Ecommerce Officer and the like become de rigeur for a few years and fade, either because the new disruption proved less sustainable than anticipated or because the competency became subsumed by a more core function.

I predict that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) will play a vital role at most organizations through 2020, but the organizational role will be fleeting as a standalone. “Digital” will integrate all functions and be the standard eventually, but organizations require intense transformation to get there, so the CDO will play a crucial role. My ongoing analysis of social business adoption indicates that the market for social business transformation will hit an inflection point by 2017, as more advisors and executives see the power and results of digital communications […]

Social Business Strategy Use Cases

Social Business Strategy Use Cases[UPDATED] Social business strategy use cases represent scenarios in which most organizations find themselves, and they reflect some of the choices of which CDOs, CMOs and CEOs may use as they plan to evolve their enterprises in order to either improve returns or simply remain relevant in volatile markets.

Social business strategy is inherently transformational to large organizations whether they are in commercial, nonprofit or government sectors. All organizations are hives of people communicating and collaborating to execute business processes (“work”). Digital social technologies have reduced the cost of communication (and therefore much collaboration and work) by an order of magnitude (roughly ten times). Collaboration and innovation, before digital social technologies, were slow and expensive. Now they are very fast and inexpensive—when organizations learn how to use them. Organizations that learn how are more responsive to their constituents and customers, so the market rewards them—and will increasingly punish those that lag too far.

These use cases focus on building enterprise social business internal capability, and they are also helpful to consider when selecting social business advisors. Please consider […]

Transform the Enterprise [Social Business Team Building]

Transform the Enterprise [Social Business Team Building] case5Transform the Enterprise is almost always initiated by the CEO’s office, the CDO, the board of directors or other strategic body. Its defining characteristic is enterprise transformation, using social business as a key enabler. Some of its common business contexts are: the hiring of a (new) CDO (Chief Digital Officer), which is itself a commitment to use social business for transformation; a merger, major acquisition or sale whose focus is to redefine the enterprise; “pervasive social business” that results when several of the enterprise’s brands have had some social business success that the executive team wants to scale; scaling enterprise 2.0 social collaboration technologies; self-disruption to create a new level of competitiveness.

In 2013, digital marketing and firm executives are thinking about building their internal teams to provide more continuity and scale. Transform the Enterprise also focuses on the right side of the Social Business Life Cycle, specifically on Scale and Integrate. At this point, the enterprise usually has a panoply of social business or social media resources that it wants to knit together into a cohesive […]