Never in the history of business has there been more proof of the impact of one strategy on the company's financial fortunes. Companies that have digitised and those that have been reticent to invest in new technologies have seen them take completely different paths. Take the following examples for instance:
- High street retailers embracing the digital age are thriving while those that have not are closing down stores
- Restaurants that have gone mobile thrive while those stuck in the past are closing stores
- Manufacturers who automate produce 2 to 3 times more than those that do not
- The entertainment and event industry operators that provide their clients with clean and efficient technology increase their turnover by 35% to 150%
These are a few of the most recognisable changes in the industry and nothing speaks louder than when one business sell for hundreds of millions while the other is placed in administration. On the surface, core products can be very similar but the delivery and production is completely different while customer engagement for a digitised business creates sustainable revenue streams from returning customers as opposed to analogue businesses who are focussed on the one-off sale.
Having worked particularly in the fast casual/quick service restaurant and bar industries recently, the results from both sides of the spectrum are vast. While one chain of restaurants is selling for hundreds of millions of pounds, another, in the same market, are closing down. In fact, in this sector, there is a tremendous amount of disruption as customer habits and the adoption of technology to meet those are making shareholders of some brands extremely wealthy. Transforming a chain by digitisation, which develops deep customer engagement, leads to an extremely effective exit strategy.
Millennials recently became the highest spenders in these sectors and they have a different view on how they want to engage. Of course they want to feel special but more importantly they value their time over everything else, including their money. In fact it is that respect for their time that certain brands offer them that sees them engage with that particular brand over and over again. Discounting and price wars are irrelevant to them if they are not served efficiently, they would rather pay the full price for the attention they demand or an additional fee for convenience. Ask a millennial to stand in a 15 minute queue to wait for food or drink while they are attending an event, nothing spoils their day more.
Now, more than ever before, it is time to talk digitalisation, how, why and what is next.
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