Last week we were put into a room with 70+ executives who almost universally shared the same sentiment: there is a vital need to focus on technology growth and expansion after a year of protection and entrenchment.
Studies show the return of shopping confidence in 2021 will unleash a “customer rebound.” As demand and spending return to pre-pandemic levels, customers will assume that companies will have adopted the latest trends of digitization, innovation, and mobility.
They will expect AI to help them with FAQs, they will demand timely delivery and BOPIS solutions from every retailer, they will look for self-service kiosks when they return to brick-and-mortar locations, and they will not care if companies have struggled with capabilities – staffing, budgets, or otherwise – to remain on the technological front lines during the pandemic.
“Keeping Up” is now “Falling Behind”
It could be argued that the rate of digital adoption over the past 12 months has been the highest since the dawn of the digital age. McKinzey has reported that the COVID crisis accelerated the digitization of customer interactions by several years for industries across the board.
These were the sentiments we heard from those 70 executives. Some were relieved that they were able to stay well ahead of the curve. Others were just emerging from their trenches and unsure which way to turn.
Shockoe believes that 2021 will be the year to double down on your digital service capabilities. Augmenting your team with specialists – like us – for your mobile and emerging technology initiatives will help you maintain your competitive edge and/or quickly recapture what was lost.
Shockoe or otherwise, if you aren’t turning to outside experts during this adjustment period then your business may fall short to the wave of innovation that the crisis has sparked.