In her second article reviewing key insights from the Global DIY Summit, Aoife Kinsella looks at the revelations around Digitalisation and how retailers can prepare their teams for the digital transformation of their business.
Day One of the DIY Summit took an indepth look into the world of Digitalisation and how to adapt to “the Era of Disruption” and included striking demonstrations on the power of emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In her presentation on Extreme Customer Centricity Nancy Rademaker from Nexxworks reminded delegates that “digital is no longer a novelty, it’s a reality”. Survival in this digital era is the new normal for businesses, with 76% of executives predicting significant industry disruption in the next three years.
It’s not just how businesses are run that has been changed by technology, human nature has significantly changed. Rademaker demonstrated how the world around us has slowly begun adapting to the behaviours of digitally native consumers, including a humorous example from China, where they have installed “phone-user” walking lanes on their public paths, similar to cycle lanes! This might seem like an extreme example, but Rademaker used it as a stark reminder to retailers in the delegation that with the changing face of consumer behaviour the world is changing around it.
The 5 I’s of Human Nature
Rademaker explained the five key characteristics of human nature:
Informed – Individuals and groups are now more informed than ever before and the age at which people are informed is younger than ever. This has led to an influx of information and
a stress of choice, so we should concentrate on making things simple for consumers.
Individualistic – Individuals are now in charge of, and create, their own universes in which they are in the centre. The customer is more empowered than ever before and is even creating “multiple-me’s” which makes it a lot harder for companies to accommodate to their customers’ needs.
Impatient – As a society we have become more impatient and our attention span has decreased dramatically. It is important to never steal time from customers.
Influenced – 75% of consumers no longer believe companies tell the truth in their ads, while 78% trust peer recommendations. Traditional mass media campaigns are losing impact as the power of social media and influencers continues to grow.
Intuitive – Individuals are now more emotional, and less rational. We are being presented with too much information which results in us reverting to our intuition.
In the battle for the customer, Customer Experience (CX) comes first. Rademaker explained that “a customer’s perception of his interaction with any part of an organisation influences behaviour and builds memories”. A customer-centric strategy is the only way to achieve this. “Don’t start with the product, start with the customer”, Rademaker advised.
Concluding her presentation on customer-centricity Rademaker revealed that this strategy can have lasting, positive effects on an organisation, by pointing out that a low-effort experience in their purchasing journey will result in 91% of customers continuing their relationship with your business. In addition to that, retailers have seen a 21% increase in revenue year-on-year from a moderate increase in customer experience. (You can read more about CX in Susannah Hewson`s second article later in this publication).
Preparing your Team to Embrace Digital Transformation
The final topic of Day One at the DIY Summit was how businesses can bring their team onboard with digital change.
The first speaker of this topic, Elena Ritchie, Head of Retail at Google, pointed out that 75% of leaders state that the biggest challenge for digitalisation, is within their organisation, and 54% of those internal challenges are related to company culture.
Effective leadership is key to changing a company culture, and Ritchie listed the following attributes of a great manager:
- Are a good coach
- Empowers their team and does not micromanage
- Expresses interest/concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
- Productive and results-orientated
- Are good communicators – listen and distribute important information
- Support career development and discuss performance
- Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
- Have key technical skills to help advise the team
Culture of Innovation
In order to facilitate this digital transformation organisations must transition to a Culture of Innovation.
Greg Hicks from Foster, Hicks & Associates was the last speaker of the day, and echoed Elena’s advice on building a Culture of Innovation, by sharing his steps to ‘Creating the
Innovative Workplace Culture’. “The only way to survive is when the whole tribe survives”, said Hicks, pointing out how important it is for leaders to connect and relate to others in the business.
Hicks offered the following steps, as part of his FosterHicks Model, to help business owners transition the workplace to a culture of innovation:
- Intention – Share your intention with the team. “Reveal the why behind the what”.
- Accountability – It is important that individuals feel safe to be held accountable for something. Create a culture of accountability, not victimhood.
- Identification – Let people shine in their own way and reward them for this.
- Centrality – People should be made to feel central to the organisation and be allowed to shine.
- Recasting – Occasionally when a large problem or barrier must be overcome, it is important to reset, take a step back and view the problem from another angle.
- Options – People are much happier when they are provided options, and the worst thing for a company to do is remove these options as it creates a feeling of hopelessness.
- Appreciation – Actively look for when people contribute and tell them right away that it was appreciated. This can build motivation and in turn innovation.
- Giving – It is important to give generously without the expectation of return of this generosity.
- Truth – Lying results in a physiological and psychological negative response in the body and should be avoided.
- Self-reflection – It is important to see that what makes people happy is very individualised, one person’s happiness isn’t found or expressed in the same way as another’s.
According to Hicks and his international study of happiness and innovation, these 10 key areas are the key to happiness. “This happiness, if present in the workforce, can lead to
increased innovation, motivation and greater success for the organisation”, he explained.