After COVID-19, agility and flexibility are more fundamental then ever and digital transformation will become a must.
In the midst of the current situation, we are all moving closer to our customers to support their needs and digital set-ups while keeping them, our partners and employees safe. These, for sure, are unusual times and many of us are dealing with daily challenges and changes, for example, in demand, workforce and supply chain. A lot of time goes into determining the right approach and actions to respond to the most urgent needs and to continue business based on the current circumstances. It is truly inspiring to see how many companies are adapting to the new situation in a determined manner while helping others by shifting their production from clothes to masks or from beer to hand sanitizers, to name a few.
Shopping behavior has changed tremendously because of COVID -19.Consumption in non-essential goods has declined and e-commerce obviously increased. This McKinsey article lists three key strategic imperatives to take into account when preparing for the new post-corona world.
- Radically accelerate in-store omni channel integration end to end and ensuring a seamless multi touch customer experience
- Re-imagine store operations to reflect the new reality by resetting the store cost structure and preparing the he workforce be prepared for the next normal.
- Optimize the store network based on omnichannel performance. Because of all the changes and new consumer preferences and habits the role of the store will change as well and performance metrics will need to reflect that new role.
How the new normal will look like and which changes in behavior will stick is difficult to foresee right now. We can probably learn here from China as unfortunately they have preceded us here and are ahead of us in their experience of crisis and recovery. IDC research research shows the major expected changes and 10 major trends emerging in the Chinese ICT market illustrated below.
How relevant are these trends for your business, how will they impact your customers behavior? And is it possible to predict the new normal and when ? One thing COVID-19 has taught us is that continuously dealing with change in an agile and flexible way has become an imperative.
One challenge for many retailers and consumer goods companies, is to navigate the here and the now while also thinking about the comeback and preparing for the new normal at the same time. This is why we are organizing events where Microsoft experts will share with you how technology and data can help in preparing for the new normal and accelerate digital transformation. We also will take lessons learned from others like H&M, McDonalds and our own Microsoft’s retail stores followed by a discussion.
I’m pleased to invite you to the Re-Imagine Retail Executive Series where we will discuss the following drivers for innovation in the next normal:
- Retain your customers and adapt to new behaviors -Tuesday, May 12, 2020 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
- Increase your store associates’ productivity and agility – Monday, May 18, 2020 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
- Maximize business continuity through an intelligent supply chain – Monday, June 8, 2020 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Looking forward to meet you virtually.