With the pandemic underscoring the value of internet connectivity, digital capabilities have become a non-negotiable for consumers and companies alike. Most companies not only see having a digital presence as an important component of their value proposition, but more than 75% of industry professionals also agree that delivering a positive digital consumer experience is critical for success, according to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey.
Given the recent acceleration of consumer trends such as e-commerce, there has been an acceleration in tech-related investments and initiatives related to expanding or improving mobile-based platforms or omnichannel strategies. This has called for greater integration of technology in operational areas such as delivery and fulfilment in addition to new ways of paying across online and offline environments.
Technology-related operational investments were the most accelerated investments in 2021, followed by new technology-related product launches and technology-driven product innovation. Reportedly, investment planning across all three fronts has improved coming out of the pandemic, depicting increased investment appetite for tech among companies for immediate and long-term strategy objectives.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey (November 2021).
This acceleration in tech investment is strongly supported by the strengthening of commerce use cases for both new and mature technologies. Reduced costs of certain technologies and enhanced sophistication is enabling companies to find solutions via new business models. This is also supported by continuously evolving nature of technology where its applications in commerce are becoming increasingly interwoven into overall product and service experience. Most importantly, companies have found improved internal alignment on placing tech central to strategic success, leading to improved funding and support from leadership.
Leveraging Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry: Digital Survey, the below chart provides insight into what technology businesses are considering with respect to their specific commerce-based applications in the present (short term), over the period of one year (medium term) and five years from now (long term).
Changing business strategies in the favour of omnichannel development is expected to require companies to integrate tech across channels. Customer engagement, both online and in store, will remain at the core of most solutions adopted by companies in the short to medium term. Thus, most companies are expected to deploy cloud and artificial intelligence to improve elements for enhanced customer engagement. As companies invest in tech as a medium for service, there is expected to be a greater shift in leveraging tech as a greater resource for customer insights and analytics.
Certainly, demand for digital technology is expected to significantly shape up over the next two to five years, with currently mature technologies supporting most business needs in the medium term. Over the long term, there is likely to be a greater focus on stronger digital integration in processes such as improving supply chain transparencies, use of blockchain for decentralised processes and offering consumers the next level of personalised experiences through autonomous mobility, virtual and augmented experiences.
While technologies step up to enhance their commerce applications and businesses are exposed to these developments, only several companies can lead digital transformation effectively. With an increasing number of companies ready to invest in digital technologies, it is not only imperative to understand right business needs, but also realise the impact of relevant digital technologies in relation to how business strategy plays a key role in achieving digital effectiveness.
Learn more about how companies are leveraging these technologies to better serve consumers in the Top Five Digital Consumer Trends in 2022 webinar.