Build Your Business Like a Digital Platform to Accelerate Loyalty
With a market cap of almost $2 billion, the Internet Big Five (Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon) have dropped the qualifier to become simply the Big Five.1 Commentators are tossing about terms such as “monopoly” and “oligopoly.”2 These 21st century companies have become market leaders because they are adept at generating engagement and leveraging loyalty to establish dominance. They have harnessed the power of technology to rapidly increase competitive agility and create winner-take-most markets.
Amazon is continuing their march into the physical store with the Whole Foods acquisition, confirming the assessment of a recent RIS study that “Only multi-channel retailers will survive.”3 This is a strategy that the brick-and-mortar business can leverage.
To become, or remain, leaders, retail outlets and restaurant operators will need to expand their focus to integrate the physical and digital customer experience:
- Customer: Become hyper customer-focused to create a loyalty profile that will entice an experience-driven consumer who is hyper-connected, collaborative, social, and health conscious.
- Culture: Unite behind business objectives that prioritize delighting customers who are members of the loyalty profile, including hiring roles that lead customer experience.
- Execution: Extrapolate the business objectives into defined use cases to quickly improve and measure operational efficiency, reduce costs, accelerate time-to-market, and enhance the customer experience. Iterate rapidly with measured experimentation rather than risk perfection delay.
This is where the brick-and-mortar sector can steal a page from the Big Five playbook to establish a solid position in the emerging omni-channel marketplace. The first step is to embrace innovation and build out the businesses like digital platforms, using big data and customer analytics to enhance and unify the customer/guest experience across brand interactions: mobile, online, and physical.
As the platform matures, it produces the network effect in which adoption and growth benefit both consumer and provider. The more people that use the platform, the more attractive it becomes to join it. (Facebook, SnapChat, etc.) For retailers and restaurateurs, favorable reviews are one engine of the network effect.
Continued development of the platform to increase engagement and loyalty via customer analytics creates the flywheel effect, where an understanding of customer preference begets more engagement, which begets more personalization, such as localization and proximity-based recommendations, which converts to more nearby hard purchases.
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Many companies struggle to justify ROI on tech innovation, which highlights the importance of aligning business objectives to clear use-cases that measure impact on operational efficiency, customer experience and time-to-market.
Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs) are gaining adoption precisely because they demonstrate quick payback by greatly reducing the cost and time-to-value of secure application rollout. Even better, they can be piloted quickly on a site-by-site basis, greatly reducing capital outlays.
Are you one of the leaders building the platform to deliver consistent, integrated experiences to your customers based on customer preferences and behavioral data? Changing habits is hard but adapting your network to your customer’s existing behavior has never been easier. Try Cybera’s secure, managed SD-WAN to accelerate secure business operationalization, scale to fuel expansion, and adapt to offer new services at market speed, all at the lowest possible cost.
Get the E-Book: SD-WAN and the Omni-Experience
This e-Book describes how secure managed SD-WAN is enabling restaurants to change their cultures by making the omni-experience, as well as speed and agility, a top priority while significantly lowering the financial risks of innovation.
Download the Omni-Experience E-book.