One of the key objectives being discussed today for companies in the new normal is their ability to redesign supply chains and sale channels that will
enable them to ‘rapidly reconfigure’ these in times of significant disruption. This is required right now for your business online, and here is why.
Firstly, the pricing model has just become a whole lot more complicated, and it’s not just about the move from bricks and mortar. Consumers shopping
online have a certain expectation about price, and if you are a legacy business that has not redesigned your business platform here or in your export
markets, your cost base and messaging will not work online.
Secondly, traceability of the product is and will become even more essential post-COVID-19 for health and authenticity reasons. Furthermore, concerns about
the environment, as well as product sustainability, will continue to be of importance to end-users.
These three touch points - price, traceability and sustainability - will see an even more significant trend towards wanting to buy or sell closer to the
source, or at the very least be able to obtain the information at source on your required product or service purchase.
Enabling this in the digital marketplace will require platforms that can facilitate the buying and selling process in many new ways. Not everyone is going
to like this transparency - I know a wholesaler in Asia who will not share with the manufacturer who their core customers are.
The wholesaler needs that transparency to understand who their customers are to be able to truly redefine their marketing mix and product offering in this
new normal. Wholesalers also want to make sure they can tell their supplier story and provide the transparency the customer is looking for in what
they are buying. For the customers, they are and will go around the wholesaler to the manufacture to create the transparency they need to make an informed
purchasing decision. A cohesive digital marketplace gives them both the ability to do that. So the wholesaler can either facilitate this process and
try and stay of value, or quickly become irrelevant in the purchasing transaction.
Omni Channel Marketing, a term thrown around for some time, simply means a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide customers with a seamless
shopping experience. Whether they are shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store in Sydney or Hong
Kong - this will now become mainstream. Clients will expect the ability to see and touch the product at a place of their choosing, whether online or
offline or through showrooms - virtual or traditional.
And don’t think this is just a retail offering. We are hearing about many industries looking to go virtual in demonstrating their product’s capabilities,
and how it meets their essential requirements. Some are genuinely thinking way outside the square to do this. Picture your potential supplier being
500 metres underground in a mine demonstrating live their new lighting system as you watch from your home in Los Angeles and can ask critical questions
live. Think about engineers wearing virtual reality glasses to see your equipment in service, pinpointing subtle differences in how the equipment is
operating to advise adjustments, rather than flying across the world to the site as they always have.
Those who truly start blending their marketing strategies or even their service strategies into the digital marketplace and facing up to a world that will
demand greater transparency on price, traceability and sustainability and then adjust their business platform accordingly will lead the disruption,
not be a victim of it.