Digital Technology Disruption in retail
Disruptive innovation: Mobile commerce introduction
Many retailers believe that the internet has already changed a lot. This is right, but the impact will multiply by the combination of new advanced technology and high-performance data network availability. Ten years ago, the PC market was in its hip-phase, now even laptops are less popular than tablets and smart phones. Associated with global data network availability you can do online product searches and sales 24 hours 7 days a week unlimited. Business hours, opening times, and national and geographic structures are unimportant or step by step fade into the background.
The product range of the retailer or brand manufacturer is documented in the “mobile device”, pricing comparisons can be pre-done without a shop visit, and buying decisions are often based on availability, speed, accuracy in delivery, and performance of service and added values. Probably the most underestimated process is the customer care support. In a stationary offline retail store, shop assistants offer standard customer service (maybe less depending on the type of retailer, but even at discount stores). The potentials of online support during the customers' buying process or decentralized service options are still not understood, let alone implemented.
With mobile commerce (shopping using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets) the changes for digital buyers are many times more radical, faster, and bigger in its impact. Shops that were visited frequently before mobile commerce are empty or are overcrowded during peak periods. Event and discount marketing take a far higher percentage in market shares. The retailer without mobile commerce is becoming a “no name” in the customer relationship in the social networks or potentially far worse in the buying decision process.