Future of Business & Commerce in next decade: Part 2
As an avid reader, I was buying a book from one of the ecommerce site few days back when it suddenly stuck to me that how my reading habit has changed before I could even realize it. Few years back, getting a novel involved searching few bookstores, paying advance money to storeowners along with some premium in case, book is out of stock, waiting for at least a week to get it by visiting the bookstore again. Now, to get a novel, I visit few ecommerce websites, compare prices for same book, check expected delivery date and order it. The cherry on the cream is that I can pay electronically immediately or can pay cash only when I get the book in my hand. This is for me who still love to read paper-based book, although some of my friends have changed this habit too! They read it on Kindle or similar product!
If we closely look at the above scenario, it gives us a perspective about how changing world has impacted businesses. Printers have to think about volume of books they would expect to print in coming years, bookstores have to think about the way they sell the books to readers, paper industry have to look not only stricter environmental norms but also changing medium of printing from paper to digital, Supply chain members have to think about possible future of logistics involving books. Amazon recently said that for every 100 hardback and paperback sold on its website, customers' downloaded 114 ebooks1!
In last part of my blog2, I discussed how customers' decisions have undergone tremendous change and organization must change their processes in order to acquire and retain the customers. Social technology impact, demand for high personalization, emergence of ecommerce, emergence of new markets etc. have made business environment quite complex. By social technology, customers have got multiple ways to search for information about their need, seek opinions from complete strangers, express their view about a brand and its service and all of this in few click and instantly. It forces organization to engage their prospects even before they develop a product. Although market research firms claim to achieve this objective, keeping social media prowess, even they would have to think about their future!
Customers, I refer above, are those who have got access to mobile phones, PDAs, social technology etc. , however, there is a big population in the world who do not have access to these technologies currently but they could shape the future of business. These population stay in emerging economies and would have varied expectation from same product based on their social and cultural habits. Seven emerging economies China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia are expected to complete more than 45% of global GDP growth in the coming decade3. These economies represent very diverse set of customers and one-size-fits-all approach would not work. Hence, organizations should be ready to set their vision for future keeping these segments in view.