In this guest post, Procurement Leaders invites Procserve’s Nigel Clifford to look at some of the trends that will be transforming the business world in 2014. For further insights from Nigel, as well as trends, predictions and ideas for the year ahead, download the Procurement in 2014 supplement.
In 1966, Time magazine ran a bold prediction: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop – because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise, like to be able to change their minds."
As well as showing some interesting historic attitudes it also shows the dangers of predictions – B2C eCommerce exceeded $1tn in 2012. So what will 2014 hold? It’s a big question so rather than talk about RPI and interest rates let’s focus on a ’customer journey’ to illustrate one set of futures.
There are a few movements that can be extrapolated safely:
- Smarter phones mean smarter buyers: £18bn of UK store sales featured a mobile phone as part of the ’shopping journey’. Those using a smartphone were twice as likely to make a purchase.
- Frictionless business: your online and in store customer journey has to be short and pleasurable. Those businesses with the fewest stops on the journey will be most attractive. In a survey of US retail experiences Apple was voted 150th in 2013.
- Agility beats size: the pace at which your business learns what’s working and what’s failing and changes is arguably the only uncopiable source of differentiation in this open world.
- No excuse for not knowing: making sense of ’big data’ and business analytics ensures your business is deciphering your environment, permitting that rapid change cycle and creating competitive differentiation.
- Business in a goldfish bowl: The mesh of personal and business experiences and voices has never been woven closer. Experiences good and bad are magnified through the lens of social media.
It’s an exciting world – offering lucrative new opportunities to those who can use these themes as guideposts to transform their ‘traditional’ (aka 2013) business models.
Nigel Clifford is CEO of Procserve.
Procurement Leaders 2014 supplement, in association with Procserve, can be downloaded here.