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Digitization of Telecom and Smartphone Business: Post-COVID-19 Effects on the Industry

  1. Digitization of Telecom and Smartphone Business: Haroon S Khan Founder & Chairman, SANSO™️ Post COVID-19 effects on the Industry with its Pros and Cons
  2. Introduction: A multinational technology company that performs its in-house R&D, Design/Develop and Produces/Manufactures, Telecom Equipments, Telecom Infrastructure, Consumer Electronics, Smart wearable/ IoT /Gadgets, Ecosystem, Mobile Accessories as SANSO™️ | Sanso Mobile™️ | Sanso Technologies.
  3. Retail Transformation into DIGITAL Retail/E-Comm & FinTech Retailing as a function is central to all economies: it bridges the varied needs of consumers with specialized offerings of producers. Retailing as a function is part of the retailing value chain. In its most fundamental form, this value chain includes (brand) manufacturers, institutional retailers, and consumers,1 with institutional retailing referring to those agents whose sole or major income derives from the conduct of retailing activities. Consumers have traditionally made purchase decisions at the store shelf, giving institutional brick-and-mortar retailers great power to learn about and influence behaviors and preferences. With the rise of e-commerce, mobile shopping, and most recently smart technologies, new competitors threaten this long-standing supremacy. Adopting a value-creation perspective, The impact of digital transformation on the retailing value chain: 1
  4. Retail Trend Transformation into DIGITAL Retail~E-Comm & FinTech Depending on the importance of the new sources of value creation (in different purchase situations), Smartphone and IoTs retailing may prevail as an important interaction point in a multichannel decision journey. However, increasing diffusion of branded-product platforms including connected devices and online retail platforms is shifting this authority to new players. For the parties involved in this multilayered competition, acknowledging the changes and actively managing their position in the evolving eco-systems is crucial. we analyze how digitization started the erosion of institutional retailing as the primary interface to the customer. 1
  5. Retail Trend Transformation into DIGITAL Retail~E-Comm & FinTech Online retail platforms have been successfully established as another constituency that claims the primary customer interface in the retailing value chain. Examples are Amazon Marketplace, Alibaba, eBay, and JD. These platforms employ digital technologies as intermediaries in the exchange of products and services between buyers and sellers. Rising importance of the platform– customer interface: 1 however, these platforms operate across product brands and they are focused on the exchange of goods rather than on providing ongoing interaction value in the post-purchase phase. As a major point of distinction from institutional (online) retailing, the seller retains sovereignty over its product offerings (e.g., assortment, pricing), whereas the platform owner acts as a matchmaker between the parties.
  6. Retail Trend Transformation into DIGITAL Retail~E-Comm & FinTech Platform businesses have revolutionized many retailing markets and forced traditional players to exit the market or consider far- reaching strategy adaptation. Transformative business model innovations often become necessary, because competing head-to-head on product sales with fully grown retail platforms is almost always a lost cause. Rising importance of the platform– customer interface: 1 Remaining importance of the retailer–customer interface. The erosion of physical retailing through the rise of online and mobile shopping has placed institutional retail under significant pressure to redefine its position in the omni-channel environment. Pure online retailers like Zalando, Bonobos, and even Amazon have opened offline stores. Warby Parker, the New York-based eyeglass company, has invested heavily into physical retailing, increasing its local presence by almost 40% to 68 stores in 2017. These examples show that stationary retail formats in combination with an integrated online channel foster channel synergies rather than cannibalization.
  7. Retail Trend Transformation into DIGITAL Retail~E-Comm & FinTech The one-stop shopping approach, a vital part of those stores' value proposition, is much better suited to online retail platforms with limitless shelving and ample cross-buying opportunities This transition will also lead to less impulse buying in the store and fewer opportunities for cross-selling – activities that are critical for the profitability of physical stores' operation. Implications for future marketing research: 1 Digitization breaks up retail's monopolistic ownership of the customer interface and provides opportunities for new gatekeepers to emerge. It shifts traditional retail functions to different players, rendering the creation of competitive advantage based on these functions increasingly difficult. However, digitization also gives rise to new sources of value creation, which address long-standing customer needs more effectively than previously possible.
  8. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Retailers are experimenting with a myriad of ways to respond to new shopper expectations, bridge digital and physical shopping experiences and try literally dozens of ways to transform the retail experience, handle back-office processes better and much more. Several chains have opened concept stores to see how consumers are interacting with specific technologies and services before rolling them out to more stores. It’s safe to say that the retail industry is among the industries that are most affected by digital business transformation due to Covid-19 and for other several reasons.
  9. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Among the key drivers of digital transformation in retail are: 90 percent of people use their smartphones in stores while they shop. The evolving expectations from the so-called digital or omni- channel shopper who really doesn’t care about channels as much as we do. Drivers of digital transformation in the retail industry The need to blur digital and physical experiences with in-store experiences as a crucial element and the de facto disappearance of the borders between digital and physical already existing in the mind of the consumer and further enabled by the Internet of Things and the immersive experiences in virtual and augmented reality. Challenges on the level of the supply chain which is really crucial and all too often far from digitized enough. Speed, time and a transparent view are key.
  10. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Competition from digital and overall customer experience champions and increasing cost pressure. Fortunately, thanks to new digital possibilities, there are ample ways to decrease costs, among others on the level of digitization and supply chain. The impact and opportunities in areas such as data-driven optimization and marketing, empowerment of staff and new technologies. Drivers of digital transformation in the retail industry An appetite from shoppers to have a personalized experience, which is pretty hard to achieve as it depends on the context and can range from the need to find and buy things fast to the exact opposite: have a relaxed and immersive shopping experience with digital technologies available all over the place and used for anything from smart displays to even music and ambiance.
  11. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Retail and the consequences of changing consumer behavior: Again, the reasons why retail is transforming are numerous. However, as often the digital transformation needs mainly come from a changed behavior – here in people’s capacities as shoppers. We tend to call them ‘digital consumers‘ although that’s not correct. Drivers and evolutions regarding changing shopping and retail behavior: A channel-agnostic shopping journey. The use of digital tools and channels across each possible stage of the shopping journey.
  12. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Seamless — and immersive — experiences. This has a consequence on typical pre-shopping tasks (seeking products or shops, comparing, reading reviews,…), the actual shopping transaction (in-store, via digital platforms,….) and post-shopping (word-of-mouth, reviews, customer service, future purchases. The expectations of a seamless customer and shopping experience across multiple touchpoints and channels, whereby the consumer displays so-called omni-channel behavior and seeks experiences that are as easy, fast and frictionless — but sometimes immersive — as offered by the best-in-class retailers and other companies.
  13. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Innovation as a new expectation The growing demands of consumers for innovative shopping possibilities and experiences that stretch beyond excellence but are unique and satisfy the need that many consumers clearly have for innovative brand and shopping experiences BEYOND excellent customer experience. Rapid access to information. The information and service expectations shoppers have from store staff. The need for information about products and shops are obvious in a digital context. However, your shopper also wants fast information in an in-store context and that has an impact on your staff and on the need to empower it with the proper tools and resources.
  14. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Self-service Shoppers are getting used to self-service, self-checkout and finding information and support themselves. It is expected that by 2017 half of all transactions will happen via mobile POS or self-checkout. The challenge is that not everyone is as keen about self-anything and in many cases a personal contact is preferred, for instance in an urgent service context or when seeking information about products. Referring to the previous point on information, there is a case to not just empower your store’s staff but also to move information self-service tools to touchpoints where they create most value, enabling shoppers to inform themselves easily. Such information resources typically contain information on product features, whether products are in stock (and if not, where or when they are, information on rebates etc.).
  15. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Mobility Retail customers use digital tools in several stages of the shopping journey, even if 90 percent of in-store transactions happens online. A significant part of these tasks are performed using a mobile device and on the go. Moreover, when in your store, a significant percentage of shoppers gets out their smartphones to perform various tasks whereby the lines between digital and physical disappear thanks to consumers’ “mobile ability”.
  16. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Some facts that make this more tangible: At one or the other point in the shopping process, people use the Internet, regardless of devices. 90 percent of pre-purchasing research for instance happens online and 1 in 3 consumers start their shopping journey on a retailer’s website, again regardless of devices. Digital without limits and limitations A first picture that emerges is one of digital ubiquity, also in the in-store context. A whopping 90 percent of people use their smartphones in stores while they shop. 54 percent performs price comparisons while in your store, 48 percent looks up product information and 2 percent checks reviews online. You can find more similar data in the infographic from BT (a partner), embedded below.
  17. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality:
  18. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: When asked about how technology will change the shopping experience by 2020, a range of technologies is mentioned, from smart fitting rooms, low-energy Bluetooth devices enabling multiple goals in areas such as payments, floor space management and interactive signage to RFID deployed at item level, ‘whole trolley/basket’ checkout and financial services for known customers. It’s clear that the Internet of Things will play a key role in retail, also in the context of that hyper-personalization. Research by OVUM, indicated that managing customer engagement is the biggest challenge for retailers and shows how technology is changing the way we shop. Digital transformation in the retail industry: technologies
  19. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality:
  20. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: It is said that the digital transformation economy almost by definition is one of partnerships. It is more than ever about collaboration with partners who test new technologies and experiences in retail. Obviously we can’t forget the crucial role of big data. Data is the new oil in retail (too) and is key in many areas as depicted below in the image
  21. Digital transformation in the retail industry and the new Digital commerce reality: Research, data and findings regarding the state of digital transformation in retail It also mentions the critical role of the cloud and gives some good examples of retailers and how they navigate(d) digital transformation. Obviously we see all pillars of the third platform (big data/analytics, social, mobile and cloud) playing a big role in retail as are new technologies added upon that layer such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence or cognitive if you like. The global retail landscape is changing rapidly, mainly e-commerce with the likes of Amazon growing fast as you know and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers seeing serious drops in revenues, caused by digital disruption, defined as the speed of adoption of new technologies, as John Maxwell puts it in in the video you can see on the page of the report and which we used for this small list of findings.
  22. The need for Digitization of Telecom/Smartphone Business: Improve the efficiency of business processes, consistency, and quality worldwide. ... Digitization helps your business grow at a fraction of the cost. A proper digitalization plan can help reinvent processes, improve quality and promote consistency What Digitization Does to the Telecom Business? 2 Digitally native companies are fiercely disrupting traditional companies, forcing industry giants to undergo a digital transformation in order to compete and, for some, survive. It’s become critical to develop a digital customer experience that creates a personalized, seamless experience with a brand across every touchpoint consumers have with it.
  23. The need for Digitization of Telecom/Smartphone Business:2 This phenomenon has also made a substantial impact on communications and digital technology has placed the whole universe in our pockets, allowing us to keep in touch with just a few taps on a screen. Air travel made the globe smaller, while digital tech is bringing the world to us, no matter where we are. The digital revolution has permeated most aspects of our lives and the intersection of technology and humanity has never been more profound. As such, digital technology is everywhere, from shopping and finance to health, Telecom, Smartphones, Entertainment etc.
  24. The need for Digitization of Telecom/Smartphone Business:2 The telecommunications industry is at the bleeding edge of this change, both as an industry seeing extensive scale change in its market condition and as well as a key driver of overall digitization Digital transformation is developing as a key driver of far-reaching development in our general surroundings. It can altogether enhance customer lives and make more extensive societal great while giving organizations new open doors for value creation and catch.
  25. Human & Digital world interaction especially in these days these would be base points mainly: According to Statista, the current number of smartphone users in the world today is 3.5 billion, and this means 44.98% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This figure is up considerably from 2016 when there was only 2.5 billion users, 33.58% of that year’s global population. How Many People Have Mobile Phones In The World? 3 By the end of 2018, there were over 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide In 2019, 56% of the world population has access to the internet As of 2018, more than 2.6 billion people use social media platforms
  26. How Many People Have Mobile Phones In The World? In 2020, including both smart and feature phones, the current number of mobile phone users is 4.78 billion, which makes 61.43% of people in the world a cell phone owner. Feature phones are the basic cell phones without apps and complex OS systems, more prominent in developing countries. According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, today, there are 5.24 Billion people that have a mobile device in the world. This means that 67.35% of the world’s population has a mobile device. Back in 2017, the number of people with mobile devices was only 53% and breached the 5 billion mark. Statista predicts that by 2023 this number of mobile device users will increase to 7.33 billion
  27. How Many People Have Mobile Phones Connections In The World? Future-Proofing A key challenge for any business is predicting what will happen in the future. Digital technology evolves at such a rate that it’s difficult to know which direction the market will take in 5, 10, or 20 years. At present, we can be fairly confident that 5G, automation, the internet of things, and AI will play a role in the digital landscape. Comprehensive training of staff will prove pivotal, as will timely investment in technology and infrastructure. What are the Technology Opportunities for Telecoms? It’s not all doom and gloom for the telecoms industry. Digital transformation provides ample opportunity for companies to update their practices, diversify their businesses, and ultimately thrive in a new way.
  28. Trend Changing Telecommunications providers find themselves in a unique situation where they serve as the very platform that so many digitally native companies depend upon—powering the phones that make their mobile apps possible. And yet telcos find that they, too, must digitally transform in order to remain relevant. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and adding account or phone lines is no longer the path for revenue growth in the telco industry. To grow is to retain for telcos—the only viable path forward is to keep your customers happy and upselling their accounts . And this means increasing your brand’s relevancy in your consumers’ lives. But how do you do that? This rapid pace of change presents challenges and opportunities for telecom/Smartphone companies towards digitization. 4
  29. Become Customer Obsessed: Telcos must shift from being telecommunication providers to become telecommunication experience facilitators. Today’s customers value experiences more than products and their loyalty isn’t limited to the signal from your tower. How do you make them feel from initial plan subscription, to renewals, updates, billing, and promotional offers? App messaging now plays a factor in their experience with your brand. Are you helpful or bothersome? To retain subscribers in today’s market requires a major shift in brand purpose.
  30. Consumers will have no problem muting your messaging — or worse… Additionally, the customer experience goes beyond their journey from initiation to renewal, and past personalized messaging. Is there consistency across your products— or does this need improvement? The messaging, branding, and account management across your cell, cable, internet, and security products must be seamless. Many consumers do not have a history of having positive experiences with telcos that have traditionally been difficult and cumbersome to interact with. As a telco, you really do have to reinvent your internal purpose and overcome the reputation.
  31. To do this well, it requires brands to create truly personalized digital experiences and two-way engagement opportunities. Powerful cloud marketing solutions, like Localytics, give marketers the ability to glean deep insight into how consumers use their apps, and then create unique offers that are helpful, timely, and personalized to the customer’s daily life. Beyond providing exceptional network performance, telcos need to interact with their customer base across all customer touchpoints, and provide a consistent experience no matter what channel a consumer chooses to use.
  32. Digitization in Currency and Business Dynamics as Per Covid-19 Effect: 5 The key is to personalize the experience so that consumers find your communication and app helpful and not annoying. To digitally transform will require a new mindset and redesigning what you can do to be of service in your consumers’ lives. Many of our customers are engaging with their customers via their mobile app. For example, the mobile app could track when a consumer is nearing their data limit and offer an upgrade or additional data. You could also use geo-location services to determine where a consumer is shopping and, in partnership with retailers, offer promotional discounts if they enter the store. But it also means giving consumers opportunities to communicate with you on the channel of their choice and to do so in ways that make it effortless and easy.
  33. Post Covid-19 Trend Changing: It’s prudent for businesses in the sector to reevaluate customers’ journeys and identify key touchpoints. By understanding what consumers need, telecoms can ensure that they’re in precisely the right position to deliver. Telecoms can’t fight the changing market, but they can embrace it. Consumers have already adjusted their behavior, and so what they need from telecom companies has also changed. Instead of providing direct services, telecoms are becoming conduits for customers to access digital platforms. Evolution, Not Revolution:
  34. Five digital capabilities of highly profitable companies (Pros & Cons): 6 Companies in all industries are struggling to implement digitization across functions. Obstacles include rigid legacy systems, overly complex IT architectures, and data sources that are not integrated in any way. Given all the variables to contend with, executives typically aren’t sure where to start with their digitization programs. Our benchmarking research with telecom companies suggests that moving the needle in the five core areas above is a good start. i.e 1 Establish robust customer-analytics capabilities 2 Digitize the order-management process 3 Digitize the customer-relationship management process 4 Streamline the company’s application landscape 5 Standardize and automate the company’s IT infrastructure 6 Digital Payment and gateways i.e FinTech, Crypto/block-chain Currencies etc
  35. Solution: To digitally transform in the face of this means to become customer obsessed at the very core of your business. Customer focus must guide every aspect of what the experience of your brand feels like to your consumers and design your digital transformation around that. Digitally native companies have the advantage of having surprised consumers with new ways of engaging and often delighting them from the start. To compete with this, telcos must reimagine the customer journey and surprise consumers with unexpected experiences, as well.
  36. Changed the Way Supply Chain Is Managed: Technology has majorly changed supply chain management, in particular, the service side of things. Real time delivery, cross docking and third party logistics are a few of the ways technology has improved the way supply chain is managed for retailers: More Than One Place to Make a Quick Purchase! Instead of having to go to one physical outlet, the technology of social media has allowed many avenues through which customers can browse products, read through reviews and buy. Shopping On the Go!: The ease for customers to shop from the comfort of their home or any other place has really revolutionized the retail industry, as now business is taking place 24/7 rather than within the confines of the set hours of the workday. Consumers can make big purchases through their small smartphones, making it insanely accessible for the majority of the people. Technology is revolutionizing the way we conduct business. Industries are completely changing the way they execute their services from archaic techniques to using modern technology for most of their needs. To accommodate this fast paced era, technology has become an absolute necessity. One of the industries that technology has really transformed is the retail industry. The retail business can be the trickiest to get right due to many factors, and technology has undoubtedly helped to counter many of the hurdles that come with having a retail business. Here are a few of the ways in which technology has changed the retail industry.
  37. Go International!: Customer Insights: Eliminates the Need for Cashiers: Technology has helped to transform the world into a global village, with the exchange of knowledge, experiences and so much more happening from our fingertips. People can peruse your store and order your products sitting all the way across the world, just through the use of technology. This helps retailers expand their business and operate all around the world without having to physically set up shop there. Retailers can now closely follow customer trends, helping them figure out which products are attracting customers the most. The fact that you can live chat with your consumers also helps to figure out their thoughts and work more closely with them to help you improve your business and for retailers to work in line with their customers likes and dislikes. Analytics can also show retailers the characteristics of their audience, helping to target and cater to them effectively. Understanding the MarketRetailers through the use of technology can have a better understanding of their market. Technology aids retailers to competitively price their products, by doing research of other markets and their prices as well as their products. Retail stores have to pay extra money on utility bills and paying employees working to maintain the store and to help keep it functioning. Technology has allowed retailers to take their business online, without the need for cashiers. Technology has also helped retailers keep a better track of their money and accounts, as clouding systems and online booking has made it insanely easy for retailers to keep all their business in one place, and eliminate the need for physical labor.
  38. Conclusion: In order to survive and proceed profitably, Companies must embrace the new challenging shift of Retail business from a conventional offline mode to well utilized and trusted, cost effective digital platform which is the only way-out even in PANDAMIC to keep all businesses alive via its digital platform and service offerings. Here is one conclusion from the report: “Smartphone/Telecom and other major product’s retail is one of the most rapidly changing verticals across the world and is often at the forefront of technological advancement to keep pace with the evolving needs of a 24/7 customer base”.
  39. & Haroon S Khan Founder & Chairman, SANSO™️