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Financial Solutions
14 Apr 2016

The future of business is here, now

‘If you’re not connected, you’re out’

 

Have you heard about FANG? FANG is an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google and, according to Professor Kjell A. Nordström (author of Funky Business), FANG rules the world. If you’re not connected, you’re out.

FANG was just one key takeaway from this year’s Future of Business conference. At the conference, Nordström also shared his belief that in order to be successful in this rapidly changing consumer-driven industry, we all need to “drop our strategy” and “cancel the budget”. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but I can see his point.

Plan, but don’t stick to the plan

To be more realistic, the future of business organization might rely more on trial and error, but can we develop a successful business without any plan at all? What you definitely do need are three qualities: curiosity, courage and constant change. To quote Cate Trotter from Insider Trends: “Plan, but don’t stick to the plan”.

Give the kiss the attention it deserves

Kjell Nordström

Kjell A. Nordström explaining technological development versus human brain development

Despite all this talk about the future, we might occasionally need to stop for a reality check. For example, while we see an exponential increase in technology, the human brain capacity only increases 1% per generation. Are we keeping up? People don’t buy an ugly jacket because it might be trendy in the future; people buy what they want now and for today. If we always plan for tomorrow, there is a risk we are forgetting the importance of basic business functionality. As Albert Einstein is supposed to have said (and if he didn’t, he could have), “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves”.

It takes a genius to make it simple

This year’s hot-topic terms in e-commerce are simplicity and personalization. Shoppers now expect to be able to shop everywhere, at any time, and they’re overloaded by deals and offers. In fact, as many as 73% of customers claim they would leave a shop if they felt the service provided wasn’t up to standard. “Good enough” is no longer, well, good enough. You need to be the best. This puts a lot of pressure on both merchants and their suppliers. It’s not easy to be simple, fast and secure, all while delivering exceptional service. To quote Ernst Schumacher, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction”.

One way you can attract and retain customers in this jungle of competitors is to deliver engaging and personalized experiences throughout the entire customer journey. Be proactive. Use historical data based on previous interaction, and always predict the next step.

“Everyone” has a strategy for 2020. But in four years’ time when 2020 arrives, we may very well ask ourselves: what were we thinking back in 2016?!

The train to the future has left the station and we’re already too late. However there’s always a new train coming. Just make sure you’re adaptable enough to be ready for the ride.

-Marie Flem Honningdalnes, Product Manager eCommerce
arvato Financial Solutions

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