Retail tech: The pitfalls of not knowing what you need, but thinking that you do

How To Influence Retail Technology Buyers
How To Influence Retail Technology Buyers
In this guest post, retail industry consultant Vijay Modha on what CEO panic-buying tells us about how to influence retail technology buyers

In my experience, any big-ticket item purchase which undoubtedly the purchase of any digital product or service is, is, metaphorically speaking, akin to ordering a bespoke suit.  

No-one would (or should) ask a tailor to sew a suit without being measured themselves or offering any vital supporting information. Nor would they  simply offer a photo of a similarly sized individual and say, “We’ll have whatever they (our competitors or organisations of a similar size) have”. 

They simply cannot assume that a recent digital investment made by competitors or partners will be appropriate for them. The easy off the shelf approach won’t work here.

Unbelievably, this is something I have witnessed. 

A CEO, when presented with a competitor’s updated digital service proposition panicked and immediately dismissed what had worked well for them previously.

When questioned about the requirements and expected outcomes from this ultimately unnecessary digital services upgrade, the leadership team, befuddled from recently acquired perceived laggard panic syndrome, simply provided their competitors website as the job ,  and said, “we need at least this”. 

Without understanding the reasons behind any pending digital purchase, there remains a strong possibility that the end product will not only be unsatisfactory but also not fit for purpose.

Yes, companies need to remain agile, especially where technology has the capacity to enhance both the customer buying experience and an organisations reputation. 

However, to change without knowing what , when , how and why, is where traditional business investment rationale and basic due diligence simply flies out of the window. 

The words “ digital” and to a lesser extent “technology”, still seem to cause panic within organisations. The kudos associated with being an early adopter is highly valued, but at what long term cost?  

The requirements, capabilities and infrastructure for any organisation looking to “go digital” will obviously differ. Therefore, organisations  will need to ask themselves what “going digital” actually means for them, other than being the purchaser of an expensive shiny new soundbite. 

How To Influence Retail Technology Buyers
How To Influence Retail Technology Buyers

The CCgroup report on “How to influence retail technology buyers” highlights the value of influencers at different stages of the digital buying process. The data-based results further provide a route map for organisations keen to avoid making a hasty poor purchase. 

Therefore, in the first instance, a crude filtering of requirements and expected outcomes should provide a basic safety net against such a poor purchase.  Also, with a strong idea of expected outcomes, streamlining vendors who are offering the organisations with the required digital capabilities, at a fair price, should be relatively painless and make panic buys a thing of the past.

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