Deloitte Live  Technology 

Digital business transformation: The arrival of new technologies is inevitable, Czechs are demanding customers

Every good CEO should be able to keep up with new technologies and use them as efficiently as possible. Nevertheless, digital business transformation is a long haul and can sometimes become a stumbling block. Often, however, it is only a matter of starting with a change of mindset and opening yourself to progress. How do companies drive their customers crazy? How is digitalisation perceived by companies such as Pilulka.cz or Feedo? The Digital Transformation panel, as part of the Retail Summit organised by Blue Events, brought answers to these questions.

The panel discussion was moderated by Senta Čermáková, Director of Innovations at Deloitte, who interviewed representatives of five Czech companies: Pilulka.cz, Feedo, Exponea, Mibcon and Solvent ČR (the company runs a chain of drugstores called Teta). The main topics of the discussion were the benefits of digital transformation for business and for customers and problems that its implementation implies.

What is a digital transformation?

Digital transformation is a thorough transformation of business and organisational activities, processes, models and competencies to take full advantage of the digital technologies novelties and opportunities and their growing impact on humanity. The implementation must occur in a strategic way with well-set priorities, taking into account both the present and the future.

All guests agreed on the importance and inevitability of digital transformation, but everyone looks at it a little differently. For example, Petr Kasa from Pilulka.cz sees the main subjects of transformation in the way a product is communicated and closing the gap between offline and online customers. Antonín Štětina from Feedo understands the transformation pragmatically as a set of concrete changes – creating dashboards, applying dynamic pricing systems, introducing intelligent matching of orders, etc. On the other hand, Ondřej Dědina from Mibcon claims that digital transformation is a bad term and we should rather talk about omnichannel transformation (addressing clients through all available channels at the same time).

In relation to the customer, Peter Irikovský, CEO of Exponea, called digital transformation the Holy Grail. According to him, there are three criteria to win a client – the right time, the channel and the content: “You want a customer who gets a unified personalised content and personalised channel selection at the time he is interested in it.”

How do companies drive their customers crazy?

Digital transformation is inevitable and beneficial, but it needs to be done with a degree of sensitivity. Take a look at a few marketing steps that undoubtedly drive every customer crazy and how to prevent them:

  • Discount campaign in bad time. A customer buys goods at a standard price and the discount campaign comes just after. Solution: Segmented campaigns.
  • Large number of irrelevant offers. A customer receives offers of goods that do not interest him. Solution: Personalisation.
  • Too many emails. A customer has an overloaded mailbox with offers and there are so many that he does not manage or want to read them. Solution: Frequency prediction.
  • Use of bad channels. A customer is bothered by phone calls, for example during a business day. Solution: Channel prediction and timing.
  • Irrelevant incentives. A customer receives a birthday discount on a product he is not interested in. Solution: Segmented campaigns.

As regards the digital transformation problems, in addition to the mentioned insensitivity, guests agreed that the employee lack of knowledge of new technology and the missing engagement of CEOs represent a problem. However, a change could be triggered by a modification of approach and focus of corporate rhetoric on the achievements that digital transformation brings. Czech companies have a good motivation – demanding customers. As David Vejtruba from Solvent ČR stated, Czechs are smart, pragmatic, efficient and know how to listen to their customers.

Seven commandments of digital transformation

  1. To digitalise does not mean to delegate. Digital transformation cannot be done by an IT department itself, nor will it be solved by a hired team of IT specialists. All staff must participate.
  2. Customer loyalty comes first. If you remove the annoyance, you will get loyalty.
  3. Offline and online worlds need to be connected. There should be no difference between a customer in the brick-and-mortar shop and the e-shop.
  4. Costs precede efficiency. Support from senior management is essential.
  5. The strongest opinion makers must be at the forefront of digitalisation.
  6. Avoid buzzwords. Do not overuse popular terms, give your words a specific meaning and define what digital transformation means in your business.
  7. The correct digital transformation will never end; on the contrary, it will continue to accelerate.
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