Global eCommerce is growing exponentially. The digital revolution is bringing unprecedented change to the various industries. One of the greatest benefit is giving consumers complete control of their buying experience. It drives retailers to rethink current business and forces to re-invest. I will use Fashion Industry Products (FIP) for this article and give few examples to convey my message. Yes, we have to be pragmatic: Digital is dramatic. However, digitalization requires new ways of operating. And it can drive entirely new opportunities for growth and consumer engagement. For example, Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. In a recent study, 76% of global apparel shoppers said they will buy online.
The FIP companies that leverage digital—and evolve their IT operating model, applications, infrastructure and security to support digital enablement of their business functions and processes—are most likely to emerge as high performers. However, recent industry IT research shows that FIP companies are currently lagging in IT innovation, agility and execution that will enable this digital transformation.
The digital trend is compounded by additional advances in technology, such as the ability for consumers to compare pricing across multiple products; the move toward eCommerce, which is giving consumers more direct access to products anytime, anywhere; and the consumer demand for highly personalized products and relevant one-to-one interactions.
At the heart of the digital revolution is a highly empowered, globally connected consumer base with rapidly changing expectations. FIP companies must stay one step ahead; Build Platform that will drive the roadmap of the Industry. In emerging markets, I anticipates up to one billion new consumers from the newly affluent emerging middle market class, eager to buy products by 2017. To effectively reach these new consumers, FIP companies would need to establish up to 15 million new outlets. Given these converging factors, the only economically viable and effective way for FIP companies to compete and win is to swiftly and fully embrace digital technology. Of course, I recognize that each FIP client situation is unique and will require some modifications to their digitalization roadmap.