As marketers and CPG manufacturers continue to ponder their post-pandemic market landscape plans, they are faced with fresh and innovative ways to address increasingly complex challenges. Strengthened competition coupled with a decline in brand loyalty, tightened margins, volatile demand spikes, and reduced customer spending could build industry-wide barriers that have made retailers more likely to digitize their processes. Considering the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new survey showed that 70% of companies are planning to retain or increase their technology investment and digital transformation.
It’s safe to assume that the technology investments CIOs make now will decide their business’s success for years to come. After the pandemic ends, making the right investment may be the difference in determining the winners and losers of the uncertain world. There are three best practices for good technology investment in our current unprecedented world for CIOs ready to invest in smart technology implementations but unsure where to start.
Three Important Tips For Technology Investment
1. Making the right business decisions
Making the right business decisions may seem unlikely during such volatile times, but knowledge does not lie. Technology investment that turns retail and supplies chain knowledge readily accessible into an actionable, educated best next step can change how CIOs lead and how organizations work daily. This means gathering and reporting on data, getting the technology to learn from it, automating it, and optimizing it to achieve the desired vital performance metrics through prescriptive guidance insights. The right data-driven, the actionable approach should give your employees the resources they need to perform well, in addition to giving themselves the data-driven tools you need to succeed as a CIO.
ROI and acceptance are everything when investing during such lean times; the technologies you are investing in now can utilize data to support every level of your company, without complexity on the front end (this will promote right adoption) from the boardroom through the supply chain to the storefront, to achieve the highest possible ROI. The right data-powered technology, for example, would be as successful in helping CIOs prepare for market trends as it is in assisting in-store managers in implementing a socially distanced floor plan.
Your most valuable weapon is your data. The proper administration will motivate an employee to take the next best step from marketing across the supply chain and the shop level.
2. Optimize Your Budget by Considering Customer Needs
With retailers and CPG suppliers struggling to keep costs down and cash still a top priority, the budget is likely to be tighter than ever, raising the stakes of any investment decision. To make the most of your investment and drive long-term ROI, consumers’ expectations should be the guiding principle for your decision-making, as customer loyalty is the key to sustainable operations. Therefore, CIOs should direct their spending priorities by first understanding what fosters excellent customer experience.
The consumer is still king in retail and CPG. However, since the pandemic, consumer behavior has changed quickly and erratically, from changing customer spending to oscillating between in-store and online shopping and losing brand loyalty. As a result, it is difficult for these businesses to stay up to date and retain consistent customer loyalty. When choosing a new technology investment for your company, consider how implementation will solve your biggest customer challenges. Can it have a customized shopping experience? Is it going to streamline the consumer journey? Will it direct customers towards a satisfactory conversion? Making technology investment choices that promote immediate customer satisfaction would ensure that the long-term ROI pays out the direct implementation costs.
3. Try a Forward-thinking Strategy to Stay Agile
It’s possible to get a selective hearing and concentrate only on brief needs during these crises, mainly when making significant investment decisions is essential. But the businesses that will eventually lead the way invest not only to overcome their immediate problems but also to accelerate long-term innovation beyond the pandemic. The distinction is that it is reactive versus constructive.
Since, essentially, we don’t know what path the post-pandemic market will go, it’s essential to strategically implement technology that will provide the company with the resilience and agility it needs to respond to everything. This may mean solutions that enable your company to transition to the omnichannel or improve your ability to adapt to rapid changes in the workforce. What counts is that technology investment will continue to pay dividends in the coming years, no matter what the obstacles lie ahead. The businesses that have the durability to survive any storm but to be aggressively competitive in the unknown years to come would be the ones that will lead the industry.
Now a Smart Technology Investment Could Guarantee Success Down The Track
In our current world, what prospects and threats businesses will face in the future is almost impossible to foresee. And as useful as it would be in their technology investment, CIOs do not have a crystal ball to direct them. However, you should take steps to guarantee that the investment decisions you make are the right ones for your company and operators. You can give the company the tools it needs to thrive for years to come by carefully analyzing how you can supercharge their decision-making with data, how the customer experience can be improved, and how you can stay agile and prepared for the future.