Digital Transformation Success Stories: 5 Businesses That Managed To Evolve Into Digital-First Brands
(This article was updated on 19 July 2021)
Digital transformation isn’t a new challenge for businesses, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more urgent. Companies today are increasingly seeing the need to supercharge their agility, speed, and decision-making using digital solutions. Yet, for most companies, digital transformation remains a work in progress. Many companies have yet to apply digital transformation at a scale that creates impact. Or to create a company culture that supports and promotes innovation. Some others have yet to leave the drawing board at all.
How can companies accelerate their digital transformation journeys? We take a look at 5 companies that have successfully created a vision for the future, evolving their businesses to adapt to the world of tomorrow.
When CEO Brian Niccol took over Chipotle in 2018, it was just another fast food restaurant in a crowded market. That was until he introduced digital solutions. First, pick up shelves were introduced, putting the ‘fast’ back in fast food by allowing customers to skip the queue and get their orders more quickly. The digital approach also went into marketing. Chipotle introduced a marketing analytics group that optimised every aspect of the business in real-time, from marketing spend and product strategies. This digital transformation strategy has allowed it to deliver to its customers what they wanted, when they wanted it.
This should come as no surprise. One of the world’s most innovative companies, IKEA has always been at the forefront of change. Most recently, IKEA has turned to augmented reality technologies to revolutionise the customer shopping experience. IKEA Place allows customers to try out furniture in their homes before making a purchase decision. Digital transformation has meant that from sofas to rugs and tables, customers can make sure it’s just the right size, design and functionality for their everyday lives.
Even technology companies, supposedly already the pioneers of digital, can reap the benefits of digital transformation. Microsoft over the last decade has seen an accelerated shift towards cloud computing. Today, Microsoft’s Office solutions, once available for installation via CDs, is entirely on the cloud. This allows people and businesses to collaborate together in real time, positioning the company well for the future of work.
No industry is immune to digital transformation, not even the fashion industry. Nike’s digital transformation journey was a far reaching one, that impacted its supply chain, brand and the way it connected with its customers. Using data analytics and an e-commerce dominant approach, Nike created stronger marketing campaigns. As a result, Nike has increasingly skipped the retailer to connect to its customers directly.
5. Coca Cola
We all love a good can of Coca Cola, and we’ve got the Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales & Services (CCBSS) to thank for that. Using robotics and machine learning software, CCBSS allowed Coca Cola to deliver goods to its retailers faster, better and cheaper than ever before. CCBSS uses automation to accurately read scans, sends finished documents to customers, all with near-zero error rates. Indeed, talk about digital transformation gone right.
It doesn’t happen overnight. Digital transformation initiatives succeed when they are incremental, cost-effective and sustainable. Therefore businesses need to focus on outcomes, deploying high-calibre talent and monitoring progress every step of the way. While the examples cited above may be big multi-nationals, digital transformation is important for all industries and companies, big or small. In the relocation industry, home search companies can think about using video chats or virtual reality software to take home viewing remote. Immigration companies can consider using chat boxes and AI software to help customers troubleshoot problems 24/7, 365. And all players can benefit from cloud solutions to improve their business operations, helping employees collaborate better than ever before.