Today’s customers are won with tomorrow’s sales strategy

The researcher, author and lecturer Malin Sundström specialises in the development of digital trade and consequences for future buying behaviour. Malin works at the Swedish Institute for Innovative Retailing (SIIR), whose aim is to offer a research environment where trading companies can develop new business ideas and digital strategies.

During the breakfast seminar ”Forward thinking with Smartson”, Malin shared her thoughts about Sweden’s success in digitisation and how it’s paved the way for the modern consumer’s buying behaviour which means that the trade is forced to change its strategies and approaches – the time has come for digitised trading and marketing.

See Malin’s entire presentation here (in Swedish):

The buying behaviour changes

She calls this century the ”Machine Learning Revolution”, meaning that today artificial intelligence is a fact. Despite the success of the robot’s learning, there is a market where digitisation hasn’t taken over yet, and that’s the service industry. Here, Malin sees two clear trends.

It has become apparent that new generation consumers are more likely to live centrally in cities and therefore less dependent on driving licenses and cars. Malin is convinced that the shopping mall is a dying market.

If you have an exceptional curve for digitisation that goes right up, it means innovation will not come tomorrow, it came yesterday.

The constantly connected consumer is also more prone to shop online rather than at the physical store. The earlier trade models have therefore become old fashioned and been replaced by the possibilities offered by digitisation. The shop in town has rather become a showroom, where the consumer can get to know the product and get a personalised service from the staff.

– If we want to understand trade today, we can forget what we learned in school about Porter, Kotler and the rest of the models from previous times when the market looked completely different.

The importance of new solutions in trade

The book “The Buying Revolution” (Köprevolutionen), written by Malin together with Patrik Stoopendahl and Pernilla Jonsson, tells us that the digitisation in the trading sector is in full swing. Some examples include using new payment solutions from your mobile phone, virtual fitting room mirrors, body/skin tone scans, as well as new interfaces where consumers can share their shopping experiences on social media with a few clicks.

There are many technical solutions and the future will offer things we can’t even imagine today.

By optimising logistic solutions, personal meetings and tailor-made processes creatively, the trade value can increase. Malin’s advice for trading companies is to review strategies and plan ahead for the future, therefore meeting the changing business landscape.

From monologue to dialogue

When the world’s supply is only a click away, the consumer can compare and receive recommendations on the best, smartest, most affordable, simplest, finest or most effective products on the market.

This means that successful companies have gone from having a monologue with their customers to a dialogue. It’s no longer enough to claim you have the world’s best product; instead it is the customers who are the brand ambassadors. Future marketing is therefore more about personal guidance and genuine interest.