November 2, 2020

There are many stories about enterprises that have been able to adapt quickly to the pandemic by shifting to a remote, digital environment in a very short time. These enterprises are celebrated for fast-tracking digital innovation within their businesses and often regarded as the gold standard for how digital enterprises should operate.

Is your company digital-ready?

According to TCS’ recent digital readiness report, two-thirds of enterprises can support employees working remotely, which is great. But less than a third have other essential capabilities of digital readiness needed to withstand the pandemic and thrive post-COVID-19.

Delivering end-to-end digital customer experiences

One of the capabilities highlighted in the report is the ability to deliver end-to-end digital customer experiences (CX).

The COVID-19 pandemic ended business as usual and accelerated the need for organizations to become virtual, digital-centric, and agile at an incredibly fast speed.

The way customers shopped changed overnight as store closings pushed millions of consumers online.

Adapting to this shift quickly and seamlessly became the key imperative for organization worldwide. And adapting successfully meant offering a seamless e-commerce experiences, from browsing to researching, selecting, purchasing, returning and exchanging.

Findings from the TCS Digital Readiness and COVID-19 report show that of the 300 companies surveyed, only 25% can deliver end-to-end digital customer experiences. Two examples of companies that are digitally ready include:

  • Amazon’s revenues have surged during the pandemic because it was already well positioned to help customers find what they needed online, order it seamlessly and have it delivered to their doorsteps within hours or days.
  • Levi Strauss is another example of a company that successfully sped up its digital transformation initiatives by leveraging their investments in digital technologies–like AI and predictive analytics—made before the pandemic to react quickly as consumers moved to e-commerce channels in droves.

Using of AI-based analytics to continually improve the CX

Another capability highlighted in the TCS report was the use of AI-powered data analytics to continually improve the digital customer experience.

COVID-19 has made customers rethink their shopping requirements with safety and convenience moving to the top of the list. Customers’ expectations for seamless experiences have increased during the pandemic. They expect consistent, relevant and reliable experiences across devices and channels.

Leveraging AI technologies enables brands to quickly transform their data into actionable insights that can help them survive the crisis and thrive in the long term. AI enables organization to discover digital personas for hyper-targeted campaigns, implement personalized marketing, and deliver seamless customer experiences that help them acquire, retain and grow relationships with their customers.

Findings from TCS’ digital readiness report show that only 24% of the 300 companies surveyed are levering AI-based analytics to improve the customer experience. Two companies that are successfully using AI to create competitive advantage are Wayfair and Kroger.

  • Wayfair, the online furniture retailer uses AI in innovative ways to deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. One example is the AI driven ‘search with photo’ feature in their mobile app that enables customers to take photos of furniture they like from anywhere and find similar products in Wayfair’s large portfolio.
  • Kroger, one of America’s largest grocery chains has continued to embrace technology to survive during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a study by the Food Marketing Institute, online grocery is expected to account for 20% of all grocery retail by 2020 and reach $100 billion in consumer sales. The $9 billion Restock Kroger plan initiated in 2017 continues to focus on using data and technologies like AI and machine learning to build out its e-commerce, digital and omni-channel business and deliver personalized experiences like recipes to go with items in customers carts, offers and discounts based on consumer preferences and pickup and delivery services tailored to customers specific needs.

While COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, the economic pain has been severe. Amid shuttered businesses, rising unemployment and the steadily increasing numbers of COVID cases, the TCS impact survey found that to survive, two-thirds of those surveyed are maintaining their digital transformation budgets with a quarter of those increasing their DX budgets by an average of 33%.

To learn more about the other essential capabilities of digital readiness, read the full survey findings here.

Also, discover how TCS Customer Intelligence & Insights for Retail can help can help you take a more proactive, progressive approach to both digital transformation and a new era of customer experience and service.  

Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.