Google announced it will no longer read the text of Gmail account emails with the purpose of customizing advertisements. This activity, performed with the aim of delivering online advertising as close to user interests as possible and not for investigation purposes, in the past caused quite a few problems to the Mountain View based company, particularly with some companies that feared for the privacy and safety of the information exchanged via email. However, on the other hand, as of today, the “average consumer” never even wondered to what extent these service providers could look into their private life. In fact, this news, issued at the end of June, more than the actual communication itself, indirectly highlights the existence of various degrees of attention to privacy and different levels of awareness of such matters among users in their daily use of the Internet.
The current scenario of strong discontinuity has pressured companies to revise the traditional concept of innovation. Among the causes, in addition to the digital disruption phenomenon characterized by the rapid evolution of digital technologies and the start of new trends such as Big Data, Internet of Things and Mobile, there are factors such as migration and demographic trends that are engulfing our planet and changing our lifestyles, social values and decision-making processes. The overall effect is the rise of costs of innovation, that has become increasingly fast and risky, and the reduction of profit margins and of products/services’ lifecycle that, on average, is growing shorter and shorter. All this has made the traditional approach to innovation detrimental and uneconomical.
eCommerce B2c continues its growth also in 2017. In this scenario one of the challenges for sector players is making online purchasing ordinary by improving customer relations through the design of an effective user experience.
To obviate the remote sales issues some merchants are resorting to artificial intelligence, considered a solution to simplify the consumer interaction process. Chatbots are without question among the most interesting applications in this area. They are artificial intelligence based software applications capable of understanding natural language and of having conversations with users, provide pre and post-sales assistance and purchase support to web shoppers. These features make chatbots a valuable aid in the development of eCommerce, so much that sector giants have already launched some experimentation.
“Over 300 Alfa Romeo cars sold in 33 seconds on Alibaba, more than 100 Maseratis sold in 18 seconds”. The news of such high impact figures represent an exceptional advertisement for eCommerce in China, corroborating the opportunity offered by online commerce to reach this market. They must, however, be contextualized, to avoid confusing an “exception” with the “rule”.
In the current strongly discontinuous context the ability to innovate is being established as the rule of the game for all competitions, capable of swiping away consolidated beliefs on which companies have built their fortunes for decades and on which market rules such as standardized strategies, entry barriers, economies of scale, have been written. Businesses are learning, at their expense, that doing things no differently than before while stepping on the accelerator can not only be unproductive, but even harmful.
The ones who survive the fight are not the biggest or the strongest, but those who adapt best by leveraging the environment’s resources, to inconvenience Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution of the mid eighteen hundreds.
Digital Transformation is not yet a fully defined concept. We are in the middle of a process that could last years and the effects of which could go beyond any current prediction. What we do know instead, is that there is a puzzle with many of the pieces already defined and set in. Something that cannot be postponed: competences.
It’s necessary to bear in mind that due to its pervasiveness the Digital Transformation is no longer only a technologic or strategic view related issue, but a challenge that involves the entire human capital.