Digital provides one of the most powerful ways to connect with customers, because everything done in the digital space is infinitely measurable. This gives us the power to constantly improve and expand their experience with us, not only on a yearly or monthly basis, but weekly or even daily. That level of connection, understanding and execution enables a constantly high service while revealing new sources of revenue and improved business models.
At Coca-Cola HBC we're accelerating our Digital Commerce capability to help us to drive that customer connection further, with the aim of digitally connecting with 100% of our customers within 5 years.
One key to achieving this is the transformation of our B2B channel "The Customer Portal" from a passive ordering system to a proactive engagement channel that will touch almost every aspect of our customer relationships, reflecting a truly omnichannel experience.
It's an ambitious goal that forces us to confront what our customers really want from a digital channel, and to understand that today, we still don't have all the answers. But the speed of the digital journey means we are learning at warp speed.
We're focusing on 4 key aspects: integrating digital into everything we do; building new capabilities; listening to customers in real time; and boosting investment - more on these below.
1. Integrating digital into everything we do
While it naturally makes sense to drive the digital revolution from one digital team, it will only succeed if the strategy is deeply ingrained in the organisation.
This means that digital can and should touch every aspect of our work to bring value and growth to our customers.
2. Building and imbedding new capabilities
Constantly developing the capabilities of our people is fundamental to achieving this. Therefore, we're focused on building skills in digital merchandising, retention, loyalty and moving to digital platforms.
While the tech is certainly important, it isn't everything. I liken it to ice hockey; if you teach your team how to skate, they'll be able to adapt to the conditions of any ice rink in a short period of time.
3. Listening to our customers in real-time
A strong digital engagement strategy, supported by deep analytics and near constant feedback loops allows us to go beyond simply listening to what our customers say, to responding in real time to what they do.
Customers vote with a tap of their finger, a click of their mouse, we'll know right away if they are seeing value in what we deliver to them, something that might take an entire year to spot in the offline world.
4. Increasing our investment
Lastly, focusing on digital engagement won't deliver all the results we want overnight. It takes time to build, ingest, interpret and adapt to deliver increased sales, profit and even new revenue streams.
It also requires investment and some degree of patience, but if executed well it will more than pay off.
Digital customer engagement will continue to grow in the coming years and while we're still at the beginning of the journey, we're packed and ready for a long and exciting adventure!