Lead story - retailers push for lessons and wins, with the holidays closing in
MyPOV: Heading into holiday season, what have retailers learned? As I wrote in Will consumers provide the holiday spending surge retailers need? Two questions no one yet knows the answer to:
- Will consumers make up for some of the spending they haven't done during the pandemic so far, due to less eating out and so on?
- Will safety concerns put a significant damper on in-store shopping? Will some brands overcome that, via a perceived safer environment or easier pick up options?
The brunt of the matter: will retailers be ready? Derek provides clues in COVID-19 hits Burberry’s profits, but digital channels continue to soar. Luxury brands took it on the chin this year, and Burberry was no exception. A second wave of lockdowns in multiple regions isn't helping matters, underscoring that you can't take the close of storefronts lightly, even in our digital-first times. In the first six months (H1) year over year, Burberry's revenue dropped 31 percent and its operating profit 75 percent (gulp). But all is not grim. Derek:
[CEO] Gobetti said that digital sales have almost doubled during the pandemic, experiencing high double digit growth globally. However, in America Burberry has seen dot com sales soar with triple digit growth. The company said that this shows how customers prefer to engage directly with the brand.
A different angle comes by way of Nestlé. As Derek writes, being three years into a transformation program was a boost when COVID times hit ( Nestlé's IT transformation proves recipe for success during COVID-19). Derek quotes Craig Wright, Head of the CIO office at Nestle, who says COVID put their transformation program to the stress test:
At one point we had more than 100,000 employees working remotely. But we still had many in factories and in supply chain that had to be on site. And that happened within a matter of weeks and we got everybody connected very quickly.
We had very good transactional stability, and this was key, because as a food company we had significantly fluctuating demand. In many cases, consumers were stockpiling goods at home, and therefore we had to meet increased demand in many countries and in many categories.
For most retailers, another big stress test is coming, courtesy holiday shopping and the finicky, omni-happy consumer who
doesn't mind burning you for a fast-shipping deal on Amazon Prime isn't the most loyal type. We'll learn more soon.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Taking the office out of office politics is empowering frontline workers - Phil pens a dandy as he ruminates on a big workforce shift: "Shutting knowledge workers out of offices has only emphasized the shift in power to the frontline staff who deliver the customer experience." He raises the uncomfortable/inevitable question: Will a rebalancing in compensation follow?
- What can enterprises learn from startups about brand messaging? - A lot, if you ask me. Barb is on the case, with insights from Buffer and Wistia's Built to Last audio conference.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. It was a week of pent-up vendor news, bursting for analysis:
- Salesforce Revenue Cloud streamlines B2B RevOps for a post-COVID world - Phil on Salesforce's cloud manouvers, staking their claim to the so-called "middle office." I could live without the RevOps buzzword though Phil... I thought I had drawn a line at DevSecOps. Or was it AIOps? Argh!
- Demandbase announces Demandbase One - but is it a complete ABM solution? - Barb filed this news analysis of the fruits of the Demandbase Engagio acquisition. ABM = trendy, but adoption remains a challenge for many.
- The urgency of workflow automation in pandemic times - is low-code a difference-maker? Cherwell's CEO shares field stories - Here's what happens when a low-code skeptic (me) talks to the CEO of a workflow automation vendor...
Oracle had a big CX show, SAP continued to reveal its master plans, and Adobe went holiday shopping:
- Oracle launches CX for communications - a taste of things to come - Den breaks down Oracle's CX play. Also check his latest Oracle use case: Hearst's modernization journey with Oracle - a conversation with Debra Robinson, SVP and CIO Oracle Technology and Operations, Hearst.
- A conversation with PwC's Mark Chalfen on all things SAP S/4HANA - Den digs in with one of the sharpest S/4HANA consultants in the biz.
- Adobe acquires Workfront, makes $1.5bn bet on work management - or does it? - Phil takes on an acquisition that makes all kinds of sense for Adobe's marketing push, but will it follow Workfront's broader productivity plays?
More vendor picks, without the quips, aka the Phil section:
- Why Coupa bought Llamasoft - bringing community intelligence to the supply chain - Phil
- conXion 2020 - In process transformation, Tesco finds that every little helps - Phil
- Zendesk on WhatsApp and the rise of the omni-channel conversation - Phil
Jon's grab bag - I've been
gesticulating-and-hollering-BS carrying on about virtual events falling short of what's possible. This week, I wrote about a different twist: Pushing the limits of virtual collaboration - how ThoughtSpot used Zoom to drive the development of ThoughtSpot Cloud. Finally, Mark wrote about a company pushing beyond employee-experience-lip-service in Creating a culture of inclusivity at Natwest through better collaboration.
Best of the enterprise web
My top six
- How retail can adapt supply chains to win in the next normal - keeping up with the retail theme, McKinsey opens the research kimono. No huge surprises here - but retail inventory looks to be a retail-next problem, with over-stocking being a costly burden - but is it avoidable?
- 8 AI Implementation Risk Factors For Small Business - most of the issues raised here are not specific to small business. "The biggest risk small businesses have when implementing AI is that they'll implement fake AI. This is software that is sold as AI but is really just a nested stack of conditional statements."
- 5 Steps Every Company Should Take to Avoid Data Theft Risk - time to get crackin' - "Turn on Full Logging for All Devices - you can't protect what you can't track.
- IBM CEO Arvind Krishna wants to completely transform his organization - Ron Miller on an executive that gets my "biggest hairball of a challenge ahead" nomination.
- Your Ground Control Center for ERP – A Center of Excellence - The center of excellence approach doesn't just work for ERP, but that's a good place to start.
- Responsible AI becomes critical in 2021 - "Responsible AI" should have been critical all along, but I see your point.
Three headlines from the "I think the pandemic is getting to us" file:
- Germany hails couch potatoes as heroes of coronavirus pandemic
- Fight club in New York City with over 200 people broken up by authorities
- Canadian Tire stores forced to close after every item scans in as Mr. Potato Head
Den Howlett fired off a bunch of potential whiffs for this column on Twitter last night, most of which amounted to
the reality TV show that used to be a functioning democracy American Idiocracy at the expense of behaving like informed citizens. Let's go with his whiff nominee from 13th century Europe instead, which could well be the oldest whiff in the history of this column.
Clive sent me some doozies this week - you gotta love a home security system that lights itself on fire. Yup, that's Amazon Ring in the whiffs section again: Ring recalls 350,000 video doorbells after reports of security devices catching fire. Amazon had a geopolitical snafu this week also:
Amazon customer support team makes geography fail and inadvertently unites Ireland https://t.co/dPIjkKv14a
-> don't understand why peeps are giving Amazon such a hard time for uniting Ireland :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 14, 2020
Had some more PR whiffery to light up this week:
Email marketing tip - probably not a good idea to start with "Play the Podcast & Read the Blog"
As if either are in short supply
-> I'll start by unsubscribing and take it from there
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) November 13, 2020
As if we didn't need any more reasons to move to New Zealand, the UFO house is for sale. See you there?
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.