Consumer 2020: Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) Enables a New Generation of Retail and Experience Strategies

Leading into 2020, picture a world where Millennials are the shoppers in store with THEIR kids, and Gen Z, your teenagers, the “partial attention generation”, is the new growth demographic for retailers. So the definition of consumers is changing: technology-driven shifts empower customers, guests and fans to assume a greater, if not complete, role in designing and directing their own products and experiences.

In order to build a successful relationship with the consumer of 2020, brands must acknowledge the growing role of the individual and incorporate technological innovations that match consumer capabilities and deliver on their increasing expectations.

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The consumer no longer simply interacts with a store, hotel, stadium or media channel; he or she possesses the tools and skill set to embody those roles independently.

They are the STORE – they have the store in the palm of their hands, they are the STUDIO – creating shoes and beauty products with the ingredients that they want, they are the PLATFORM – they drive the experiences that they want; they are the MEDIA – they create their own media and choose to watch content created by friends over TV and other media outlets. They are even driving the CEO’s agenda – companies are experiencing a mandate to go digital or run the risk of disruption.

Research shows that 4 out of 10 companies will fail over the next decade if they cannot transform their business to meet today’s digital demands (Digital Vortex, Global Center for Digital Business Transformation). This research supports what we see in today’s marketplace: a repositioning of malls and hotel chains, mergers and acquisitions and closures, disruptive and surprising technical capabilities – major shakeups across the board.

In the midst of all this change, businesses are pushed to continue driving revenues and lowering operating expenses. The essential strategy to survive in such an environment is to invest in a technology foundation that is supple enough to adapt to each change as it comes along, from reorganizations to new business practices. In other words, companies require a digital network architecture (DNA) to adapt and succeed.

Cisco DNA revolutionizes how companies design, build and manage the network. It means faster deployment and simpler, centralized management of an intelligent network, getting multiple stores up and running in days rather than months. It also offers deep, network-wide insights to support personalized and more relevant customer engagement and smarter business operations. Cisco DNA helps deliver key digital capabilities with a digital-ready foundation that’s secure, simple, and reliable.

Built on such a flexible foundation, retailers, hoteliers, and venue operators are ready for anything. A digital network architecture supports traditional consumers who still prefer face-to-face transactions, while shifting over to meet the needs of digital users. It provides the data needed to enable excellent customer service, gamification, and data sharing as well as new emerging capabilities such as AR, VR, and wearables. Further, it accomplishes all this in a secure, convenient environment.

As we prepare to serve the consumers of 2020, we must be able to give them the power to achieve the experiences they want, from outstanding shopping, ordering, and booking to conducting research, asking questions, and solving problems – over their preferred device or in the store. By building upon a Cisco Digital Network Architecture, businesses are ready to meet these demands both now and into the future.

With Cisco Digital Network Architecture as your foundation for digital transformation, you can:

  • Deliver a differentiated customer experience across all channels
  • Drive store operation excellence and associate productivity
  • Accelerate development and scale of new products and services
  • Respond to market demands with speed and flexibility (AMAZON disruption challenge)
  • Improve capabilities across the retail supply chain
  • Protect and enhance brand value

Read the full Cisco and PSFK report here: Consumer 2020

By: Brian McDonald