In one of today’s key panels, five industry experts sat down to discuss the future of a consumer-based digital economy. Two aspects were easy to agree on; mobile commerce will come to define our lives, and the consumer will be the long-term winner.
The Digital Consumer panel headlined an impressive line-up consisting of David Sable of Y&R, Jim Lanzone of CBS Digital, René Schuster of Telefónica Germany, Samir Arora of Glam Media, and moderator Roman Friedrich of Booz & Co.
The five powerhouses of digital commerce are all on the very forefront of developments in this truly booming industry, and began by laying out a premise, easy to agree on for speakers and audience alike; We are by now truly digital around the clock.
Disruptive technologies like have come to dominate our lives, and the question now remains where this leaves the industries and the consumers they aim to attract.
“Which media companies will understand that we need new divisions that are digital? And which will be entirely digital?” Arora asked, and he was quickly backed up by Sable.
“Digital is everything - game over. I don’t know why we even have these discussion anymore,” he said, however adding an important side note. “But we are missing the point. People have lives. Digital is everything, but not everything is digital.”
This led the discussion towards the topic du jour: mobile commerce.
“Mobile is the ultimate combination of our digital and normal lives,” Sable continued, before René Schuster chimed in with some truly awe-inspiring stats.
“2012 will be the year for mobile retail in Europe,” Schuster said.
“Year-on-year growth in mobile retail is 112%. One in seven people buy goods on the phone. 76% has a smart phone.”
It is indeed a brave new world.
So what is the consequence? The answer according to the panel is twofold. Firstly, industries, retailers and premium content providers like CBS will need to realize and adapt to this breaking of a new digital dawn.
To Lanzone, catering to the consumer’s different needs and ever-changing contexts can for instance be addressed by delivering content on a host of available platforms.
Secondly, the panel widely agreed, the consumer will be the winner. Spanning over generations of increasingly more savvy users, the digital consumer will be ready to reap new benefits as commerce goes digital, and above all, mobile.
“Keeping the customer in the centre of the universe is the best kind of commerce there is,” Schuster said. “The smart phone will become the remote control of your life” he added, as the panel came to its conclusion.
Judging from the nods and and applause from the room, this is indeed a lesson to remember, for consumers and industries alike.