Moore’s Law states that technology doubles itself every 18 months. I referenced this in an earlier blog post (Transforming at the Speed of Cloud) and it seems to be playing out in real time, right before our eyes. At no time in my life have I seen this rate of change so abundantly demonstrated, as I do today.
Digital transformation (DX) is redefining virtually everything, everywhere. While bandwidth, big data and storage have become the fundamental cornerstones of DX, its implications are having an even more profound affect - on the customer-facing elements of the marketplace. Products, services, shopping and workplace arrangements are all being radically transformed, impacting every person in every industrialized economy across the globe.
How the Gig Economy is Redefining the Marketplace
The gig economy, part of a shifting cultural and business environment that also includes the sharing economy (use of collaborative consumption models like XaaS, Uber, etc), is well underway. Gig economies are premised by the fact that they typically have ratings-based marketplaces and in-app payment systems. They give workers the chance to earn money on their own schedules, rather than through professional accession. It’s this last element that is affects us all directly and personally.
According to an August 2017 story on LinkedIn, by 2020, 50 percent of Americans are expected to be working as independent contractors. While LinkedIn’s prediction is higher than most, the consensus is just north of 40 percent. This means that in just under 12 short months, 40-50 percent of all workers will be freelancers. This ability to work remotely is complemented by the ability to shop remotely. Visibility into this fact is nothing new, as we –as consumers- have been driving its growth for years through on line fulfillment companies like Amazon, Alibaba, CDW and eBay.
Because it’s often hard to see the forest through trees, I came upon an interesting study that lent some forensic insight into digital transformation’s impact on the marketplace. The study, entitled, The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces, involved a survey of 100 marketplace executives and managers across eight segments throughout the U.S. While I encourage reading the report for yourself, there were two takeaways that, as a marketing professional, resonated strongly with me:
- Marketplaces, in attracting buyers, go directly to where their (buyers) attention is focused: social media, search, email, and postcards;
- Marketplaces cite four common customer-facing challenges, in pursuing growth.
- Competitive Differentiation
- Buyer Retention
- Buyer Acquisition
- Social Media Engagement
Although seemingly obvious, number one underscores the importance of knowing at all times where your buyers’ attention is focused. However, of the two, I found that the second takeaway offered the most complexity as often what appears to be ‘simple’ –thus minimized or overlooked– is frequently the most challenging and the threshold delineating success from failure. Success requires the right team with the right resources. As digital transformation increases, marketplaces will continue to evolve; Tech Data has the capabilities and resources to help.
At number 83 on the Fortune 500, Tech Data is among the largest technology distributors globally, representing all of the top technology vendors. Our vendor base and reseller networks are purposefully aligned to enable retail customers’ success through next-generation technology solutions. For more information on how Tech Data can help, contact us at SolutionsPathInfo@techdata.com.
About the Author
Steven Kelley is a senior marketing specialist for Tech Data in Tempe, Arizona. In his role, Steve manages the company’s Authority blog site and partner newsletter, Power of Partnership. Prior to joining Tech Data, Steve managed the marketing, communication and PR duties for a range of businesses in the aviation, defense, energy, hi-tech, and healthcare industries. Steve can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenckelley/.