How the internet and digitalization change the relations between customers and suppliers

Publicerat 28 May 2019

Girl with VR headset

Digitalization is here to stay

Technology is changing our society in an even more rapid pace than ever before. Everything from how we consume goods to how we work is connected to the internet in one way or another. Digitalization is almost always praised, but in what ways are the relationship between customer/supplier changing because of the internet and digitalization?

What the change means

The way suppliers interact with their customers is completely changing. Meaning that the way a business operates is going through fundamental changes in order to stay relevant and to deliver consistent value to their customers, whenever and wherever they need it. This is affecting all areas of a company, from marketing to customer service. For some, this might be scary news. But this is also a huge opportunity for suppliers to gain growth in an ever changing
technological landscape.

Customer-driven change

Interestingly, this change is not one driven by the suppliers or companies itself, but by the customers. They expect relevant information and products or services at anytime, anywhere, and in the medium of their choosing. If a potential customer can’t find what they are looking for from a company, they won’t hesitate a microsecond to get it from a competitor instead.

Digital by default

With the arrival of the smartphone just over ten years ago, almost everyone is now connected to the internet 24/7. This has led to changing consumer habits, which puts a new demand on suppliers. The modern buyer is online at all times, knows the technology, and is aware of the benefits of being online. Having this in mind, a supplier is only as good as the value they can offer their customers. This means that suppliers must reconsider how they approach their customers.

Personalized experiences

In order to stay relevant and to offer what the always-connected customer is expecting; businesses must adapt and embrace digital solutions that put the personalized experience first. This means offering such a seamless and great experience with focus on the unique individual that the customer doesn’t have to think about it – it just works.

Cross channel relations

A customer’s experience with a supplier or a company could start with a recommendation sent by a friend at an online messaging platform such as WhatsApp, or by text message. Then the customer might check out the Instagram account of the company, to later visit the company’s web shop in order to make a purchase. After the purchase, the customer expects the product or service to be delivered as soon as possible. Finally, they might write a review of their experience on the company’s Facebook page. This not only results in a lot of different channels where a business must be present, but a business must also offer a genuine experience between these channels.

Wrap it up

To summarize how the internet and digitalization changes the relationship between customers and suppliers, it is done so by the customer who is always connected and who expects a personal experience with genuine value at any given time, place, and platform. For suppliers to be successful in this new landscape, they always need to be adaptable to change and to put the customer first in all areas of their business.