CEOs cheer as business grows in digital transformation phase

CEOs of top consumer product companies have admitted that their digital transformation programs started bringing improvement in consumer engagements resulting into business growth.
Global Digital Transformation Market sizeResearch firm IDC says digital transformation spending will reach $1.97 trillion in 2022 — achieving a 5-year CAGR of 16.7 percent throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period.

Another report on digital transformation market said the size would be $460 billion by 2024 against $178.02 billion in 2016 growing at a CAGR of 12.06 percent during forecast period.

30 percent of G2000 companies will allocate capital budget equal to at least 10 percent of revenue to fuel their digital strategies by 2020, IDC said.

SeekingAlpha website, which shares earnings calls of several companies, has published some information on digital transformation initiatives at top enterprises.


Airbus CFO Harald Wilhelm said: “We continue to invest into innovation and into digital, which in itself is going to position ourselves well in the future and will pay back and working actively also on the management transition. This supports our key objective to continue the journey on EPS and free cash flow growth for 2019 and beyond.”


Rolls Royce CEO Warren East said: “The reinventing with digital is starting to be real. We can automate some of the inspections that are costing us a lot of time and effort and people and if we can automate that a little more, it can be both cheaper, faster, and more reliable.”


Henkel has made €200 million investment in technology in the first quarter of 2018.

Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen said: “Sales were supported by double-digit increase in digital sales.”


Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said: “We invest heavily in predictive maintenance, and our digital programs are paying off. We are also investing in our core technologies.”


Coca-Cola Chief Digital Officer David Godsman said the company’s digital transformation is going to change the dynamics of the distribution ecosystem. “The ability to manage and localize inventory and make that delivery out of a potential, small traditional trade outlet is a huge opportunity for us.”


Burberry Group CEO Marco Gobbetti said: “Digital outperforms our retail business and has continued to do so in the first half of the year especially in Asia Pacific.”

Burberry CFO Julie Brown said the company is making investment in stores, IT systems upgrades including ERP systems.


Hugo Boss has a partnership with Zalando, its online wholesale partner, to further strengthen digital services.

Hugo Boss is managing the presentation and distribution of BOSS Businesswear, which is available at Zalando for the first time.

Hugo Boss recorded solid comp store sales improvement in own retail operations during the third quarter, up low single digits versus the prior year.

Hugo Boss CFO Yves Muller said: “This development was largely driven by a strong double-digit growth in our own online business – driven by digital capabilities.”


Marks & Spencer does not have a strong digital transformation program in place at present. The result is slow growth.

Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe said: “We’re so far behind the curve with our online and digital businesses.”

Marks & Spencer has achieved basic improvements on the web platform in the last six months.

Marks & Spencer improved page feed on product loads. Photography, particularly in women’s wear, has become more inspirational. Marks & Spencer moved order cut off at — from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for next day delivery.

Jeremy P, chief digital and data officer at Marks & Spencer said: “We’ve got to develop entrepreneurial thinking across the business. We partnered with Decoded, helping us understand the opportunities for digital science and our colleagues are going through a one-day course, and 150 this year will go through a fellowship, 18 months of intensive learning with a qualification at the end.”


Associated British Foods has added 13 million followers on social media. Two million people visit every week. The main channels for social media are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It has 6.5 million followers on Instagram.

The company has launched three Instagram channels: Primark Home, Primark Beauty and Primark U.S.A. that takes us to 5, the other two being our Primark and Primark Men, said Associated British Foods CEO George Garfield Westonon.


Lifetime Brands CEO Robert Kay said: “We are reorganizing our e-commerce and digital assets to optimize this increasingly important part of our business.”


Fossil, which has less digital transformation programs, noted that it sales declined 11 percent during the third quarter of 2018. Fossil direct-to-consumer business, its retail store plus own e-commerce sites, dropped 3 percent on a comp store basis mainly due to lower sales levels on outlet channel.

The company’s strategy is to invest in digital marketing and expand efforts in e-commerce. It focuses on digital media and invests in digital channel. Gigital media spend was up over 20 percent for Fossil in the third quarter, helping drive the Fossil brand core sales up 5 percent in direct channel, which includes own stores, store-in-store concessions and own e-commerce sites.

“We are enhancing our consumer targeting and social content initiatives to further improve engagement while driving product sales through search, affiliates, and retargeting efforts,” Fossil Group’s Chief Strategy and Digital Officer Greg McKelvey said.

Sales on Fossil owned e-commerce sites grew 15 percent in the quarter with growth of 18 percent in the Americas region, 6 percent in Europe, and 22 percent in Asia.

Store closures negatively impacted total direct channel year-over-year sales comparisons by 530 basis points. Fossil closed 75 stores since the third quarter of last year and ended the quarter with 485 stores.


Sports brand Adidas is targeting €4 billion sales by 2020 and it will be driven by digital environments. Adidas’ e-commerce has already achieved 76 percent growth in the third quarter of 2018 — driven by double-digit growth across all regions, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said.


Ralph Lauren said it achieved more than 3 billion social media impressions and over 100 million global views during New York Fashion Week.

Ralph Lauren  increased marketing by over 30 percent to last year in the second quarter and continue to shift spend to channels that matter most to consumers today, namely digital and social, Ralph Lauren executives Evren Dogan Kopelman, Patrice Jean Louis Louvet and Jane Hamilton Nielsen said.

The company’s global digital business, including directly operated sites, department store dot-com, pure players and social commerce, was up 10 percent in the second quarter.

The company added new robust brand landing pages; waitlist functionality; and faster standard shipping.


Carlsberg CEO Cees ‘t Hart said: “The company is making investment in strengthening our capabilities within areas such as digital and data, sales and marketing as well as the roll out of DraughtMaster.”


Avon has launched My Avon Store in 20 markets, giving representatives the capability to sell online. It will be available in all markets by the end of 2018.

Amy Greene of Avon Products said: “Turning this into an e-commerce and digital company is a huge opportunity for us, as well as unlocking one new geography called Asia.”


Christian Dahlheim, director Group Sales at Volkswagen said the automobile brand is making efforts in the fields of e-mobility and digitalization. The live examples are e-tron from Audi and the Porsche Taken.


Colgate-Palmolive Company, which has less focus on digital transformation, reported that its sales declined 3 percent in Q3.


Columbia Sportswear is driving global brand awareness and sales growth through increased focused demand creation investments, enhance consumer experience and digital capabilities in all channels and geographies.

Additional areas of investment include the Consumer-First or C1 strategic initiative that will enable us to deliver more personalized seamless experience for consumers across our global retail operations and includes new retail ERP platform, loyalty, order management and point-of-sale systems, Columbia Sportswear’S Andrew S. Burns said.

Recent marketing campaign stories include Columbia’s Montrail FKT or fastest known time, which garnered 5.1 million video views, 65 million impressions and over 18 million minutes of watch time.

Baburajan K

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