Digital Insider

Digital Insider: Thales Teixeira on digital disruption in retail

Alessandro Pavan
Alessandro Pavan November 10, 2021
Digital Insider: Thales Teixeira on digital disruption in retail

Digital transformation is a process that often coincides with new technology impacting the market. This is one of the concepts behind digital disruption in the retail industry, but is it the correct one?

Many businesses leverage advanced innovative technology to trigger increased sales. On the other hand, brands manage to reap the same rewards just by adopting the right strategy, as we’ll soon find out from this episode of Digital Insider. 

This time, we’re welcoming Thales Teixeira, Co-Founder of digital disruption consultancy Decoupling, author of the book Unlocking the Customer Value Chain and former Lumry Family Associate Professor at Harvard Business School to share a bit of retail wisdom with the rest of us.

Meet the guest

Thales Teixeira is the Co-Founder of Decoupling.co, a consultancy firm focused on digital disruption. Before starting the consultancy, Thales taught MBA, doctoral and executive-level courses in Marketing Models, Digital Marketing and Ecommerce at Harvard Business School, for a total of 10 years.

Leaving the academic years behind, Thales embraced a new adventure with his consultancy, helping brands develop successful digital strategies to “unlock the customer value chain”.

Consumer-centric approach to business strategy

In other episodes of this series, we heard about large organizations adopting a consumer-centric approach in business strategies. Likewise, Thales recommends putting the customer front and center. Companies need to concentrate their efforts in delivering great customer experiences and secure long term value. This is the key to a successful digital transformation.

Thales observed how in many big companies the focus is not on their customers. Rather, leaders often focus on their own job and company. This is understandable, but also causes major issues in the retail environment. 

Executives care about their customers, but they’re obsessed about their competitors. And once you start thinking about that too much, too often, you lose track of the ultimate goal, which is to find customers, and serve customers as such that they get the value and then you extract some value from them.

Thales Teixeira, Co-Founder of Decoupling.co

Advanced innovative technology and digital disruption

Digital disruption is not all about technology, even though everyone in the retail business has been addicted to technology for the past 10 years. The stories of companies like Facebook, Google and Tesla are read by business leaders in the whole world, making them enamored with buzzwords like artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The problem is that these leaders often lead companies that are not tech companies. 

Most traditional retailers do not build new technologies; instead, they can use existing technology to create value for their customers, both in online and physical stores. A good example is the implementation of omnichannel operations, integrating the customers’ shopping experiences and creating better customer engagement. 

And here lies the answer to the complex question asked in the very beginning. In many cases,  what really matters is not innovative technology, but the value you can deliver to your customers. That is what will ultimately make your retail sales skyrocket.

By looking at tech companies, you would say that they created innovative technologies. And so therefore, you too, should create and deploy innovative technologies for your business purposes. But I would argue that when I look at success stories of companies that actually performed a digital transformation, they only had off-the-shelf technologies. Oftentimes, that’s good enough.

Thales Teixeira, Co-founder of Decoupling.co

Thales discussed a lot more topics during the episode, including:

  • Business models;
  • The Magazine Luiza Case Study.

Listen to the episode at the link below — and don’t forget to follow the podcast for fresh retail insights. 

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