Ewan Macleod, chief digital officer at Nordea, reflects on how the digital economy is reshaping consumer expectations about product delivery and service.
I left Copenhagen on Friday morning with two suitcases. Only one suitcase arrived in San Francisco. Rather frustratingly, the bag that arrived only contained my laptop. Everything else that mattered was in the other suitcase! Like most people in the age where one of the biggest fears is a flat battery, my first thought was ‘how do I charge my phone and computer?’
After apologies from the airline, I ordered a taxi and went in to town. It was late, no time to go shopping for my essentials. While in the taxi to my hotel I began composing my Amazon Prime Now order. The app indicated delivery was available anywhere in the city within 60 minutes. I searched for some T-shirts, boxer shorts, socks, a shaver, shaving foam, and a UK-to-US power adapter. Ordered. While thinking what food delivery service to use I flicked up the banking app and paid some bills.
By then the taxi arrived promptly at my hotel and I got the notification from Amazon to say my Prime Now delivery had been delivered to reception. Fantastic. Despite being without my familiar possessions, I felt whole again!
The convenience offered by these new types of on-demand services - the almost ‘instant’ response - is radically changing the way I live. It’s also changing my expectations rather dramatically. I am being conditioned by these new services to expect a radically different service level than I did even just a year ago. I find myself now requiring - or at least, expecting - that almost every interaction, with any company, now meets the standards being set in other industries.
I’d like a cake. Send it to me now. I need a new a pair of gloves. Boom! Send me them in 60 minutes. I’ve got an enquiry for the dentist. Now, not tomorrow or next week. I’d like a hair appointment now - because I’m free in 10 minutes! What do you mean I need to wait 6 weeks for a new wardrobe to be delivered?
As I am just in one of the teams focusing on the digital world here at Nordea, I recognise that I’m a bit of an edge case. I am a total geek. I’m deliberately trying to use these new technologies and services to experience them first hand to help identify future trends and opportunities.
The challenge for us - and for the wider financial market - is to identify, track and then swiftly respond to these evolving expectations.
Bring it on!
(And by the way, my suitcase was eventually delivered to my hotel three days later)