Disruptive innovation in business usually happens for one of two reasons. The first? Corporate teams push breakthrough products and solutions to market, toppling the status quo while disrupting the normal flow of commerce. Though these types of seemingly “out of the blue” innovations tend to generate a lot of buzz, they’re not necessarily as common as the second reason: innovation in an attempt to avoid losing ground.
Consider what happened when Amazon entered the commerce marketplace. The giant’s focus on lower prices, heightened convenience, and expedited delivery put it ahead of the pack. To survive, rival e-commerce providers — and plenty of brick-and-mortar businesses — were forced to innovate by revamping their customer experiences and implementing smarter supply chain management procedures.
One of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon occurred in grocery stores, which have led the way when it comes to upping their collective commitment to disruptive innovation in business — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Consumers aren’t buying the same way they did before the pandemic. Many people are concerned about safety, which has increased the use of mobile ordering, home delivery, contactless payments, and other self-service/touchless shopping models.
However, data from Retail Wire suggests that less than one-third of consumers follow their preferred grocers’ social media pages. Grocery stores are trying to bridge that customer-supplier disconnect by boosting the robustness of their social presence and offering digital add-ons, such as proprietary apps. These feature-exclusive interfaces promote personalization and modernity. The overarching goal? To edge out the competition by giving consumers a “that much more” feeling that leads to loyalty.
Grocery is innovating incredibly well right now, but it’s not the only industry poised to do so soon. Several other fields are seeing a perceptible increase in internal and external innovation:
What does it mean to disrupt an industry? Ask one of the countless retailers that are experimenting with changing transactional models. They’re adding digital buying components to their websites, installing self-service kiosks, and reframing their exchange processes. From a cultural perspective, they’re also getting savvier about store layouts to adapt to shoppers who demand social distancing.
Consumer Packaged Goods
Like retailers, the suppliers of consumer packaged goods (CPG) are exploring untapped options. As their retail partners make changes, CPG providers have realized that some of those changes could affect their viability — including store-brand options competing against their branded products. This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. But in the current economic climate, CPG providers seek innovative ways to understand consumer behavior better and improve their sales.
The restaurant business continues to be shaken by COVID-19. Under heightened pressure to stay afloat and relevant, many restaurants have altered their customer interactions practically overnight. From mobile ordering to free delivery, eateries are trying to whip up demand for food and encourage people to take a break from cooking dinner without ever needing to step foot inside a restaurant.
People have never had more control of their health and wellness information than they do right now, which illustrates the importance of innovation in healthcare. Empowered consumers want to help lower healthcare costs and delays by taking back decision-making. The result has been a rise in data collection and analysis tools like Apple’s CareKit and the wearable Apple Watch. Innovations in the healthcare industry are on pace to transform the classic physician-patient relationship into a two-way partnership.
When coronavirus cases began to rise, schools throughout the world shut down. Although platforms like Google Classroom and Zoom have been useful resources, they highlighted a significant problem: Exceptional online education was tough to find and arrange remotely, especially for schools that weren’t accustomed to it. As such, education is set for a major shakeup — and it’s likely going to come soon. Educators and organizations in the area are working to develop creative solutions to problems like education accessibility and affordability without affecting the content quality.
More adults are working from home than ever before, and many companies have no plans to change things anytime soon. Consequently, heightened cybersecurity and improved general security measures across verticals from financial institutions to industrial manufacturers will take center stage. Why? Staying ahead of hackers requires tenacious innovation and the ability to iterate continuously.
Travel, Hospitality, and Events
Few industries have been hit as hard as tourism, hospitality, and events. Nevertheless, some companies are already giving themselves an overhaul. Look no further than Airbnb’s digital “travel” options and select hotels renting rooms to serve as telecommuting offices. In terms of events, venues are exploring virtual opportunities while entertainers try to bring immersive experiences to the public by leveraging technologies like virtual reality or augmented reality.
Why do we need innovation in business? Because it’s going to save countless organizations teetering on the precipice of becoming obsolete in a wavering economy. In the long run, disruptive innovation in business will have a significant impact on commerce as well as the way our society functions.