Industry Developments: Retail, Pharma and Insurance

This month, we’re looking at digital transformation developments in retail, pharma and insurance.

  • Nike became one of the world’s biggest athletic brands in a very different retail landscape. Formerly, when consumers wanted a Nike product they visited a store or, as was frequently the situation, they went through retail partners, which acted as a middleman between the brand and customers. Now, however, Nike are working hard to become the next great direct-to-consumer brand. Nike are accelerating a new initiative, the ‘Consumer Direct Offense’ strategy, aiming to be ‘more personal at scale’, and this has gone hand-in-hand with their purchase of a new consumer data and analytics company – Zodiac. “The acquisition of Zodiac demonstrates our commitment to further accelerating Nike’s digital transformation and enhancing our consumer data and analytics capabilities to help us serve consumers globally,” said Adam Sussman, Nike’s Vice President and Chief Digital Officer.
  • Consultancy Accenture have released new analysis this month, saying that a greater use of digital health technology such as wearables and smart packaging could help the UK pharmaceutical industry ‘unlock £22bn’ over the next decade. Yen-Sze Soon, managing director at Accenture, said: “Most pharmaceutical companies we work with recognise that digital technologies can drive transformation and growth, but many aren’t yet realising this potential. This research quantifies the potential prize for industry, individuals and society if they get this right.”
  • Insurance products that can be switched on and off – in contrast to traditional, annual policies – may well be the future of the industry, according to one insurer keen on getting a slice of the pie. The on-demand market worldwide has “exploded in the last few years,” thanks to the rise of the gig and sharing economies, said Cheryl Agius, CEO of Legal & General’s GI business. Earlier this month, L&G revealed a partnership with insurtech Slice Labs – a US firm known for its pay-per-use insurance offering – to provide on-demand cover for UK home-sharers. “Slice Labs are well-established in the US, where they have started to be a strong competitor to Lemonade in terms of how you provide solutions to customers in that gig industry,” Agius said. But while the US and Asia are out in front when it comes to offering policies that fit around consumers’ changing behaviours – just look at Lemonade or ZhongAn – the UK has so far been behind in the race.


Posted March 28, 2018