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By Michael Gillespie, Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited
Michael Gillespie has more than 20 years' experience in digital marketing, eCommerce, data management, innovation, and technology strategy, along with proven C-level leadership experience within a publicly listed ASX 100 organisation. His current role is at Domino's Pizza Enterprises (DPE). During his eleven years at DPE, he has helped with DPE's transform into one of Australia’s most sophisticated online and digital retailer plus disrupts the retail and QSR industry via innovation. He has also helped guide DPE's seven other markets in Europe and Japan to market-leading digital dominance
1. What are the current market trends you see shaping the ecommerce space? How those trends are changing the ecommerce landscape?
The driving trends in the Australian and New Zealand ecommerce market is the rapid growth of customers ordering online and being much more comfortable and confident in buying products and services online. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DPE) entered the space more than a decade ago, which was early in terms of competitors in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) space. We have been working hard on building our digital experience and database and over time, we are now in a position where online for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) now regularly exceed 70 per cent of network sales. The total number of pizzas and sides ordered online regularly exceed two million per week, which demonstrates our loyal customer base. With our vision to lead the internet of food in every neighborhood, our determination to drive more online sales will continue to grow.
We have been refining our software systems to keep up with the technology changes to ensure we always remain in a competitive space and deliver customers more of what they want. Early adoption and being agile in this space is critical to success. I strongly believe those companies, who were early adopters in ecommerce and the digital online space, are in a much more competitive space than the new comers.
2. What should be a CIO's role when it comes to following the emerging trends?
As Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Domino’s my role is unique as I have several direct reports from a CIO to Digital Marketing/Technology Managers, with both areas required to connect and understand the internal needs of the business.
Making a friction-free shopping experience is ideal for any business to have for its customers
I’m proud of the number of firsts Domino’s has achieved over the past ten plus years, in particular. Our teams have not had a lot to go off to deliver firsts in the digital landscape. We have had the right people and partnerships in place to deliver our achievements. Recently we have also introduced ‘Project Co-Pilot’ which involves launching new technology that works alongside our team members to help improve efficiencies and make team members jobs easier.
3. What according to you are the challenges that organizations face related to ecommerce market and how those can be overcome?
Challenges that I see for organizations in the ecommerce space is that having a presence online is not enough. Businesses need to continue to attract new customers while maintaining loyal and committed ones. With the pace at which new technologies emerge, it can be overwhelming for businesses to embark on new solutions. Domino’s is structured in a way that new ideas are tailored and optimised to ensure we are building a solution that the customer wants and needs. We do this by validating ideas, through quantifiable or qualifiable data, and prototyping solutions until we have demonstrated the demand. At Domino’s we are data driven and this makes us accountable and disciplined in this space.
The challenge can be in ensuring what works in the Australian and New Zealand market can translate to an Asian or European market place because we are a global brand. Everything we do needs that consideration. Effectively and efficiently transferring new ideas and technologies across our markets is what my team and I are responsible for and we want to make sure we provide the most enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. As at February 2019, more than 95 per cent of deliveries were placed online in the Netherlands and Belgium in first half of the year (H1 19) so the demand for quick and efficient service online is increasing globally.
4. Ecommerce companies are also collaborating with payment processors to make online purchases as frictionless as possible. Please elaborate.
Making a friction-free shopping experience is ideal for any business to have for its customers. It can be a cumbersome process to delay the sale of a product or service with a time-consuming payment process. Now, with Apple Pay and Google Pay, purchasing online has never been easier. Within one or two clicks the process is complete which is ideal from a customer perspective. Domino’s is unique as we still accept cash, credit card plus a range of digital wallets. I have no doubt that overtime the number of people that manually enter credit card details will decrease dramatically. Electronic wallets will be the main way people make payments online. We will always look to go where the customer takes us.
5. What is your advice for budding organizations in the ecommerce space? How do you see the evolution few years from now with regard to disruptions and transformations within the domain?
With the pace that technology moves at, it is always hard to say what will emerge. We know we will continue to see new technology and new hardware and we will see the speed of innovation grow exponentially. With that come more challenges and further opportunities to fulfill customers’ needs. At Domino’s we are passionate about being across technology trends while keeping perspective of our customers’ needs. We have a lot of new ideas in the pipeline and we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and explore even more, fun ways for customers to enjoy the online shopping experience. For organizations that have a presence online, the pace of emerging technology can be overwhelming so, my advice is to tailor and optimize customers’ experience and deliver on what is promised.