New Technologies Demand New Sales Strategies
The best example of a digital ecosystem today comes from Apple. Early on Apple understood that connectivity was a critical component of their consumer devices, so the company took connectivity to a new level. With its iPod, the company introduced an Apple specific consumer digital ecosystem that included a Mac or PC, a mobile device (iPod) and a content store (iTunes.) More importantly, Apple delivered a seamless, easy to use, integrated consumer experience that made it easy to acquire, manage, distribute and play personal content. This has endeared Apple to a huge audience, which has made the iPod the best selling digital consumer device in history. With Apple TV, the company has another product that connects well within its digital ecosystem. Once the iPhone hits the market, it too will become an important part of the ecosystem.
Apple’s success should provide a map to other PC and CE companies. Aside from HP, and to some degree Sony and Samsung, which are working hard to create their own consumer ecosystems, very few vendors are equipped to deliver complete digital ecosystems of their own.
This means retailers will have to put together their own ecosystems—or full solutions—of products and services and use the retail experience to demo and sell the solution to an audience that would not buy Apple products or would want a more open system that broadens their choices of connected devices. In the end, the consumer will be looking for retailers to help them connect, manage, distribute and consume their content on all of their digital devices.