Mastek Blog

8 Lessons The Public Sector Can Learn From Retail In Promoting Digital

01-Dec-2015 05:44:00 / by Rob Gale

Rob Gale

The Retail Sector is leading the way in educating and creating user expectations in digital; however the Government must keep up.

Last Tuesday, we were fortunate enough to be joined by guest speaker Phil Pavitt, former HMRC CIO and now Global CIO at Specsavers, who discussed the lessons the Public Sector can learn from retailers in embracing Digital.

Here we discover 8 pieces of advice that can be incorporated to the Public Sector:

1) Digital is Messy

The Private Sector is about speed to market, agile and meeting the demand for ‘now’. Government departments love order and are not prepared to fail with Proof of Concepts. However we learn more from failure than from success. Digital is messy and should not expect 100% success; this must change in Public Sector.

2) Omni-channel

Government have not embraced Omni-channel. They are either online or offline. In Retail you are able to start somewhere, go somewhere and finish somewhere else.

3) User Design Teams

In Government there are lots of groups involved, however rarely do they speak with customer and real users. User centric design for customers is a must.

For example: Specsavers introduced the iPad for their eye measurements. User groups introduced an idea called the ‘Magic Mirror’. This records how they look trying on frames, so that this can be replayed back to them once they have their normal lenses back on. This was something not thought of before.


4) Retail Theatre

Digital must be easy to use, but users also enjoy the production and engagement.

Do customers enjoy their experience with Government?

For example: The new TUI store in Westfields has no brochures. If you visit the music changes dependant on the age demographic walking in; they have virtual glasses to experience over 500 destinations and the smell in the booths change to match. Sales have gone up 30% as a result.


5) Dealing with Legacy

Legacy Systems can be dealt with, it is not a barrier. The 1974 VAT machine still exists and will never be changed. With new technology wrapped around it, allows VAT to be done truly online.

6) It is not an App

Digital is complete change of a customer journey. It is about the journey and experience, not just the app.

7) Transparency

Very few IT departments know their true costs. There is software is available that measure the cost of every transaction in real time. You can measure the real cost of transactions in digital for comparison, not guess work. This transparency helps the digital journey as benefits become tangible.

8) Digital breeds innvoation

Digital experience brings innovation to invent and add. Innovation is critical and Government needs innovation conversations.

What lessons do you think Government can learn from other sectors or vice versa for Digital? Add to this list in the comment section.

Talk with one of our Sales Representatives and Digital Transformation Specialists.

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Topics: Retail, Government

Rob Gale

Written by Rob Gale

Marketing Executive at Mastek

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