Digital fatigue and international trade

Digital fatigue and international trade

The Retail sector is well known for its dynamism and light-speed changes while its experts constantly introduce new terms to conceptualise new ideas and theories.

One of the last concepts is the so called digital fatigue which explains how customers have been overly exposed to digital experiences during COVID and its aftermath, and how this over-exposure may have provoked (at least in some demographic groups) a switch where customers are now craving for some real experiences in real places, or real shopping experiences while touching and feeling real products in their hands. This may seem counter-intuitive with the current trend of closures on the high street sector but in fairness it goes hand in hand:

Those business not prepared to give a full new shopping experience to their customers, will not survive the struggle.

In the international trade sector we can witness a similar scenario: a voracious appetite to meet, gather and trade face to face with the resurgence of trade shows all around the world.

The return of business travel is another indication of something we all knew: nothing like a face to face meeting to finalise a deal, to learn from our partners, customers or suppliers, and their non-verbal communication…

…to experience that gut-feeling during or after an in-person meeting that influences the business decisions we take.

Humans are social animals, evolved to work and collaborate in community, to develop and thrive. Trading is a human interaction which, along history, has brought different communities and countries together, strengthening ties and creating long lasting partnerships. The international trade experts have to be ready again to work in a business scenario where deals and opportunities can definitively be explored and researched digitally or remotely but where the final push, the last meeting, might be in person again, in the same fashion that a Greek merchant from Athens met his spices suppliers in the ancient port of Alexandria.

About the author

David Peña is an international specialist in Retail, Licensing & New Markets. He has spent many years working across different cultures and languages for companies all over the world.

He is available to deliver advice, consultancy, coaching and training on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis. Get in touch with him today!

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