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Danger Ahead - Beware of Commoditisation

There is no doubt we are in the middle of a digital revolution whether we like it or not and it’s amazing how quickly the UK was able to set up from home and keep functioning when lockdown took place due to Covid-19.

Many of us were already familiar with Zoom but I didn’t think that we would be relying on it on a daily basis a few months ago. Zoom’s daily active users has jumped from 10 million to over 200 million in just 3 months.

It has made us all evaluate our lives and the unnecessary trips we make, the time spent in the car visiting clients when we could just jump on a Zoom call. Many people I speak to are looking at the cost savings that can be made by not meeting face to face but I think we need to be careful of commoditisation. All businesses can re-evaluate what part of their Financial planning service can be delivered digitally and Any cost savings need to be delivered to the consumer and not used as an excuse to increase profits.

As the Author Daniel Priestley recently said “You do not want to become commoditised. You do not want to enter any race to the bottom… Lowering prices and taking products online is a fast track to commoditisation and it’s something you should be particularly careful of doing”.

A quick poll of financial advice businesses has shown me that new customer acquisition has almost ceased during this lock down period and it seems certain to me that those companies with a high value offering who are hoping to reset and rebound after the lockdown will need the right people to undertake face to face customer engagement if they are to avoid the race to the bottom.

The need for good Financial advice in turbulent times is greater than ever but customers will still choose to deal with someone they know like and trust. There remains a shortage of highly skilled Financial planners and great businesses will continue to need great people.