So we are in the process of moving house.

Yes, in the middle of a half-lockdown we are going to move 'from the city, to the coast.'

Peppered in amongst the excitement of a new house and a brand new neighbourhood, is the growing anxiety of having to do a very-light renovation; the renting out of our current flat - and the co-ordination of builders, movers, renters, lawyers, estate agents, trustees and sellers.

'Thank goodness most of the suppliers and retailers of the few things that we want to get for the new place all have reputable and solid online shops' - we thought.

What a misguided assumption that has turned out to be.

As it turns out - even big, traditional retailers simply do not offer a good enough digital channel through which to buy from.

Stock is either out to stock, vast sections of a website don't work or product pictures that are meant to show you the build-quality of an item, are so badly shot, you might as well be ordering off a paper catalogue from the 1950s.

Or items available online, are not available at the same company's physical showroom, and if they turn out not to be what you are looking for - they cannot be returned...ever.

So on average - the digital experience of many retail brands in the homeware, sanitary ware, packaging and appliance markets are so poor - they might as well not even bother.

In 2020 - 13 years after the unveiling of the first iPhone by Steve Jobs in California - it is clear that many well-established and revered brands do not have a proper digital strategy.

Having done a considerable amount of strategy work with some of the country's biggest e-commerce players, and knowing just how lucrative a proper digital footprint can be for a modern business - I find this astounding.

It's a bit like trying to drive a removal van with just three wheels - you'll eventually get where you want to go (hopefully), but it'll be a struggle, things will get broken and it'll take forever.

Just like having a good marketing plan, as well as a brand and business strategy - a digital strategy for a modern business is vital for its survival.

This is not something that should be given as 'a holiday task' to your 13-year old nephew, but a carefully considered, holistic vision of how the business is going to profitably engage in an efficient digital channel that will vastly amplify the reach and impact of the brand.

And a digital strategy is not something you do once and forget about - you need to make sure that your digital resources and assets are up-to-date, analysed and optimised. It's needs constant attention.

My realisation that some important digital assets of big retailers and manufacturers have been left to rot and go to waste also makes me optimistic that smaller, more nimble competitors will be able to step into the gapping gap and steal some market share in these markets.

That's great news for hungry entrepreneurs and those with a capacity and culture to innovate.

The technology door is wide open - you really just need to warmly welcome people in with a proper, well thought-out digital plan.