Navigating Digital Transformation: A Conversation with AB InBev’s Head of DTC eCommerce

By: epetala

September 5, 2023


Digital Transformation Week Europe -


The Digital Transformation Team recently had the opportunity to meet with Jeltsin Neckebroek, who serves as the Head of DTC eCommerce at AB InBev. He will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Digital Transformation Week event scheduled for September 26-27, 2023, in Amsterdam. During our conversation, we delved into strategies for advancing digital transformation, approaches to tackling resistance to change, and explored some noteworthy developments in this ever-evolving field.

What has been this year’s most exciting development/progress in the digital space so far?

The most exciting development in the digital space this year has unquestionably been the significant advancements in AI-generated recommendations. We’re seeing an explosion of machine learning technologies that are fine-tuning personalization to an unprecedented degree. We have come a long way from the ‘You Might Also Like’ suggestions. Now, AI is curating individual experiences based on patterns we didn’t even know existed. In the ecommerce landscape, this is revolutionary. This level of granular understanding enhances CX and drives repeat business.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, and how do you incorporate them into your digital transformation strategies?

 As someone deeply immersed in the DTC e-commerce sector, one cannot overlook the rising trends and the interest they are generating from venture capitalists. Take, for example, the exponential growth in social commerce. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are becoming virtual shopping malls, with DTC brands leveraging the power of influencers, interactive content, and seamless in-app purchasing experiences to engage and convert customers. Furthermore, we are witnessing a surge in DTC brands using subscription models (recurring revenue bundles) to generate recurring revenue and deepen customer loyalty.

In your opinion, what are the best tips for leaders that are driving digital transformation programmes? And how do you address resistance to change during the digital transformation process?

For leaders driving digital transformation, my advice is threefold. First, obsess over the customer. Successful digital transformation isn’t about shoehorning tech into your business; it’s about leveraging technology to better serve your customers. Whether you’re selling a six-pack or a six-figure software suite, the customer experience must be paramount. Second, cultivate a digital-first mindset within the organization. This doesn’t mean digitizing for the sake of it, but rather embracing the efficiencies and opportunities that digital technologies can bring. Finally, think in systems, not silos. Successful digital transformation is cross-functional, integrating data, processes, and technologies across the organization.

How do you address resistance to change during the digital transformation process, particularly from employees who may be hesitant to embrace new technologies?

When it comes to resistance to change, try and practice “fear setting”. It’s a simple process of defining and deconstructing fears. Encourage your employees to list down their fears about the new technology. What specifically are they afraid of? Then ask them to deconstruct these fears – what’s the worst that can happen, and how can they prevent or repair it? Often, this process reveals that the perceived fears and risks are either improbable or manageable. This, combined with transparent communication and ample training, can significantly reduce resistance. Change will actually be great for them!

How much is the term ‘Digital Transformation’ still relevant today?

Using the term ‘Digital Transformation’ in today’s world is akin to referencing ‘Internet Business’ in the late 2000s. By now, every business is an internet business, and in the same vein, digital transformation is not an option – it’s a survival imperative. Likewise, it’s not about digital marketing, it’s just marketing in today’s world. It’s about integrating digital into every facet of the organization, aligning it with strategy, capabilities, and processes, and then using it as a lever for holistic transformation.

Interested in joining Jeltsin for his session at Digital Transformation Week Europe on 27th September 2023 at the RAI in Amsterdam?’

Jeltsin is joining a panel session on day 2 ‘How Can CX Be Successfully Renewed By Digital Transformation’ exploring:

○ The digital technologies which allow for seamless and consistent customer interactions, such as Automation, Machine Learning, AI and Chatbots.

○ Addressing the cultural and organizational changes required to successfully implement digital-driven CX renewal.

○ How to strike a balance between digital enhancements and maintaining the human touch in customer interactions.

○ Real-world examples of companies that have effectively renewed their CX through digital technology.

Learn more here and book your ticket today! 


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