Digitalization - what is it?
For owners, launching a business to an online environment is dozens of convenient services that allow you to set up automatic sales, manage company development and control processes, simplify accounting, optimize personnel, and much more. Including – a great way to improve your reputation and increase customer loyalty.
For potential buyers, digitalization is a quick acquaintance with the company and its products, the convenience of shopping. Offline business is not able to work with the target audience, in the same way, provide full feedback, study demand, and adjust to customer expectations. And the most important thing. Digitalization is convenient and beneficial for both parties.
Features of digital transformation
Of course, starting a process for the sake of a process is not worth it. There will be a big mistake with the opposite effect. You will definitely lose if:
- made a website that does not have the information the user needs;
- you use a complicated algorithm for shopping;
- there is nothing interesting on the company’s pages in social networks;
- do not answer customer questions and do not respond to requests;
- do not attract traffic and do not promote (advertising or SEO).
Launching a business on the Internet in the first stages requires minimal costs. For example, you can open an online store for free. But for it to work effectively, full-fledged digitalization is needed. It includes collecting information and working with the audience, connecting all types of advertising (targeted, contextual, banner, organic, etc.), organizing consulting assistance and delivery, building a sales funnel, ensuring the convenience of payments, building a pleasant and understandable user experience of interacting with the site, etc.
The main tasks of organizing a business on the Internet
The essence of digitalization is not point-to-point actions, because it is “so fashionable” or “everyone does it”. This is a complete transformation in which the entire company is involved. It is the search and implementation of new opportunities based on in-depth analysis and strategic planning. An example of the right goals when launching a business on the Internet:
- improvement of the product/service (new services, new and/or related products/services);
- marketing optimization (organization of supplies, implementation of sales channels, increasing ROI);
- improving customer service (communication, feedback, repeat sales);
- automation of logistics;
- digital transformation of management.
You will see how the rebuilt company will eventually stop slipping and start working as a single balanced organism.
Why modern business is impossible without the Internet
With the advent of digital, all business processes have accelerated, and it has become more comfortable, easier, and faster for customers to make purchases and use services. They do not intend to refuse this, because the online business provides:
- works around the clock, and is not tied to a working hours/schedule;
- allows you to avoid physical contact between the seller and the buyer (especially important during quarantine, except in other cases);
- does not require personal presence when making transactions;
- simplified and automated as much as possible.
And these are just a few of the benefits regarding external relationships between companies and customers. But there are a lot of internal advantages for companies: optimization of business processes and personnel, ease of control, decrease in document circulation, quick communications, organization of a virtual office, etc. In a highly competitive environment, any offline business is guaranteed to lose if it neglects the introduction and implementation of digital technologies.
Preparing for business digitalization
A land-based business operates according to its own rules and laws. It is impossible to painlessly switch to online business without painstaking preparation and involvement of specialists. One of the first steps on this path can be the implementation of an optimal CRM system. Back in 2014, Nucleus Research estimated that $1 invested in CRM generated an average of $8.71 in profit. But this requires:
- prepare a sales funnel;
- digitize the client base and create sources of its replenishment;
- connect communication channels and IP-telephony;
- retrain employees or hire new ones;
- integrate CRM into business processes.
The cost of a full CRM integration can be high in the beginning, but it will pay off quickly by bringing the business online. The overall profit growth with the competent work of the automated sales department reaches 25-30%. At the same time, business development via the Internet does not depend on geography; it will be equally successful in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Working with the target audience
Business on the Internet is not only about launching your own website and being represented on social networks. Online presence is not enough, because business is powered only by sales. To ensure their growth, you need to worry about targeted traffic, use marketing channels to get an influx of target audience, and actively work with potential customers. All these actions fit into the term “promotion”, which includes:
- SEO elements for the growth of positions in search results;
- the use of contextual advertising in search engines;
- elements of SMM to increase the authority of pages in social networks;
- Targeted advertising, which allows you to send a message to a target audience, selected according to certain criteria (geography, age, gender, interests, income level, etc.);
- e-mail marketing (chain of letters leading to the desired action).
A comprehensive strategy that includes all the listed elements, plus the use of Internet media (video, audio, banners) and running your own blog, is ideal for fast promotion. The more and more diverse a business is represented on the Internet, the higher the loyalty to it and its products, the more sales and the faster the promotion.
Convert your users into loyal customers
It is on regular customers that the business is based, and customer focus allows the company to become better, including introducing innovations and improving service. Digitalization allows you to improve:
- a customer experience (through voice assistants and chatbots, individual offers and personal experience, product demonstrations, online tracking, etc.);
- the quality and range of goods/services (based on the preferences and comments of buyers);
- optimize cost by reducing overhead costs after digitalization.
It has been proven that a satisfied customer makes repeat purchases 3.5 times more often and recommends a company or its product to friends. And vice versa – 22% of disappointed customers reduce the number of purchases, and 19% abandon the company’s services forever. Brands to which customers are loyal increase profits up to 8% in comparison with competitors.
Digital business brings everyone closer
I would like to emphasize once again that digitalization is by no means just the transfer of land-based businesses to digital platforms and services. This is a fundamentally different way of organization, in which the emphasis is on collecting data and analyzing the preferences of the target audience, providing customers with the most comfortable service.
Consulting company Gartner predicts that by 2022, information will become a critical asset for 90% of companies, and professional analysts will definitely work on the staff. Information experts will be in acute shortage since they provide:
- understanding what the company’s clients need;
- vector of strategic development;
- forecast of upcoming trends and patterns;
- ways to minimize costs;
- increase in operating income;
- competent risk analysis;
- assistance in the development of automated solutions.
Consumers are getting closer to manufacturers, which provides unique opportunities for creating personalized offers. And digital tools that are becoming more diverse and more sophisticated allow companies to get to know their customers even better – and to make money on it.