When we look at the future of eCommerce, we know a few things to be true. Firstly, the online marketplace is growing faster than industry experts predicted. Secondly, the number of businesses entering the online marketplace is growing exponentially. Thirdly, and most surprisingly, there are even more businesses out there who have yet to make the jump to a digital transformation.
It’s commonplace now across industries of the working world to have some element of digital technologies assisting their operations. There are a lot of companies that are ahead of the game, and even more within the early stages of moving things to digital platforms and services. Unfortunately, it’s likely that there are still a good amount of companies too slow to react.
The inability to prepare for a digital future can mean the end of a business. For those who make the transformation but fail to consider key elements for effective changes in their business, those too will fall behind. The real trick to growing a business in 2021 isn’t a trick at all. Every business looking to enter and command the digital world must move beyond technology in their approach to business.
It’s one thing to have a website or even an app. It’s another thing to completely retool your business from the top-down with effective digital solutions that affect everything from sales and marketing to short and long-term goals. In order to make the leap, you have to be ready for major changes in your business ecosystem. If you don’t change for the better, the world will change around you, and it’s not going to wait for you to catch up.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a digital transformation strategy. If you want to make sure your business is ready for the future, then make sure you consider these elements for your organization. Starting today could mean the difference between a good year for your business and a huge step in your potential.
How to Strategize for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation goes beyond technology. Every industry from travel and business to retail app development is investing in technology, but simply having the right tools does not prepare your business for success. Instead, digital transformation occurs when a business integrates digital solutions into business models, goals, and strategies. This comes with some glaring discoveries, including the chance that you and your employees find your business is severely lacking in a key area or benchmark.
One of the easiest problem areas to spot as you begin your digital transformation is in the management of your clients. You might have contact info, but what do you really know about your customers? In order to gain more meaningful insights, a combination of polls, survenys, website widgets, and more can help you connect with your customers. This could mean a huge reset for your website and the way you approach marketing. That’s only a bad thing if you fail to make the change; it’s not too late when you begin thinking digital today.
To fully embrace the idea of a digital transformation, everything that falls under your business plan and strategy must go under the microscope. A common word used during a digital transformation is necessary disruption. In organizing your enterprise for more digital integration, you may find yourself lacking time or resources to continue doing things as you’ve always done them. Despite what you might think – that’s a good thing.
A great example of necessary disruption is to start with an area in which you feel your strengths lie. Let’s say your company gets great feedback on your product descriptions. That’s great, but what could you be doing to better serve potential customers while also bolstering the experience of existing ones? Search engine optimization is a key element to getting ahead in the digital ecosystem. So, despite having a stronghold on your product descriptions, an audit of your written content on product pages could be the change you need to take things to the next level.
It might feel unnecessary since this area isn’t a “problem,” but you’re not solving problems with a digital transformation. Instead, these changes keep you ahead of the disadvantages your business might have in order to keep up with competition and keep improving the customer experience. At the end of the day, no element of your business is ever complete. To wrap your mind around necessary disruptions, starting with a strong suit of yours could very much help you obtain the right perspective on how to make effective changes to your business.
Effective Changes for Digital Transformation
The process of undergoing digital transformation will have many positive impacts on your business. First and foremost, digital platforms offer room for more dynamic revenue streams. Everything from SEO marketing to eCommerce can effectively take a business that’s treading water and help it to lap the competition. A great example is Best Buy, which put energy and resources into their digital platform, which in turn completely transformed their brick and mortar locations for the better.
Plenty of businesses we know end up closing entirely because they can’t make the change in time. To avoid this, it’s important to think of change as a proactive practice. Rather than reacting to negative results, a strategic business will identify areas in need of improvement because there’s more potential to excel in that department. For some, that means working with an agency to point these things out to you. Many modern businesses forego this step and instead work internally to push for greater things.
When it comes to making change, simply altering the way you do things doesn’t make the process effective. Setting clear goals for your changes can help keep you focused every step of the way. It might even help to set intentions, which could be as simple as writing down “we hope to achieve ‘x’ with this new approach.” When you hit a roadblock or feel stuck in the process, you can return to this intention to help ground you in your next steps.
Other noticeable changes during a process of digital transformation are going to be enhanced offerings you can bring to partners and customers. The market all but requires businesses to be digitally literate and equipped at this point. Doing so doesn’t just make things easier for you, but also increases the experience of your partners and customers.
It could very well be that you don’t have the necessary resources to achieve a digital transformation on your own. Some businesses seek to merge or acquire another business to reach an effective state of preparedness. Depending on your business and the work required to achieve a digital transformation, this may or may not make sense for you.
Similarities Between Digital Transformation and Mergers and Acquisitions
If some of this sounds familiar, especially concepts of disruptions now for success tomorrow, you might have experience in mergers and acquisitions. It’s actually an avenue many take to achieve digital transformation. Unfortunately, simply acquiring the tools of another organization does not make your use of its resources effectively.
To do that, you’ll need to find ways to explore every aspect of what a merger or acquisition can offer your business. That means taking a good, hard look at what you’re capable of, what the new element to your enterprise means for your offerings, and what you still need to accomplish or build to succeed in completing a meaningful digital transformation.
If this level of change doesn’t seem to make sense for you, then work internally with your teams to identify the first place to start in your transition to a digital ecosystem. Rather than acquiring another business, this could mean you simply subscribe to a service that provides you with something your missing. Many elements of a digital-minded business can be found as products sold by other companies. Customer Relations Management software, email marketing, and plenty of other essential elements to digital marketing and eCommerce are obtainable through well-known businesses.
Effective Change for a Successful Future
A digital transformation shouldn’t sound easy or quick to fulfill. Instead, think of these necessary steps to adapting a business in 2021 as a fresh start. If there are elements of your business you feel are lacking, then this is your chance to address them. Likewise, allow the disruptive nature of a digital transformation to force you to improve your advantages as well.
The hardest part of a digital transformation is looking inward at what you can improve. When it comes to the world of eCommerce, it can often feel like your business is too far behind to catch up. Furthermore, you might feel like the task at hand is too much for you to handle. It doesn’t need to occur overnight, but your transformation to a digital-first mindset will benefit you incrementally as you make the small changes to do so.
The first step is knowing it’s time to make a big change for your business. Hopefully, this article helped show you that it’s time to think bigger. Don’t just work harder for your business, work smarter and enlist all the digital tools at your fingertips that are proven to build more reliable, sizable customer bases. Get started on your transformation today.
Chloe graduated from McGill University with a combined bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Art History. She went on to earn her Master’s in Politics from Goldsmiths’ University in London. Post graduation, she turned her attention to the online marketing field and now curates content at Taktical Digital in New York City.