How to Kickstart Your Digital Transformation
So you’ve finally decided to go digital, to move your brick and mortar business to the online frontier. You might be uncertain as to what your first steps should be, or what measures to take, what pitfalls to avoid. Here are some ways you can help your digital transition go smoothly.
What is Digitizing Your Business?
In this post-Covid world, the reasons for businesses to digitize have grown dramatically. So, what exactly does it mean to digitize your business? It essentially means incorporating technology into your business operations to increase work efficiency, enhance the customer experience, and boost your sales.
This could mean anything from developing an app for your services, transitioning into ecommerce, offering mobile payment options, and more. The point of digitizing your business is to keep up with the rapidly changing economy by offering your customers more ways to access your goods/services, cut costs, and make your daily operations more efficient. Therefore, the methods you use to digitize your business can vary based on your business’s needs.
For example, if you book consultations with clients via phone or in person, starting online scheduling through your website or a mobile app can help you book more clients and increase efficiency, in turn, raising sales. Another example is if your business currently relies on a physical filing system, transitioning even partially to an online cloud-based platform that organizes and stores important business documents and records keeps your data secure and cuts down on waste as well as space. Keeping a digital database also serves to help reduce the need for extraneous manpower that would be spent maintaining and updating a physical registry.
As you can see, there are many ways you can digitize your business. Whether it’s by developing a social media marketing strategy or creating a brand specific app, the appropriate digital changes to make to your business depend on your business’s needs and goals.
Set Specific Goals for Digitization
Digitizing your business for its own sake isn’t the point. You need to know why you should digitize aside from the COVID-19 situation. Identifying how you stand to benefit most from digitization can help you better find and connect with the appropriate partners, vendors and stakeholders. There is no one size fits all solution, it'll be different for each business. A pastry store will have different priorities and solutions than a firm in a service based industry.
Don't Save Everything by Default
Digitizing everything isn’t the point. You’ll need to first decide what your organization needs and conduct and sort it out. Perhaps the conclusion will be that you do need to keep everything. But if you have stacks of invoices and receipts dating to the eighties marked "paid" and there's no chance you'll need them again, then you'd be wasting time, money, manpower and digital space space digitizing them.
You’ll want to do a deep inventory of the records your business already has and decide what needs saving first and what does not. Anything your team does not plan to keep can be safely ignored. Assuming you do want to archive everything, prioritize what is vital, and what may be necessary in the short term.
Improve your SEO
Search engine optimization is a powerful tool that can boost traffic to your website and therefore lead to more sales and engagement with your brand. There are several ways to boost your website’s SEO, including keyword research, producing quality content, and backlinking. If you’re unsure of where to start when improving your website’s SEO, there are a number of digital marketing agencies that can help you optimize your website for higher search rankings.
You can boost your digital transformation through SEO, and doing so will ensure that existing customers will be more easily able to find you online.
Optimize the Customer Experience
The digitization of your business processes means that you’ll also be interacting with both your existing and potential customers in a whole new way. As a result, depending on your existing resources you may or may not need to establish a group for digitizing your business processes. Depending on manpower concerns, outsourcing the digitization process is a viable option.
Two key things to consider when going through the digitization process are the user-experience and the data you’ll get from your online front. Consider hiring specialists who either specialize in using the data that going online can provide to improve your processes, and specialists who focus on improving the user-experience. These are people who can provide critical support and insight throughout the design and maintenance of your company’s digitization efforts and smoothen your digital transition.
The reason why the customer experience is key is because the user experience will be the primary way you interact with potential and existing customers online. Improving it is key to ensuring that you find new customers online, customers and clients you would not have been able to find traditionally. Ensuring that the customer experience of your website and online transactions with you is optimised is one of the best ways to get your digital transformation really going.
Build your Social Media Presence
Perhaps the most straightforward way to really get your digital transformation going is to build up your social media presence. Getting on social media platforms like Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter are fast ways to build your online presence. It is also a great way to leverage your existing customer base, as they can help inform other potential clients/customers about you and your product/service.
you can bolster your digital transformation by setting out specific goals and working towards them, prioritizing and sorting out processes, focusing on improving the user experience, building up your SEO ranking, and leveraging your existing customer base on social media to make use of your existing brand reputation. Also consider hiring and outsourcing to specialists if you need to.