With more people than ever shopping online, a good digital customer experience is necessary to succeed as a business. To execute a successful digital transformation, you need to know about the challenges and how to address them. Read on to know more.
The world has gone digital, and businesses need to embrace the digital space to remain competitive. The Internet is used by more than 4.5 billion people around the world for all kinds of reasons, from drawing information, using social media, purchasing products, to seeking entertainment. It is fertile ground for business growth, and it is no surprise that businesses are becoming more and more invested in going digital.
You have potential online customers right now, making it more critical than ever that your business creates an effective online presence. A failure to do so means risking a loss of business to your competitors and eventually becoming redundant. The digital transformation of your business needs to be set into motion today if it hasn’t been already.
Bridging the gap between physical and digital
A digital business engages allows people from anywhere in the world to browse the online storefront and make purchases of goods and services
It is important for marketers to keep the relationship between online and offline interactions in mind at all times. A traditional business has a physical location and serves its customers on-site, which makes customer engagement a lot more intuitive. In contrast, a digital business engages allows people from anywhere in the world to browse the online storefront and make purchases of goods and services. However, it also makes it harder to build relationships and cultivate customer loyalty.
To persuade your audience to interact with you online as they would at a physical event, it is useful to put out interactive and engaging online content. By harnessing the potential of digital marketing and online selling, you can easily bridge the gap between the physical and the digital.
Read on to learn what you should and should not do when you take your business online.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Going Digital
Purchase quality tools that cover all of your digital needs
You will need more than just the right software tools and applications to make the process of taking your business online effective for long term success. However, having good software tools can make going digital and maintaining your internet services and products a breeze.
Try to make a list of things that you can foresee doing as a digital business. You probably won’t be able to list every single process and activity, but it’s still good to have an essential list of processes and functions to be able to narrow down your search for the right software tool and application.
Also, before you start downloading anything, spend some time learning about the features offered by comparable tools and applications. You can try out different one’s with free trials to save money and get an idea about what works best for you. Not every application will have a free trial period, but for those that do, you can use them for evaluation.
If there is an indefinitely free software, that’s a red flag, and you should avoid it.
If there is an indefinitely free software, that’s a red flag, and you should avoid it. Most software applications offered as free products usually come with intrusive advertising, user data concerns, and tend to often lock select features behind a pay-wall. Go for something that has good reviews and detailed specifications.
Streamline your online services for maximum engagement.
With the vast quantity of tools and available online services, you should choose what helps people access your online content quickly and easily. This means avoiding any downloadable applications of your own. If someone has to download your application to buy from you, they will prefer alternatives that instead offer cloud-based services. Therefore, regardless of the nature of your business, you should try to use cloud-based services that do not require the users to download anything.
You will also need to be mindful of the languages your target audience are likely to speak and set up your online platform accordingly. Invest in translations of your online content based on user demographics, but increase language options further than that if possible.
You should also make sure that all of your online content and web pages are optimised to run perfectly and smoothly on any device. For example, a website that loads poorly formatted on mobile devices can put off most of your target audience, as most people use their phones to browse the Internet and make purchases.
Invest in cybersecurity.
Businesses that operate online have to remain vigilant and be on the lookout for any cyber-attacks. With so many people online today, a business has to ensure security as a matter of priority. You need to develop a comprehensive digital security strategy that safeguards the data of customers and other sensitive pieces of information that get shared internally.
Cybersecurity also requires that you train your employees to recognise the common threats to online security. They need to understand how to protect their devices and accounts on social media platforms. They also need to be able to identify and detect viruses and know how to prevent them from spreading further through email and other business-related networks.
Keep track of how well customers engage with your content
You need to keep track of the success or failure of all digital content you publish online. This will allow you to better direct your energies and resources going forward. For precise metrics of how your content is doing, draw upon different data points, like the most successful formats, the download statistics, the average time a user spends engaging with your content, and the number of unique page views.
Don’t underinvest in the digital transformation process
You should not hold back on spending an adequate sum of money in the process of going digital. New technologies are constantly emerging, so you will also need to keep upgrading your online platforms to remain on par with the technological evolution. Whether your investment is for the initial digital transformation or an upgrade, it will bring you a return many times over in the long run.
Don’t overspend on what you will not use.
More digitally established businesses are used to spending big sums upfront for online services to get a considerable discount. An example of this is purchasing an expensive cloud storage account. However, you do not need to get a one-year subscription to a cloud storage account. You will do better if you pay for it monthly, and if it turns out that you don’t need it, you can cancel it without losing too much money.
Don’t invest in software security applications without training your employees.
It might seem like an additional expense, but investing in security needs to be a high priority for any online business. If you do not invest in training the employees to complement your investment in software applications, the cybersecurity potential will not be fully realised. There is an ever-present risk of getting attacked online by hackers, and a breach will cost you not only financially but also on the front of reputation. Training your workforce is a small price to pay for business stability and security.
Challenges for the process of digital transformation
In your digital transformation, you will encounter certain other potential challenges. Address them preemptively to improve your chances of success.
Lack of Organisational Structure
A Digital transformation tends to result in an overhaul and revamping of various departments, including employee duties.
Every business depends on a predictable organisational structure to get things done correctly. A Digital transformation tends to result in an overhaul and revamping of various departments, including employee duties. Therefore, just learning how to use software tools is not good enough. You will also need to address any resistance to change from your employees who have difficulty adapting to the new way of doing things. Therefore, you must focus on organisational change management to prepare your employees for the latest tools and skills that they’ll need to learn.
Lack of IT Resources
You will need a dedicated and skilled team of IT experts for a successful digital shift. Unfortunately, with so many companies going online recently, the labour market has seen a growing shortage of IT experts. This shortage is most acute when it comes to people who are skilled in technical architecture, advanced data analytics, enterprise architecture, and cybersecurity.
You can overcome this problem by using outside experts, like software consultants who can perform advanced IT tasks and leave your in-house team free to focus on the less technical side of the business.
Budgetary Concerns and Constraints
If you don’t have a well-defined plan for the digital transformation process, you can end up spending more than you planned. This can happen as you attempt to respond to the needs of your customers. However, quite often money can get spent on things that provide no real benefit and are a drain on the budget. To avoid this, look at the long-term goals of your digital transformation and hold back on any reactionary spending, even if with the best intentions. Use the long-term goals and timeline to design a plan for positive and tangible results.
Evolving Customer Needs
To understand customers’ current expectations, comprehensive market research is needed.
In the previous year, many people realised that they could get a lot of work done at home on their personal computers. Online buying also saw a meteoric rise, and it is still rising this year. This means that customers are more demanding and discerning in their online buying preferences than ever before. To understand customers’ current expectations, comprehensive market research is needed. Taking the time to perform market research will give you a better idea of what your competitors are doing to stay profitable in today’s market, which will allow you to strategize better and get ahead.
Ineffective Data Management and Security
Customer data is a core part of the digital transformation process for any business. Customer data allows you to gather valuable insights into what your customers prefer, their behaviour patterns and predictions of their possible future decisions. This means that you need to get customer data efficiently and organise it in a way that makes it easy to analyse. Avoid storing the data in siloed systems as it can be hard to consolidate and share with the employees.
It is vital to have a clear idea of what your customers want and how they prefer to buy things online. Using the results of your market research, narrow down the list of customer preferences and use that to guide your data strategy.
Overcoming the Challenges
Develop an expansive digital ecosystem to make the digital transformation seamless and smooth..
The process of digital transformation can be challenging and complex. This is why you need to develop an expansive digital ecosystem to make the digital transformation seamless and smooth.
Before you start the process of digital transformation, you should design a long term strategy that will help you overcome the common obstacles to digital transformation.
After you have transitioned your business online, you will need to remain updated on customer preferences and information technology trends. Technology, processes and customers are the core aspects of digital transformation.
If you ensure all these points, you will have a successful digitisation process that will uplift your business engagement and improve your bottom line.
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- With increasingly more people using online storefronts, it is important to digitally transform your business the right way.
- Visitors to your website and social media accounts can have an enhanced experience if you use efficient digital tools, streamline your online services, invest in cybersecurity and keep track of visitor feedback to improve the customer experience.
- The most common obstacles to a successful digital transformation include:
- It’s an ideal time to grow the reach of one’s business. The key components of digital transformation are:
- Lack of support from the upper echelons of the business, which puts undue pressure on the employees below.
- A lack of training in the use of software tools. This is a common reason for the failure of many digital transformations.
- Not delegating the required financial and other resources towards the digital end of the business.
- Failing to anticipate customer needs as they evolve and change over time. Customer feedback is vital to identify points of weakness and improve.
- Less than adequate cybersecurity and data management practices.
- By addressing these challenges, your brand can easily grow and succeed upon going digital.