Everyone is talking about "digital transformation" as the big megatrend of our time. It is a fancy word that sounds good in management presentations and strategy meetings, but it doesn't really mean anything unless there is a clear agenda behind it. So why should small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) consider digital transformation? What does it mean exactly, and why does it matter?
Sell Your Products Online
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital trends. Since customers have limited access to physical stores, they had to turn to online shopping. While it might have been a new experience for some people, its convenience may make people prefer online shopping even after the pandemic subsides. For companies, this means that if you are currently selling goods online, you should continue to do so.
Building an online store and creating a digital presence doesn't mean you should close down your brick-and-mortar business. You can instead offer the online store as an additional channel for your customers to buy your products. Even for small businesses, running an online store is not a huge investment, and you can implement it quite quickly.
Online Customer Service
Customers are increasingly demanding online customer service. A website with your product information, social media channels, a chatbox, or maybe even a video-chat window on your website can enable your customers to get in touch with your business from the comfort of their homes. This is especially important for SMEs because the customer relationship is what makes or breaks your business. Fortunately, offering online customer service is neither expensive nor does it take much effort.
Free Digital Information
Customers don't only shop for products and services online. They also want information – preferably free, and they want it delivered digitally. Put up a blog on your website, where you regularly publish useful information about your products. Provide it to your customers for free. Collect your clients' email addresses and send out a newsletter every month that includes not only your latest offerings but other high-quality information that provides real value.
If your product needs visualization, consider including images or videos. You can even start your own youtube channel. It may take some time in the beginning, but you will get better over time. As long as you provide useful information, your customer will not care if your videos are recorded in a professional studio or at your office with your phone.
These are just a few examples of how you can make "digital transformation" happen as a small business. For most SMEs, going digital doesn't mean coming up with a breakthrough product. It simply means making your products or services accessible to your customers through digital channels. If you can make that work, you are already a step ahead of the game than most of your competitors.
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