Digital transformation is a buzzword in the market right now and for many people it only applies to large organizations, as they have greater investment capacity. But 2020 turned the world upside down and understanding the concept of digital transformation and applying it to their daily routine became critical for small businesses as well.
You will find many different definitions of digital transformation on the internet, but to make it quite simple and focused on the reality of SMB’s, it basically deals with adapting your business to the expectations of digital consumers.
In times where social distancing is the new normal and consumer behavior has changed dramatically, your business must be prepared to reinforce its digital presence throughout the customer shopping journey, from digitizing potential customer data to payment, delivery, and customer service.
Digital transformation – Just keep it simple
It can be scary, especially for a small business owner, to start a digital transformation process. However, understanding what really will impact the end customer and focusing exclusively in these areas at the start is a great strategy to digitize your company continuously and effectively.
The CEO of Lytics, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, showed in a presentation that of 100 digital fields to build a thorough view of the customer, only around 10% of fields are used to segment customers and use data for marketing campaigns.
When you start your customer data digitization process, apply the same concept: what is the information you need from your customer that would really make a difference in how you can serve them? In addition to basic contact information, you can differentiate your customer by product category of previous purchases, different regions in the city or state you serve, and content category consumed by this customer from your channels digitally.
Select a few data points that will help you take actions, don’t overwhelm the customer with unnecessary data requests or don’t spend too much to collect information that you really cannot use in your small business marketing strategies.
Digital distribution channels
Digital transformation starts and ends with your customer. So, in addition to working internally, to implement more robust solutions to help you with data analytics to better understand consumer behavior, think about how you can reach your customer in a digital manner to sell your products and provide your services.
This applies to all small business segments. Apparel retailers can expand their sales by offering an ecommerce store to their customers to deliver at home, online customer service via chat and a curbside pickup process for product return. All contactless, following the new trends required by consumers and supported by social media analytics.
Food and beverage SME’s have no other choice than taking their business online, with new rules that limit seating capacity. In addition to offering takeout and delivery, it is important to use local marketing actions and maintain a continuous conversation with potential consumers on social media, as competition for their attention has also increased.
And if you are a small business in the B2B market, gone are the days (at least for a while) of on-site visits to close sales and foster the relationship with your customers. Implementing a new strategy of virtual communication, managed through a CRM is critical to remain relevant at a time of cost-cutting. Also, digital content creation has never been so important to stand out and attract new customers.
Don’t break the bank
Many SMB’s are concerned of even addressing the subject of digital transformation because they fear spending on expensive equipment and solutions. But with the advent of the cloud that provides huge savings in infrastructure, and specific SaaS solutions that don’t require high investments in IT professionals to operate them, small businesses don’t need to stay in the sidelines and can be part of the game.
A trend that has impacted the market of technology solutions for quite some time now is a pricing model with recurring payments. Therefore, no large Capex investments are needed, all you need is to find the right data management solution for the size of your business and budget the monthly payment. Even if you have more employees, start small, with the minimum necessary number of users to test the viability of the solution for your reality. You can always expand the service for more users later.
And prioritize purchases based on your greater deficiencies to deliver a quality digital experience for your customer. Ask yourself: what would have the greatest impact on their purchasing journey? Focus on that solution first and build from there. Digital transformation offers many opportunities for improvement and, consequently, numerous solutions. Don’t let that overwhelm you and grow your digital presence according to your budget.
If you need help with data analytics related to the economic indicators, market trends and customer online feedback on your company and competitors, we offer the best ROI for small businesses in the market and are here to help you grow your sales.
The Number: 10%
The Action: Customers have gone digital and your business must follow this path of no return. Start small, focus on digital solutions that will help you better understand customers as well as sell and deliver to them in this environment. Let data and technology transform your small business.