5 tips for businesses that have decided to go digital2020 07 16
There is no doubt that the quarantine has encouraged businesses to digitise, or at least forced many CEOs to think about this option more actively. However, the determination to digitise your business is only the first step.
In his interview with the news portal 15min.lt, Irmantas Bankauskas, Chief Sales Officer at Baltic Amadeus, a company responsible for developing unique IT solutions and for offering advice on digitisation, shared 5 tips for businesses that have decided to go digital: how to prepare for digitisation, where to start, how to choose the right tools and products, and what mistakes to avoid.
- Know your customer
“Once a business has decided to go digital and to increase its presence in the electronic sphere, the first thing is to get to know the customer base very well. One of the biggest and most basic mistakes is creating an online store, filling it with your merchandise, and then just leaving it as another option for consumers. If you don’t know who your customer is, how he/she behaves, and what are his/her needs from the moment of expressing an interest in your product to the point when he/she clicks ‘Buy’, it is naive to expect an online store to pay off and work as it should,” said Bankauskas.
Therefore, the specialist suggests starting with a customer analysis, rather than a market analysis. The first goal should be to identify your customers and understand how you should communicate with them. Such analyses are often performed by a team of business and UX professionals, who can help to identify the key aspects as well as find business development opportunities that have not been exploited by your competitors.
- Stand out
“Another crucial aspect is to follow the trends that allow you to identify the unique or niche features of your business. For instance, if you are setting up an online shoe store and are trying to compete only in terms of the price, you will not stand out from the market and your competitors. Be brave, by unique and look for your own niche to fill. Look for the unique qualities that may become your edge,” Bankauskas revealed, sharing another piece of advice on how to improve your business operations.
According to the specialist, it is better to think about starting with a smaller supply and later expanding it, than to immediately aim at selling a lot of products to everyone.
“Invest in nurturing the relationship with your customer, as this is especially important. Being unique and having your own niche means belonging to a certain community where the mutual relationship is essential,” noted the interviewee.
- Use the tools available to you
According to Bankauskas, various digitisation tools are used by many companies, but they do not always make maximum use of all the digital opportunities available for their business.
“Sometimes, companies do not recognise the added value of such tools. They think that they should handle the customers by communicating with them directly, or they apply similar solutions only to collect data on their customers. This is a result of a failure to identify the value of these tools when learning about how they operate. Recently, we have been talking to our customers increasingly often about how to combine several tools into a single whole, which results in a completely new system that meets your needs without spending a lot of money,” shared the expert.
He said that some companies cling to an unfounded belief that digitisation tools cannot be applied on a broad scale. In reality, correctly chosen solutions can improve the daily lives of medical staff, tailors and a multitude of different professions. These tools can help to plan resources, manage tasks, facilitate the management of finances and documents, and to take care of issues such as information security, multi-channel platforms and e-commerce. At the same time, they expedite the use of the provided services and optimise the number of routine tasks.
- Monitor and measure your business
Bankauskas emphasised the benefits provided by customer relationship management systems (CRMs). However, there are many different CRMs available; therefore, it is important to consult with those who know which systems are the most suitable for a specific business, and what advantages they can offer.
“If the business operations are planned for a long term, including the strategic plans, conversions, development, etc., CRM data becomes a crucial ‘currency’ that can help you to answer many significant questions. For example, what sort of customers does your business typically attract? Which customers convert the most quickly? And what sales channels are the most effective? It is a tool that allows you to measure certain business processes very quickly,” the interviewee explained.
- Employ all available data
According to Bankauskas, it is extremely important for a growing business to employ all the available data and to be able to quickly adapt to change, which is integral to constant business monitoring and analytics.
“Today, every company receives big or very big amounts of data that, as we know from our experience, is neither employed correctly nor for the right purposes. The data is often simply collected and stored, but that is all. In such cases, the available data is not working for the benefit of the business,” said the expert.
According to Bankauskas, a company’s specialists are often unable to see what should be done with the data they collect. However, by sharing examples of how to make operations more efficient, most people find some eye-opening possibilities. As an example, by reducing the number of routine tasks, a company’s administrative costs can decrease by a quarter. Important machinery can also be controlled automatically from a control centre rather than manually operated by workers, which again reduces the costs.
“You can grow and continue growing your business only when you understand your customer, what are his/her experiences and expectations, and what problems he/she wants to solve. You also need to stand out from the market and your competitors. Digitisation can help to achieve all of this, but it is important to understand this process and to utilise its full potential,” summarised Bankauskas.
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