Digitalization is one of the core aspects of the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0. Similar to how industrial revolutions changed the whole fabric of production and subsequently the society by introducing machines, digitalization will also continue to modify our production and society further. It has already changed how we communicate, work, educate and entertain ourselves to name the few. Understanding how to navigate this landscape where everything is online and connected is crucial to sustaining your business.
Thus, it is not the question of if you should consider digitalization as part of your business model, but how and when to start incorporating it. The answer to the latest question is quite obvious – the sooner the better. However, the question of “how” remains. That is why in this article, SOLVVE explains the key aspects of adapting business models to digitalization to keep pace with the trends and not lag behind your competitors.
Things to know about adapting business models to digitalization
Digitalization, digital transformation, going digital and many other terms are familiar to many people. However, there is also a disparity in understanding what they actually mean for a specific business. There are numerous trends soaring in many industries right now, from operations improvement to numerous applications of big data. And it is easy to get lost in them when trying to evaluate one’s business strategy while taking digitalization into account.
The first thing to keep in mind is the key objective of digitizing something – that is boosting human performance. It is easy to imagine that this could simply be done by adopting or updating available technologies that your business uses. However, a mare adoption of digital technologies does create value but rather a digital copy of a physical entity. Moreover, this approach leaves out two other important components like information management and people who are the key to creating value for your customers.
Bare technologies without trained human resources who understand where to pay attention to in the world of abundant information will remain useless. That is why your renewed business strategy should include working with these three elements. And this is what can help you.
How to adapt
Today this attribute is a must not only for e-commerce companies but also virtually for any business as people tend to do their research online before settling with a decision about purchasing goods or services. Bigcommerce have summed up these tendencies in three acronyms applicable to a vast variety of businesses:
- ROBO economy – research online buy offline.
- BOPIS – buy online, pick up in store.
- BORIS – buy online, return in store.
Forbes reported back in 2018 that 82% of customers will do online research and 45% will read reviews before buying something in brick-and-mortar shops.
That is why it is crucial for businesses to have a presence in a digital world in order to reach, to be found, and to provide enough credible and verifiable information to the customers. Some ways of establishing your presence in digital are having a mobile-friendly website, being on social platforms, listing your products on e-commerce platforms or running your own online store, etc.
It also employs a strategy for sustaining and promoting your digital presence. Which leads us to the next point.
Optimize customer experience
Being part of a digital world requires an understanding of human behavior online which might differ to a great extent from their behavior in an offline world. Nevertheless, this behavior keeps on evolving every day while some businesses are not fully grasping the basics of it. For those born into the world of internet and connectivity, these basics are intuitively clear, but others might need some help in identifying the right way to target, engage, manage and interact with the end-customers.
That is why the second thing to include in your digitalization strategy is a solid plan to collect information about your customers, analyze it, and provide better customer experience to your client base. For better or worth, such mogul companies as Amazon have set a high bar for quickness of response, instancy of gratification, personalized experience, and other relationship management aspects.
Businesses that are not able to grant their customers fast, reliable, and most importantly personalized experience are lagging behind the competition. That is why you need to strategize on how you analyze your customers’ behavior and how you can improve their experience. AI and ML tools come handy in solving these issues with, for example, data forecasting and customer relationship management systems.
Create a culture that understands and supports your model
Last but not least, adapting business models to digitalization requires understanding and engagement of human resources in your updated business. Working in a fast-paced environment where customer preferences and behaviors are prone to sudden and drastic changes requires flexibility not only of your technologies but of your corporate culture as well. That is why agile business approaches are becoming more and more widespread.
However, beside the agreement of business to go digital, adoption of agile approaches and incorporation of appropriate technologies requires trained specialists to get things going. Some of them include experts in software development like data scientists and engineers, experts in machine learning, experts in user experience and service design, cloud computing specialists, etc.
And when integration of technology is over your business also needs to maintain it as well as to train your workers to operate in this new framework to deliver the above-mentioned fast, high-quality, and highly-personalized experience to your customers.
As you can see, digitalization of your business model is not only about the technologies. A mare adoption of digital technologies does create value but rather a digital copy of a physical entity. It only through information management and renewed culture businesses can create additional value for their customers, mainly in forms of improved experience that can constitute itself as better and faster services along with a personalized journey. If you have any questions or ideas related to the application of digital technologies in your business, do not hesitate to contact us. Let us make this happen!