The year is 2020, and you’re reading this article on the internet. You might even be reading it on a phone screen because you have wireless access to the internet on your phone. Technology is a wonderful thing, and it’s come on in leaps and bounds in the past two decades. In fact, it’s made so much progress in so short a time that it’s caught some businesses and business owners unaware. By that, we mean there are still multiple businesses out there who could be dealing in the digital domain but aren’t yet doing so.
We need only look at the closures of well-known stores on high streets and main streets all over the civilized world to see that the old ways of doing business are dying out. People don’t want to go out of the house to buy products and services anymore – they want to do it all from home. This is as true of the entertainment industry as it is in the service industry. Look at the way that Netflix killed Blockbuster, for example. Look at the way that online slots have forced casinos to modernize and diversify. In fact, you could make an argument that online slots are already well along the way to evolving into mobile slots. The casino industry was an early adopter of web technology and has made millions from online slots, online poker tables on websites like Rose Slots, and every other online form of gaming you can imagine. If your business hasn’t made the transition to digital yet, your casino jackpot is still on the table, waiting to be won.
How do you even start the process of going digital, though, and can everybody do it? Answering those questions in reverse, the answers are yes, and we’re about to show you how.
Work Out What You Want To Get Out Of Digitizing
At the risk of stating the obvious, just putting your business on the internet isn’t a guarantee of success. Even China, which has long been a tech stronghold, is seeing web-based startups fail in record numbers during the past year. There’s no point in being online if you don’t know what you want to get from being online, and so you need to identify that first. Are you looking for a smoother way of interacting with customers? Would being online iron out bumps in your delivery process? Would it make it easier for you to handle stock? Work out the benefits of digitization for you and your business, and make those benefits the whole focus of the process. There’s no point in going digital purely for the sake of going digital.
Focus On The Mobile Experience
If you’re going digital in the 2020s, it may actually make sense to start with mobile support and work your way backward. In the past, customers were happy to browse through products and services on a mobile phone but still preferred to use a desktop or laptop computer to make a purchase. Increasingly, that’s no longer the case. Buying habits are now trending in favor of m-commerce, which is the name that’s been given to the mobile equivalent of e-commerce. That means the end product of your digitization has to look good on smaller screens, be touch-screen friendly, and, most importantly of all, have a supremely easy-to-use interface. When you’ve got that working, reverse-engineer it to make it work on standard computers.
Bring In Specialists
If you already had the right people inside your company to go digital with, you’d already have gone digital. If you don’t have a solid digital presence, you don’t have the right people. That means you’re going to have to bring in some specialists to get this done for you. Whether you hire them for the duration of the digitization process or you choose to keep them permanently is up to you, but bear in mind that your new digital products and services will require maintenance. You’ll either need to train people to take care of them for you, or you need someone on hand who knows how everything works. You might even want to let a few people go to bring new people in. Going digital is a change in marketing and selling strategy, and it may make some of your staff obsolete. It’s a big commitment, and that needs careful consideration.
Invest In A New CRM
Your new digital products and services shouldn’t just be for your customers. They should also benefit your company. If your storage or stock departments can suddenly provide real-time digital reports to your sales team in a way they couldn’t before, then you need to harness those abilities as an efficiency. That will probably require a brand new CRM system that can receive input from multiple sources and show that input to anyone who needs to see it. Depending on how specialized your field or industry is, you may even need a CRM to be purpose-built for you. Don’t let the cost put you off if so – if the pros comprehensively outweigh the cons, it will pay for itself in the end.
Try To Break Everything
The biggest mistake you could possibly make from a public relations point of view is going live with a digitized system that doesn’t work properly. Every single link, button, page, combination of pages, and type of transaction needs to be repeatedly tested in order to ensure that everything is working. Your new systems will not be ready to go live the moment that the design stage is done. They’re probably still not ready to go live after you’ve been told that all the necessary testing is complete. There are always gremlins in every system, and they show up at the least helpful moments imaginable. Clear some time in either your own diary or the diaries of a few trusted members of staff, and task them with trying to break the new products in any way they can. Only when they all come back to you empty-handed are you ready to go live with your service. They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but becoming known among potential customers for having unreliable services is the last thing you want from an expensive digitization process. More than anything else, don’t be afraid of change. It happens all the time, and it will happen again in the future. Right now, as we said earlier, the focus is on the mobile experience. Twenty years from now, we could easily be talking about the importance of making everything look good in hologram form. Nobody knows what the future holds – but we do know that today the world of business is digital.