With 2 billion people connected to the internet, a new age of digital transformation is very much present. Social media is quickly becoming the primary means for communication and collaboration, and with this constant access to information customers have an unlimited choice of companies to buy from. This increases customer expectations, and they expect companies to know them, to listen to them and to serve them flawlessly. If a company that is selling online can’t do that, customers will find someone else who can with a couple clicks on their smartphone.
Businesses operating in this era are facing a new-found height of customer expectations, which is placing tremendous pressure on companies to transform the value they provide. The challenge comes when most companies’ offerings and operations are largely physical, when they should be incorporating more and more digital without drastically increasing complexity and cost. How far and how fast should companies go?
Businesses need to make the move away from analog. The challenge comes in integrating the various dimensions required to make this shift, and how these work together. Firstly, what are you going to provide and how does your product, service or experience evolve in the digital age? And secondly, how do you go about providing it and operating your business to integrate analog and digital capabilities? When you’re able to combine these two dimensions at a business level – not just on a project-based basis – you’re well on your way to a digital transformation.
So how do you make the shift from physical to digital? One option is to reshape your value proposition. You can go from simply enhancing your product or service with digital content, information or engagement, to redefining your product and the value you deliver by replacing the physical with digital.
At the same time, a change in your business operating model is needed. How do you optimize the digital capabilities for your business? The first step is to create basic capabilities to improve operations and engage customers. The second step is to leverage the technology available by using information throughout your company. Finally, the last step is to integrate the analog and the digital to deliver efficiency and effectiveness to your customers.
With the variety of tools, apps and platforms out there, this process is increasingly within the reach of more and more businesses. Bloombees, for example, enables small merchants and entrepreneurs to sell on social media, directly to their fans and followers, with a single click. By incorporating new technology into their operations, these small businesses are delivering their customers the efficiency of being able to buy directly where they browse. And that is what digital transformation is all about.