Digital Business Transformation: Simple ways to switch your business processes to digital during Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The business world has been rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost every type of company in the world has been affected; from airlines to tourism, real estate to recruitment, fashion to jewellery, are all being forced to adapt to new progressive and inventive ways of doing business that allow for minimal personal contact.
Industries are having to rethink all of their business processes. From initial consultations to conferences, from deliveries to return policies, from quoting to presenting, it all needs to change, and fast! Enter digital business transformation.
What is digital business transformation and how does it differ from just making a website?
Digital business transformation is not a new concept; businesses have been developing ecommerce websites, apps and digitising admin processes for years, but now it’s more important than ever. The Coronavirus is forcing us to innovate fast. But where do you start when you have always existed in the bricks and mortar, face to face world? Allow us to share some ideas.
Digital transformation covers many forms, but in its most basic incarnation, it can be as simple as converting a paper-based form to digital and placing it on a website or an iPad, or setting up an online booking system for video meetings. All these processes save on needless personal contact and admin time.
Let’s get to the point quickly. Your business may be forced to close if you don’t move fast so here are some quick ways you can adopt today.
1. Save on printing and presentation design time. Create proposals online: Qwilr is a great online proposal writing app.
2. Save paperwork: take paper forms and put them on your website or on an iPad or use Typeform
3. Offer online consulting or meetings: Use Google Hangouts, Zoom or Facetime.
4. Save on printing and scanning: Use a digital document scanning app on your phone to send paper documents.
5. Book meetings without all the back-forward emails with Calendly and calendar managers like TryBooking.
6. Embrace remote working: Read about home office hacks, handy tips and get creative.
7. Send automated newsletters, offers and reminders with Mailchimp and or Campaign Monitor
8. Sell online: get an ecommerce website developed or try free DIY builders such as Square or trial Shopify.
9. Organise internal communications: use software like Slack (free) to coordinate across projects & service categories.
10. Advertise online: use services such as Adwords or Facebook Ads to drive leads
11. Redo your website and drive new leads: Hire a website designer or try CRO (conversion rate optimisation).
Where to start with digital business transformation?
You may ask yourself “How do I get my business online?”, “How do you make an online store?”, “How do I communicate with my team online?”, “What is ecommerce and how to set up an ecommerce website?”, allow us to share some ideas:
1. Digitising & Prioritising Business Processes
Going digital requires decisions to be made by key people. Decide quickly who this will be, whether it’s the CEO, the IT department or Admin. Next: Decide what processes can be digitised and then consider the priority and cost of digitising these processes. Who will document and train everyone in these new tools? There may need to be new protocols for using software, such as a dress code for video meetings or how to begin a video conference call and how to include everyone with the absence of face to face presence.
Trello is a particularly good list-making and project management app. Also try Asana, Favro and Monday, all very similar powerful project management apps. Many digital agencies use these for this purpose, they allow you to keep track of everything from the big picture to the small details and keep everyone informed as you go.
2. Remote working
At the organizational level, the move to remote working requires decisiveness from all management levels of an organisation. Given the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, overthinking the trade-offs and short-term costs could literally cost lives.
Communication is critical in this shift to remote working. More frequent video conference meetings are a good idea to keep everyone motivated and on the same page. Two great online communication tools are: Slack Chat Platform, Google Hangouts which ties into the very popular business email service Gmail very well.
The majority of products traditionally sold off the shelf can adapt to being sold online. For example, the thought of buying shoes online was initially a huge mental leap for consumers to overcome, since they were used to being able to go into a shop and try them on. But eventually, with the implementation of excellent return policies, sizing charts and customer support, shoe producers have digitised this challenging product.
This has also happened for a diverse range of products: anything from alcohol to glasses, food delivery to masonry, electronics to jewellery. Virtually anything can be sold online. This can even extend to taking deposit payments, donations online for NGOs, and online banking.
4. Forms and processes
5. Advertising online
Advertising online is a proven method of driving quick and targeted traffic to your business for a much smaller cost than traditional advertising. From Adwords, to Bing to Facebook to Instagram, there are a plethora of options to consider and varying starting budgets and options available.
Modifying your entire business model is easier said than done and a complete guide would require a whole separate article but there are some simple ways of pivoting online for some industries. For example: art galleries can consider selling framed prints online with Shopify. Some hotels and restaurants have moved to providing packed lunches for their staff working fom home. Musicians can begin streaming online with Facebook live or Youtube live.
We’ve even heard of events organisers who started building standing desks and selling them online. With the huge surge in demand for home offices, this is a smart move. Consider what you or your team are good at and whether this intersects with a need in the world and start planning your pivot.
What are the risks of digital business transformation?
The main risks in transforming a business are the time required to develop these processes and the initial learning curve required for staff as they transition. Then you have the short term monetary investment required and the need for documenting these new processes.
The Advantages of Digital Business Transformation
In short, it will make your business more efficient, save on costs and ideally deliver new revenue streams. The steps above can help you automate a lot of processes and save a lot of admin time. Furthermore, you can sell products and services directly online, gather information, deliver products and provide software and systematise manual processes.
Digital transformation is the first step to business automation and process efficiency, the advantages are numerous:
Reduce staff costs
Decrease travel time to and from meetings
Save on warehouse space
Lower sales team costs
Save money on fitouts
Lower your electricity bill
How much does digital business transformation cost?
The good news is that the majority of the things in the above list you can start today for free. For the more advanced tasks such a conversion rate optimisation and embedding web forms, you might need to hire a web designer or web developer.
How can digital business transformation improve customer and user experience?
Digital transformation done well will delight a potential customer by making a process more efficient and pleasant. If it’s not easier than the old way, there has not been any transformation. User experience design is a critical component of digital transformation in the web industry, it is the first step of any transformation. A user experience designer and business analyst will analyse everything about your business and all of its processes. Then they will translate these findings into business requirements, functions and ultimately tools and applications to be developed online.
Related article — Why Is Creative UX Design Crucial For CRO? Why UX Design Matters.
For example, if your target customers are seniors or have disabilities, they’ll interact with your business & processes differently than Internet-savvy millennials. You will then need to consider adhering to accessibility standards such as WCAG AA and or using larger text or buttons with your online forms. You may also need to have basic ‘how to’s’ or tooltips when arriving on your web application.
Furthermore, your target customers will probably have distinct design preferences, depending on their demographics and interests. No matter how crowded your field is, getting design right can make the difference between gaining a customer or losing a prospect.
It’s time to turn your traditional business into a beautifully efficient digital reality!
So as you can see, Covid-19 does not have to spell disaster for every traditional business, there are many ways to adapt. See how our helpful Bapple digital business transformation and development team can turn your business into a beautiful digital machine. Get in touch or email your brief to us today: [email protected]
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