Digitize your company in 3 easy steps

author
Edee Carey2020-12-17

We recently attended Gartner’s 2020 IT Symposium/Xpo. One of the presentations was on “Jump start digital commerce in 100 days.” While 2020 has been full of unpredictable moments, the one certainty of 2020 is digitalization.

Companies have accelerated the shift to online channels to continue selling, and likewise consumers accelerated the adoption of online channels for shopping. For example, in the UK, online retail sales increased 13% in three months of 2020 from COVID-19 – the same amount that was achieved in the last 10 years in the UK. A traditional digital commerce launch takes 6-9 months with seven steps. With the changes across the globe, we can now do it in three steps in 7-100 days. If you want to stay relevant, digitize your company by following these three steps: organize, select, and improve.

Notify customers with an SMS, WhatsApp message, or Viber chat that you now have an online store. You can also inform them about new products and services, update them on package delivery, and remind them about items in their shopping cart.

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Conference Presentation, Jump-Start Digital Commerce in 100 Days, Sandy Shen, 9 – 12 November 2020|EMEA | Virtual

This first step begins with setting up a cross-functional team, both essential and supporting functions, as well as an executive sponsor. Keep in mind what will work best for your business. Maybe that’s just a task force or a digital team or perhaps you set up a separate business unit or subsidiary.

Next, define the customer experience using the customer journey map, focusing on the buying process to start:

  • Awareness

  • Evaluate

  • Purchase

  • Delivery

You’ll want to maximize traffic to your site, increase conversion rates, and maximize order value. One of the key functions will be marketing, which works across the customer journey: driving traffic to the site and providing promotions and incentives to encourage purchases.

The last part of step one is define the business:

  • Products – Narrow down the specific products you will sell

  • Markets – Determine which geography you will target; you can always expand to more later

  • Channels – Consider starting with online and mobile channels

  • Customers – Your target audience and segmentation. Is it B2B or B2C?

  • Customer experience – This depends on if your customers are B2B or B2C as the experience will be different. For example, a B2C customer experience might include loyalty programs, mobile payments, surveys to get reviews, delivery and pick-up options, etc.

  • Metrics – Measure your performance to improve: financials (revenue, cost, margins), efficiency (sales, leads, delivery times), and customers (satisfaction, loyalty, retention, ratings)

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo Conference Presentation, Jump-Start Digital Commerce in 100 Days, Sandy Shen, 9 – 12 November 2020|EMEA | Virtual

There are three possible go-to-market approaches. You can choose to start with one or any combination of them.

  • Social stores – Set up your store on Facebook or Instagram, then customers can buy directly from there or be redirected to an e-commerce site. This is an easy, fast approach but the functionality and customer experience are more basic.

  • Online marketplace – This would be like using Amazon or Alibaba. You set up your store within this marketplace.

  • Direct-to-customer stores – Use your own e-commerce site or mobile app. While it takes more time to implement, it is possible to outsource work, and it provides richer functionality and customer experience.

3. Improve – Measure and improve performance

It’s important to review how your business is doing and reflect on customer feedback. You can use the customer journey map to learn more about their experience during and after purchasing products or services. When building your digital business, develop product management lifecycles and agile practices. Continue to learn what is happening in your industry and with new technologies. Remember, customer feedback is invaluable. You can get this from:

  • Focus groups

  • Surveys

  • Net promoter score, and more.

The LINK Insight Dashboard is a great way to measure your performance through a personalized dashboard. You can follow campaigns in real time and get valuable data to understand your customer portfolio and activities. You can even compare performance with others within your industry.

Use LINK Conversations to start a two-way dialogue with your customers. Get feedback on a product, service, or experience. LINK Flow, our drag and drop flow builder, allows you to create user-friendly chats with options for rich content (pictures, videos, links, QR codes, etc.) and your company’s branding.

Your competitors are becoming digital, too. You risk losing customers if you don’t have an e-commerce presence. Stay relevant by following these three steps, and get in touch with us to learn how we can help you in the process.

Learn more about Gartner and the IT Symposium/Xpo.