Go Digital: But, why?
The why, how, and what of going digital.
We often hear terms like Digital Economy, Digital Transformation, Digital Services, and so on. But what in the first place does ‘digital’ mean, and how can they add value to a business?
‘Digital’ is a word that is often used in various contexts, generally about using the power of computing and the internet, and leveraging tools and technologies available to create value that is not otherwise possible. There is no ‘one’ standard definition of what it means to go digital, but broadly, people associate digital as a means of solving some pertinent problems. We, at 91social, consider digital as a means of achieving a vision that a business has.
For a moment, let’s forget Digital and talk about a professional goal that I have. I envision starting a family-owned business that is into furniture manufacturing. Assuming that I have the required capital and resources to manufacture a furniture product and that I plan to sell to the customers directly, I now have a lot of questions about selling it. How do I sell them? What do I have to do to ensure that I make a good margin from it, etc? There are two ways to think about it.
- Sell the furniture through a traditional brick-and-mortar store, by displaying the physical products to the customers.
- Sell the products through a website over the internet, by displaying the pictures of the product to the customers.
The second thought process is what we call ‘going digital’. Going digital has a lot of benefits to my business. There are no operational costs associated with maintaining a physical store, my products could get a wider reach over the internet, and importantly, it provides a convenience factor to the customers. Now that we’ve understood what going digital is, let’s talk about some more use cases of digital solutions.
Digital Use Cases:
The Internet and smartphones have made the world a global village, making information accessible to almost anyone. This has changed the way we communicate with each other, businesses with their customers and clients, individuals with individuals, and so on. It has come to a point where online/social media presence has become a necessity for both individuals and businesses.
Web and mobile applications: Websites, web applications, and mobile applications have been serving a lot of purposes, from being communication channels to increase their customer base, to solving a lot of problems. For an individual, a website will help him/her showcase their work, improve their personal brand, and in cases, benefit from monetizing it. For businesses, a web/mobile application can help solve some of their customer pain points. For example, a hospital or clinic can take some or all of its operations digital, such as booking a consultation, providing access to patient’s records online, thereby effectively reducing the friction between various stakeholders and also streamlining its operations. Many such benefits can be reaped by having a web/mobile application to improve the customer’s experience with a business.
Automation tools and data platforms: Today, automation is a buzzword. But, for those who get it to work, it’s a boon. You not only save a lot of time and money but importantly, also increase your employee engagement with your business. When employees are freed up from the mundane, low-skilled jobs, they are provided with an opportunity to be creative and perform high-value tasks that benefit both the employees and the organization. The employee is constantly learning new skills and is providing more value to their business either in the form of improved customer satisfaction or by innovation that translates to new business opportunities.
Data plays an important role in decision making and helps businesses and executives see opportunities for growth. A lot of businesses have various data sets from various sources, like, marketing, sales, operations, etc. mostly working in silos. Imagine, if all of this data is brought onto a platform, everything integrated, the insights that you can visualize are endless, thus helping you improve your business.
Chatbots and CRM: I have a friend who is working in a customer support role, helping customers with their problems. Sometimes, he’d be frustrated about getting the same and repetitive queries from the customers. This case may end up being a not so pleasant experience for both the customer and the support executive. What if there is a bot, which can understand the language of the customer, and help them address their queries, as if, you’re talking to a human. This would result in creating better experiences for customers while letting the support executives focus their energies on other important tasks.
There’s no business without customers. You’d ideally want to know as much as possible about your customers and keep them up-to-date about your offerings, promotions, etc. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools come into the picture. Essentially, a CRM tool stores all the information about customers and potential customers in one place, and helps communicate with them. It stores information about all customer interactions, their purchases, feedback, etc. and lets the business automate some communication such that there is an ongoing and engaging relationship between them.
These use cases are not exhaustive by any means, but help us understand the breadth of possibilities we have when we go digital.
How to develop an idea into a product/service?
So, now that you understand what digital means, why it is important to go digital, and how it helps solve some problems, let me go back to my vision of starting an online furniture store. I have a vision, and the resources required to realize that vision. But, what I don’t have is a technical background, or understanding of how to build technology. Even if I do develop those skills required to build an online store, with the ever changing technology landscape, it becomes hard to focus on both the business and technology development.
This is where, having someone with technical expertise helps. So, when building a digital business, it is really important to have a technical co-founder or team that you could bank on, while you extensively focus on developing your business. In most cases, that perfect team is a luxury. Here’s where we at 91social pitch in, helping you translate your vision into a solution by providing you with the right technology services required.
91social’s Service Offerings
We’ve worked closely with early-stage and growth-stage startups in helping them build their products and services, and scale quickly. Our automation tools have increased client’s work flow efficiency by 20%, and our technology integrations, data platforms, and tailor-made solutions have been widely acclaimed by our clientele. Our only business mantra is to help you take your business online in a matter of weeks!