E-commerce is a multi-trillion dollar industry that changes, upgrades and evolves more rapidly than many online businesses can keep up with. According to Forbes, by 2020 at least thirty billion devices and more than seven billion people and businesses will be connected to the internet. Digital business today is hardly recognizable to those businesses that were born on the internet merely five years ago.
The onslaught and convergence of online communications and transactions have many online businesses grappling to stay above water. With such a dynamic landscape, how can you prepare to take on the workforce of tomorrow while keeping the continually evolving needs of digital business in mind? To prepare for the workforce of tomorrow, online companies should address the consumer market directly, improve communications through effective content management, and truly embrace what means to be innovative.
It’s a consumer’s world
Businesses are forced to rethink their strategic business processes as they endure changes in customer experience, technology, and the consumer market. Today consumers can interact with online businesses in new and instant ways. Purchase decisions are fueled by consumer experience and interaction, and thanks in large part to the app economy and social media trends, consumers are now running the show.
These trends force digital businesses to look at the one tool they have to understand their customers: data. It’s not always so simple for companies to know how to adopt data insights and implement them into daily business processes. Data and analytics have the ability to power businesses with crucial insights that can be leveraged to power new revenue streams. From product research to customer behaviour, today it’s data that’s running the show.
Let’s take the example of an e-commerce business looking to increase profits by expanding internationally. What once took teams of professionals and hours upon hours of research and resources in researching products with high profitability opportunities, now takes mere seconds thanks to a tool like Algopix that took on this manual process and automated it with sophisticated algorithms. By providing sellers of all sizes the tools they need to make data-driven decisions, every seller out there can compete in the international arena of e-commerce, and utilize their funds in the best possible way.
Through this data technology, the e-commerce landscape is all but revolutionized as sellers big and small have access to critical product data, lowering risk for international expansion and giving them security to grow with confidence. Digital business necessitates the need to adopt new automated systems and to leverage the data they produce into new business opportunities, strategies, and processes.
From chatbots to the Facebook messenger, businesses have to be on top of their customer communication and experience to survive today’s digital business landscape. The NYPost has estimated that American check their phones every twelve minutes, that’s a shocking eighty times per day. Given that information, customer engagement online must take top priority for many digital businesses as it presents both a significant opportunity for engagement, as well as a way to satisfy a need for quick communication on the customer’s side.
As mentioned, we’re currently dealing with a consumer-driven market. Regarding communication that means feedback, messages, reviews, and ratings can have a significant impact on online businesses as customers use this information as social proof with which to base their purchasing decisions off of. Digital businesses must put their attention toward engaging customers and driving sales through strong content management. Content has the power to change behaviour and influence decisions, as has emerged as a core value for e-commerce businesses as a way to distinguish themselves, establish an emotional connection, and get ahead of the competition.
Innovation is not just a trendy word
Everyone throws around the word innovation today, but only those who truly embody the word’s meaning can be successful. Just consider the famous example of Airbnb. By disrupting an older industry (let’s say travel agencies or stagnant hotel websites), Airbnb was able to successfully capitalize on technological changes by providing lower cost unique opportunities for travellers around the globe.
Today’s digital business is one that only the most adaptive and malleable businesses can stay afloat on choppy waters of change. When it comes to hiring new employees, companies have made the shift from hiring traditional professionals (think: top 4-year university or an MBA degree) and instead are open to people from all walks of life so long as they bring diversity, creativity and a new perspective. Employees that can look at the traditional older outdated system and not only imagine but create new processes and technologies are most valued.
Preparing for your business’s future means taking the necessary steps to not only survive digital transformation but also adapt and even own its processes. Through data-driven decisions, customer engagement, and the adoption of genuinely fresh ideas, businesses will possess a bright future within an ever-changing digital landscape.