Business owners who resist getting on the digital bandwagon will find themselves at a disadvantage over their competitors who have embraced technological advancements and who are keeping up with the modern business world. Investing in and using the right technology will help your business be more profitable, productive, and efficient.
Online Community and Collaboration Platforms
Many new social engagement and collaboration tools have emerged in the last few years because interest in enterprise collaboration has been growing, creating a new generation of engagement-centric business solutions. These solutions promote collaborative work between users and the integration of people and information. It lets users communicate, create, collaborate, learn, and share and must be available on a web and mobile interface.
Online communities are efficient and effective vehicles that connect people and information together. Beautytalk is an online community for beauty fans where consumers can share reviews, advice, and tips. It was created in response to customer questions and online reviews left on Sephora.com. BoatPlanet.com is an online community of passionate boaters and expert service providers where businesses can connect with new customers. Made Unboxed is an online community for made.com, a furniture retailer that allows shoppers to share ideas and allows them to see how the furniture looks in real life.
The Future of Conversations
A growing technological trend is the proliferation of autonomous interfaces like digital agents or chatbots used across messenger-based platforms. A very well-known example is Apple’s Siri. If you want to know the forecast for the weekend, you no longer have to visit a weather site or use a weather app. If you have a question you want to be answered, there is no need to go to a search engine and type in your question. All you have to do is ask Siri.
Increased Emphasis on the User Experience
Successful business owners understand the importance of their customer experience. At the same time, customers are becoming less patient and more cautious. You want your customers to be engaged and involved with your brand while assuring that their experience is a good one. Business owners often rely on analytics to get a clear understanding of where their customers are coming from whether it be from your website or a social media platform. Make sure that anywhere and everywhere a customer or potential customer interacts with your company, their experience is positive, consistent, relevant, valuable, and an enjoyable.
The trend is towards making purchasing processes simple and fast. Customers today expect to be able to make payments with one click as well as be able to buy what they want from their computers and mobile devices. There are numerous apps available on the market to make this process seamless for businesses and their customers.
Although E-Commerce is not new, it is expected to grow as more and more brick and mortar stores close. Clothing and electronic retailers, pharmacies, and department stores have been shutting down in droves because of a steep decline in foot traffic to these stores. Some brands like 7-Eleven, AutoZone, and Dollar General are still doing well and even opening new stores in various locations. It appears that people prefer to shop at convenience and discount stores in person. However, all is not lost for these small and mid-sized businesses. They can easily set up e-commerce websites with secure online payment systems and even save money on rent and other expenses associated with a physical storefront.
It only takes a few unhappy or unreasonable customers to literally ruin a company’s reputation online. Even if a company does everything possible to try to satisfy an irate customer, a few tweets, negative forum posts, or bad reviews on sites like Yelp can cause serious harm to a company’s brand and crush a new business. There are reputation management services that will actively look for unfavorable posts and online reviews and then help companies clean it up and save their online reputation.
Although it might be difficult for companies to keep up with the ever-advancing technology, it can really hurt your business and put you behind your competitors if you don’t adapt your business to the changes. If necessary, hire professionals to help you identify and analyze the new technologies that emerge. They can also help you implement the ones that benefit your business the most.