Why and How to Digitize Your Business Today?
Digitization, or so-called digital transformation, is on everybody’s tip of the tongue nowadays. The last few years have changed everything. Digital technology became integrated into all aspects of human society, including businesses, government, healthcare, mass media, science, and others.
Digital transformation provokes fundamental changes in how companies operate and how they deliver value to their customers.
What is actually happening and what it means for us?
Digital startups like PayPal, Uber, Airbnb reimagine traditional financial, hospitality, retail and transportation industries. Companies are striving to move their products and services into the digital environment and build new business models in fear to be left behind. The digitization is reaching an inflection point, and, naturally, the transformation is inevitable.
Businesses that do not get accustomed to change soon will become on the verge of extinction.
Recent CEB research shows that:
And 66% of executives fear they may fail to digitize and compete.
The Generation C
Due to the above-mentioned processes, the digitally savvy customers are becoming more demanding than ever before. They expect from companies more and more personalized services, more than superior user interfaces, complete consistency, and around-the-clock availability.
Millenials, who have grown up in a digital world and who are fully adapted to it, got used to leverage the whole power of smartphones and intuitive apps, and expect seamless experiences across all engagements. They love all things digital.
The Generation C (“Connected”) find it ridiculous to have to go to a bank to make a transaction, to book a flight in an airlines company office, or to drive to a restaurant to make a table reservation. They want to interact with service providers through their mobile devices.
The Entire world in the pocket
The ubiquitousness of smartphones is indeed massive. A smartphone screen is the first thing most people see in the morning and the last what they see before going to sleep. No surprise that the most of the Internet data is accessed by using a smartphone. Smartphones know how to do almost everything: Internet browsing, multimedia, navigation, payments, social sharing, to name a few.
Think mobile first
In fact, to digitize means to get closer to your customers and employees. To get it right, apps are now the primary driver to get closer.
According to the above mentioned Statista, the number of mobile app downloads in 2017 was 197 Billion. And, this number is expected to grow to 352.9 Billion by 2021.
Mobile apps are a real game-changer in customer service. Companies are beginning to understand, that having a mobile app is no longer a status symbol, but a necessity to survive. Soon mobile apps will become a standard component of every marketing strategy. Everyone is getting onboard.
The power of apps
Well-designed, convenient and easy to use apps have vast marketing power. Broad functionality, from simplified online payments and orders of company services to gamification and entertainment elements, persuade consumers to interact with their favorite brand on a daily basis.
Thus, companies greatly benefit from these ongoing engagements, as the loyal customers who use their app make purchases, orders and recommend the company to their connections. Mobile apps help businesses bring their marketing strategy to the next level.
Due to the evolution of technology, it is today relatively easy to develop an app for business and staff it with any imaginable functionality. This one-off investment really pays off as in the long run companies save time and money for orders processing and fulfillment, receiving payments and answering to customer’s requests.
Benefits of having an app for your company:
- No matter the geography. An app can help you sell your services to any Internet user, live they in Chicago, Mumbai or Polynésie Française.
- More value for your customers. Convenient apps help significantly save time and efforts needed to order services, make a request or submit feedback.
- On-the-go marketing. An app will advertise your products or services any time a user downloads or launches it.
- Increase sales. Apps enable users to make purchase and order services anytime and from anywhere in the world. Instantly. The more often users are engaged with your app, the sooner they will be inclined to buy your products or services.
- Stronger brand awareness. Regular interaction with the branded app gives a consumer a feeling of personal connection and constant communication with the brand.
- Inform users about new offers and promotions. Apps not only provide general information about a product or service, including prices, booking forms, news feed, but also inform their users about newly-launched sales, promotions, and offers.
- Social platform. Mobile apps enable users to like, share and comment on products and services through embedded social media buttons
- Push notifications. Notifications are the form of direct interaction with customers, as they serve as reminderі about company’s products and services, whenever it makes sense. As well, notifications send coupons and boost repeat visits.
- Enhanced loyalty programs. Users will enjoy collecting points, bonuses and incentives and track their buying activity through a convenient app, rather than carrying a thick purse with outdated point-collection cards.
Types of apps for businesses:
1. Loyalty apps
Loyalty mobile apps operate consistency across channels and help improve communication, repeat visits, and considerably increase customer spending.
Loyalty systems enable convenient management of all possible types of discounts, coupons, cash-backs, points, freebies, special offers, one-of-a-time events. Retailers can set rewards for new enrollments, birthdays, spending tiers, goals reached, visits, social media shares, leaving reviews, etc.
These apps help collect large volumes of the right customer data, that is not limited to just demographical or geographical data, but also includes customer behavior patterns, buying preferences and interests, as well as transactional data generated in the buying process.
We’ve recently developed a loyalty app for retailers that helps restaurants and stores increase customer loyalty, as well as brings great gains to end-users.
2. Appointment scheduling apps
Scheduling apps are a must-have for service businesses. These apps help you publish essential information about your business, manage online bookings and appointments, and accept online payments.
These apps usually have lots of convenient features, like automatic booking confirmations, calculation of available times, SMS reminders, that help your customers not to forget about your appointment and reduce no-shows.
The scheduling apps also provide you with a dashboard, where you can view your staff calendar, manage and confirm bookings (automatically or manually, if you want to review every new booking), message customers and send them text reminders. Scheduling apps are often synced with Google Calendar so that you can see your appointments across all devices.
3. Mobile CRMs and sales support apps
Mobile CRM (customer relationship management) apps gather information about every customer into a single database across different channels, collect the status of orders, track history of purchases and interactions (previous and planned), customer service issues, buying preferences and sentiments, and provide ongoing analysis.
This data helps sales staff and other employees better interact with customers at different points of customers’ lifecycle, increase sales, optimize marketing efforts, automate workflow processes, and track performance.
Check out an example of a gamified CRM & ERP SaaS system that motivates and rewards sales agents.
4. Employee performance management apps
KPI-based employee performance management apps help adequately track the performance of your employees in order to view time logs for accurate work-time control, establish performance metrics, measure their effectiveness and ensure employees are meeting the set goals.
As the most people are inspired by the possibility to get rewards, gamification elements can be built into the employee performance management apps to drive healthy competition in an enterprise environment. Game elements in mobile apps motivate employees to continuously perform better, engage employees, reward the right behavior, and keep people motivated to achieve desired business results.
Your gateway to connected business
Today companies are facing severe challenges to stay ahead of the competition in the ever-changing entrepreneurial environment. But, at the same time, they are starting to realize the immense potential of mobility, which unlocks new opportunities, opens new revenue streams, and creates new mobile-driven business processes.
These days the majority of companies are still considering the development of a mobile app, and the sooner you start, the easier you’ll get ahead of your competitors. The choice you make today is going to set a solid foundation for your success in the future.