Digitization has been an interesting topic in the business world for some time now, and it is becoming increasingly important in the current situation when digital tools are our only reality and the only possible way of communication. The importance of digitalization has long been pointed out by academics, businessmen, and information scientists all over the world, and the COVID-19 disease situation has shown very clearly the importance of digitalization. The current situation in the world is unbearable for small start-up companies as well as large and successful companies that have not invested in the digitization and automation of their business processes.
Companies that are keeping up with the trends and have recognized the importance of digitalization before the current crisis can continue to operate smoothly in these circumstances and still have open sales channels to their customers. In these circumstances, companies that rely on traditional sales channels are either very limited in business or completely discontinued, since, with the exception of the basic necessities of life, all other sales are made online.
Digitization is not only important for businesses, but for the whole society, as it contributes not only to the productivity and efficiency of the economy, but also to wider socio-economic development. New services and solutions in all areas of the company allow us to use digitization for new ways of doing business, communication, education, entertainment and other specialized areas.
An investment in digitization not only to maintain a competitive advantage but also to remain on the market
In the short term, investing in digital channels will be a competitive advantage, but sooner or later, all businesses will adapt and digitization will be key to their market existence. There are quite a few digitization tools on the market and they are fairly simple and widely available to all, and because of the flood of information, it is difficult to determine what kind of digitization is right for the company. In the process of digitalization of business processes, companies should continue to strive to build digital sales channels that will have an immediate impact on the business and are fairly easy to implement in the business process.
For the sale of simple products, it is best to establish a B2C and B2B online store as quickly as possible. For companies that manufacture or sell more complex products, however, the most appropriate solution is online sales configurators.
Building an online sales configurator takes about 2 to 4 months, and the investment ranges from € 15,000 to € 50,000, depending on the complexity of the sales process and product. In the current situation, online sales will immediately start contributing to the company’s cash flow, which will provide companies with liquidity, and with most providers, companies can also arrange for the installment and rental costs to be repaid in installments.
A configurator is a tool with which your sales department, your partners and customers and customize your complex products to their needs, and prepare their own offer, place an order or make a purchase.
Digitization must be done decisively and comprehensively
The current situation has shown that successful digitization is the one that is done thoughtful and comprehensive and can also handle an increased number of demands. In order to manage the onslaught of demand, it is necessary to think quickly about the automation processes that support the operation of online sales channels. For example, an online store can quickly connect with other enterprise systems, such as ERP, MRP, and CRM systems, which provide automation of sales and after-sales activities, thus reducing the processing of orders.
The problem of cumbersome pages needs to be addressed a little more holistically, as it has recently emerged that many businesses have not been adequately prepared to invade customers through digital channels. Immediate action is needed to provide a more powerful infrastructure that supports the operation of online channels, as capacity building in this area is a key contributor to the user experience and is cost-effective. Businesses should move their sales processes to the cloud, where the price performance is even more favorable.
With proper digitization to a superior user experience
When talking about good user experience, most people actually think about the usefulness of a product or service that relates primarily to the surface of products, for example how they look, how they are used, what kind of company is behind the product or service, what are the messages, etc. The notion of user experience, however, has a much deeper meaning and relates to all points of contact between business and customer. Companies that build superior customer experience not only focus on great products or services but also focus on websites, online stores, ads, events, customer service. Good user experience means that with all possible tools, channels, and products, we address all the needs and desires of the customer in a way that suits his or her mental flow and is close to him.
Digitizing the sales process through the configurator makes a major contribution to building superior user experience, as buyers can explore the company’s offering through the configurator, customize products according to their preferences, place an order, and most importantly, customers can do it all through the mobile device in the comfort of their own home.
A common mistake is that companies think they know their customers, their preferences, and habits, so they dictate the whole experience that a customer experiences with them on digital channels. Some are successful, but most do not have such a good experience, so they consider their digital channels inefficient and no longer pay attention to it. This is how we often come across businesses that have an online store or sales configurator, and after a conversation, we find that this channel represents only 5% to 10% of the company’s total annual sales. The most common mistake when building primarily digital sales channels is that customer reviews and experiences are not included in the planning phase. With just 5 customer reviews, we can create a much better user experience. The key to a successful and successful digital sale is a digital strategy or a holistic view of the digital appearance of the company.
Customers are changing their purchasing habits
The current situation around the world has taught us the importance of digitizing sales processes. Consumers will change their behavior and seek providers who can make online purchases because of their current experience. Businesses that have not yet digitized their sales processes need to adapt to the situation and do so as soon as possible, otherwise, their customers will begin to move to competitors who offer them online purchases.
Businesses that take agile action and get out of this era are better, stronger, and more prepared for the challenges ahead. All business plans for 2020 and beyond are pointless and require immediate revision and real-time adjustment. It is necessary to build a digital strategy as quickly as possible and start making meaningful investments in the construction of digital channels, and then very agile to adapt and complement its activities, according to market responses.