A common mistake is thinking that a digital transformation strategy means getting your hands on more technology. It’s about understanding the shift in customer behaviours towards digital. And embracing digital strategies that make it easier for customers to interact with you. No matter where or when.
Our previous blog explored what is digital transformation and how it influences your entire business. From HR and marketing, to strategy, sales and goals.
Having a digital transformation strategy isn’t an option for businesses anymore. It’s a necessity. Just look at what’s happened to businesses like Austin Reed and BHS.
Both these companies lost touch with current shopping trends. They offered a poor online and digital presence. Combine this with dated stores and the customer experience just didn’t stack up.
From the way these brands have folded, the message is clear. Brands need to get in shape digitally or they won’t survive. For well established brands, the digital transformation process can be especially painful. They need buy-in from stakeholders throughout the business. And change can be difficult.
Newer businesses automatically have a leg up on the competition. Most start-ups don’t need to consider digital transformation. It’s already ingrained in their DNA. They’re often focused on mobile usability and digital experience from the start.
Companies like Uber and Airbnb, for example, started on mobile devices to capture a specific market. Travel and leisure are areas where customer behaviours have shifted hugely towards digital. These companies’ successes come from recognising this shift.
So how do you build a successful digital transformation strategy for your business? Here are five essential steps you’ll need to take:
The first step to creating a digital transformation strategy is changing your company’s point of view. A successful digital transformation needs to get the right people on board, including stakeholders.
You need to be able to map out every area for improvement and how you’ll take these steps. Then make it clear what the outcomes will be for everyone involved. A digital transformation strategy can’t work if everyone’s not on board. So make sure you’re letting them know why it’s so vital and what you’ll achieve.
No doubt you’ve got business goals? Well, have you thought about how these will translate into digital? Figure out your goals and the digital processes that’ll get you there.
For example, your goal might be to increase sales. With marketing personalisation tools, you can make sure you’re showing users products they’ve seen before or are likely to be interested in. Personalised content helps improve customer experiences, leading to higher conversion rates.
Plus you can make your website more than a catalogue. Make it an information hub and buying facility with ecommerce tools.
To reach business goals, you have to know your customers. And it’s about more than what they do or buy. What drives them to purchase? What devices do they use? How many times do they browse before they buy?
Using analytics you can track where users come from and how they travel across your site. If they’ve made purchases in the past, make personalised suggestions for them now. Do they often arrive at your site from social media? Then you should consider integrating social media sign in.
A deep understanding of how your customers use digital will help you reach digital maturity. So research is key. The simpler you make each users’ experience, the more likely they are to become customers.
A successful digital transformation strategy doesn’t mean going out and getting an office robot. Just make sure your technology lets every function of your business collaborate, reduce costs or save time.
Connected data is key. Most big brands use customer data to offer better customer experience. But if you can’t see data from different devices and channels, you’re not getting a single view.
You also need to consider how well your digital tools work with your data. If you can link your customer relations management (CRM) system with your email marketing system, then you can personalise emails. And you can set up automated emails based on customer interactions. The more connected your digital processes are, the more effective they’ll be.
The most important step to a successful digital transformation strategy is being open to change. You have to be ready and willing to transform your business as your customers’ needs change. “Move with the times” may sound cliché. But if you’re not following your customers’ digital behaviours, any current transformations won’t matter.
How do you keep evolving? You need to continually use analytics to measure your success. Keep setting goals. Track what works and what doesn’t so you know when new patterns emerge. Then adapt to suit these new patterns.
At UNRVLD, we’re made up of more than Sitecore developers. We also have a team of marketing experts, SEO specialists and digital strategists. If you want to know more about creating a digital transformation strategy for your business, we’d love to hear from you.
We work within the Sitecore platform. And we’re confident it has all the tools you need to reach digital maturity. If you’re new to Sitecore, we’d love to give you a free Sitecore demo. And if you’re already on Sitecore, we can give you a Sitecore audit to help you find any areas for improvement.