How the Pandemic Helped Digital Growth

2020 has been a unique year leaving a unique impact. It’s changed the way the world operates and how we interact daily. Wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and social distancing is our new normal. But these changes led to many businesses feeling the pinch as customer habits change, such as more of them turning to online shopping.

It’s not all bad news though. The silver lining is a digital transformation that holds many benefits.

When businesses were forced to close their physical doors during lockdown, company owners had to think differently. The pandemic pushed many to move their businesses online. Over the years this shift had already started to take place but the pandemic pressed the accelerator and showed the world how important technology has become. Now everything is happening quickly. Are you up to date with developments and where do you still need to change?

Economic Uncertainty Pushes for Change 

Part of the change for business is prompted by the possibility of people falling sick and even losing their lives. Because of COVID-19, especially if you fall into a high-risk category, you can’t simply visit your favorite store anymore. Now instead of visiting the store in person, consumers order what they need online. 

This change meant that businesses had to adapt or risk becoming obsolete. It pushed commerce away from in-person interactions and shifted our focus to the digital world.

Businesses that didn’t have a website or eCommerce platforms were affected more than companies that did have digital platforms. Now any business that wants to succeed must move with the times and drive traffic to their online stores with user-friendly digital order and delivery options.

Even small changes can make a difference. Some stores allow you to place your order online and simply collect. This saves time and limits patrons’ exposure to COVID-19. An arrangement that seemed irrelevant for most people only a year ago, is now vital and popular. 

A Shift Towards Social Media 

Lockdown rules left people with a lot of time on their hands and social media exploded because of it. Now more than ever, your business needs to have a social media presence. It’s no longer an option but a necessity and creating a customer following has become the new key to running a successful business.

By creating a following with these methods, you’re insuring repeat business: 

  • Use hashtags relevant to your business
  • Follow similar relevant accounts
  • Follow key influencers in your sector
  • Subscribe to Twitter lists 
  • Join groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Make sure your profile is user-friendly and complete
  • Share valuable content
  • Comment on and share trending posts to stay relevant 

4 Easy Ways to Digitally Focus Your Business

Because of the pandemic, businesses had to change their strategies. For example, restaurants and fast-food operators had to partner with tech companies to teach them how to seamlessly slip into the digital age and improve their online offerings. 

Take a look at these tips to help your business embrace this digital transformation:

  • Switch your focus in marketing: Instead of focusing on the features your product offers, focus instead on how it will benefit your target market and satisfy their needs. Restaurant marketing is an excellent example of how this can work. Instead of only mentioning menu items, focus on how the delivery service is the perfect solution to what to eat for dinner tonight. 
  • Increase your digital offerings: Your business will need to post quality content often, stay relevant and engage with potential clients. Creating content can easily be done with blogs or run online competitions and give special discount codes that are only available on your website or social media pages.
  • Use technology to your advantage: There is no need to hire an entire team to run your social platforms. Even the least tech-savvy individual can benefit from digital growth, without software coding knowledge. Check out platforms such as Squarespace and Canva to improve your digital content and create designs. WordPress and Wix will help with web design and hosting.
  • Rely on remote workers and automation: Allow remote working because thanks to technology such as online communication platforms, teamwork doesn’t have to be more complicated than before. Also, duties that can be automated should be. You can even automate social media posting. So, the tasks you add to your to-do list because of the new digital business method, won’t keep you away from your usual responsibilities.

Embrace The New Normal—The 4IR Revolution  

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and it started before the pandemic. But now businesses don’t have any option but to join in. This relates to digitalization, smart cities, virtual reality and a shift towards using artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics and wireless technology. The good news: this innovation improves productivity, communication and supply chains. So the changes forced upon you can benefit many industries, open markets and drive economic growth. 

Ways your business can take advantage of the perfect technological storm that is brewing:

Artificial intelligence: From decoding important data to recognizing patterns and making recommendations based on data, your business can get more done with AI’s help.

Rely on blockchain: This is a secure way to record and share data without any third-party interference. Bitcoin is a popular example of blockchain technology.

Store important data in the cloud: This is the most secure way to back up your data.

Virtual reality: Help your customer have a virtual experience of the product without buying it first. 

Closing the Digital Divide

In a digital marketplace, customers are more spoilt for choice than ever before. This means your business needs to provide the best service possible and create a following if you want to draw customers in. With technology supporting most interactions between businesses and customers because of the pandemic, these strategies are now what you need to stay ahead of the game:

  • AI can help your company collect data from your target market to cater to their specific needs. Find out what they want and offer something your competitors don’t which can help you stay ahead of the game. 
  • Invest in technology, such as a company app, that adds value to the customer experience.
  • If your business offers online payments make sure that information is protected. Nothing breaks trust quicker than a credit card hack. Cybersecurity is very important and it’s one area where you shouldn’t try to save a few dollars. 

Prepare for What Comes Next

It’s vital that your business is able to change and adapt, no matter what comes next. There is no telling when the pandemic will end and if life will ever return to normal. This requires unique long-term planning business leaders didn’t think of before:

  • How can technology help you save money so you can plan strategic cost management solutions? For example, use remote working resources instead of paying for office space you can’t utilize fully. This will help curb spending and create a financial buffer for the future. The buffer will come in handy if more restrictions are enforced. It’s important to have a backup plan to successfully survive the pandemic. 
  • Can you use the many online training resources to upskill your staff? This can improve your services to your customers and improve your brand reputation.

Think of ways that you can optimize your productivity by analyzing your process and improving it where necessary. By embracing the latest technologies and using them to improve your business offerings you’ll have better opportunities in the long run.

[Conclusion]

There are many ways the pandemic has helped push digital growth forward. It’s challenging, but are you benefiting from it yet? By embracing technology as much as possible and allowing your business to adapt and grow, you can ensure you stay competitive. Your business can succeed by changing and improving along with technological advances. 

These tools and tips will help your business wake up from the COVID-19 nightmare and ensure you don’t get left behind. 

If you’re looking for a way to improve your digital strategy, Huge Connect can help you get connected. We provide reliable and secure data connectivity for small to large scale businesses. At Huge Connect we provide the best tools for continued digital growth. 

Let’s Connect. 

Sourced from: Huge Connect Blog. View the original article here.