Business Digital, often described as too expensive or too complicated, finally appears as an accessible solution. Business digital means all digital and digital solutions that enable you to manage and do business online. Indeed, digital has for many years now been a carrier of business opportunities. Revenue growth, acquisition, customer relationship management, visibility… Online stock areas are unlimited. Today, more than a possibility, Digital is even becoming a sinequanone condition of the survival of companies and their development. If it is not yet easily adopted by entrepreneurs it is more out of concern about what this entails (financially, structurally, temporally), than because the benefits are misunderstood.
In reality, the benefits of an online interface are generally clear to both executives and their customers. Product availability, time savings, variety of offer, 24-hour accessibility… Digital meets most consumer expectations. According to the French Trade Council (CDCF), 7 out of 10 customers check the Internet before travelling to the store.
Despite attractive arguments, digital transformation is struggling to make its way into the heart of businesses of all sizes. Yet Business Digital, more than an extension of the physical existence of a store for example, can be its virtual alter ego. A boon in case of obligation to close physical outlets, as well as in a more serene situation …
Containment, the best ambassador for digital transformation
With the containment and the fait accompli, the Digital suddenly took on a more seductive look. With the internet, if a potential customer is looking for a service offered by a company but that company is not online, it is as if it does not exist. The company therefore lives only on its current clientele and the one that may pass by its door. However, many local businesses did not see Business via Digital as an opportunity. The biggest fears came with containment. Disempowered by the situation, many traders were fortunate to have the support of solidarity actors during this period.
This is, for example, the bias of the French Trade Council. Already defending the value of digital for local businesses, the CDCF has set up an online interface to enable businesses and craftsmen to pass the Covid-19 crisis. This solidarity initiative allows consumers to buy vouchers from registered businesses and artisans. Thus, merchants maintain cash even if in-store sales are impossible. Buyers can then use their vouchers either after containment, or in delivery or click and collect if the merchant has the necessary tools.
Beyond the local shops, it is all the traditional trades that, with their backs to the wall, find themselves having to go digital. This is particularly the case for service professions, accustomed to direct contact with clients, such as real estate agents, brokers, advisors and consultants… Thus, the Coronavirus crisis triggered an urgent transformation of the market. To maintain economic activity during containment and beyond, digital solutions such as electronic signature, online contracts and online payment quickly became unavoidable.
Diversification and accessibility of solutions for Business Digital
Outside the context of the crisis, various dematerialized solutions exist precisely to make life easier for entrepreneurs and employees.
Among the most common tools, marketplaces allow you to sell online without having your own website. Bringing together different sellers, they have the advantage for customers to find products from several shops in one place. For sellers, going digital business through one or more marketplaces is a way to pool tools. They also benefit from the platform’s notoriety, which is often greater than each seller independently.
However, as part of a longer-term strategy, building your own website and associated digital strategy can also be more beneficial. If it initially requires more budget, it is above all a way to get more returns (no commission to be paid to an intermediary, capitalization on its own brand, direct management with the customer, tailor-made solution for the company …).
In addition to online sales platforms, cheaper and cheaper digital tools are being developed in the service of simplified management. Online signature, easy telephony, virtual tours, even virtual shops, delivery solutions… Offers are multiplying and costs are reduced.
With containment, many providers have even offered their services for free. This is the case for example the startup Swikly. Dedicated to tourism professionals, especially camping and car rental companies, it offers the dematerialized deposit. By avoiding the cheque and the need for physical encounters, it allows companies in the sector to cash in for the summer season.
E-reputation and loyalty, capitalize through Digital
With Digital, the whole image of the company is at stake. Easy to be contacted (and not just by phone during business hours), access to information, delivery… Consumer expectations increase with innovations. Taking the train along the way allows us to enhance the brand,to build customer loyalty, to develop an environment of trust.
For this simple tools exist. Starting with the Google My Business. This is the small business card that appears on Google when you make a query. It can be found on both the search engine and Google Map. It offers companies to inform timetables, addresses, offers, website… This makes useful information quickly available. It is ideal for local Business Digital. Indeed, 2018 and 2019 saw a boom in Google queries ending with “around me” and “nearby.” In fact, the search engine revealed that 46% of queries were local. Customers are looking for a shop online before they can get around.
In addition, the Google My Business collects reviews left by customers. When we know that 88% of consumers read these reviews before making a purchase, that 31% of consumers are willing to spend more if the company is rated well and that this serves the trust in the brand, it would be a shame to deprive themselves of it.
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