Digital transformation can sound intimidating. The daunting tasks of determining where to make changes, earning executive buy-in, and evaluating ROI can stop businesses from undergoing digital transformation at all. But the risks of staying stagnant far outweigh the risks of change; in fact, 90% of B2B buyers have stated that they’d defect to another supplier if a business couldn’t keep up with their needs.
For industries that have traditionally resisted digital transformation, the time has already passed to start thinking about your digital experiences across marketing and commerce. Start planning your strategic improvements with digital transformation practice lead Mousumi Behari’s “Three I’s” methodology.
Step 1: Innovate
Innovation doesn’t need to involve huge risks, business process overhauls, or launching new channels. Instead, start with small, strategic changes that meet buyer needs and elevate experiences. If you’re not sure where to start, consider these three areas of opportunity:
Sell Where Your Customer Is.
For B2B businesses, eCommerce solutions for online purchasing are no longer a nice-to-have; they’re a necessity. B2B eCommerce sales are predicted to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023 in the U.S. alone.
Luckily, investing in eCommerce is a safe bet. Not only are buyers making more purchases online, 87% say they’re also willing to pay more for a supplier with a superior digital experience.
B2C commerce storefronts are experiencing a similar surge, with online purchases surging 44% year over year in the US. Consumer commerce experiences have always led the pack in delivering intuitive, easy shopping from anywhere.
Once your commerce website is optimized, consider other channels to boost sales. Social selling, for example, has increased dramatically: 70% of Gen Z respondents and 68% of millennials reporting they made a purchase on social media in the last year. Before diving into social selling, carefully evaluate the right social media platform for your target audience. Learning where your prospective customers spend their time online will help you reach them more effectively and see greater returns on your investment.
To personalize your website, you’ll need to harness the power of quality customer data. Identify the visitor interactions that matter, then develop a holistic view of the customer based on those interactions. Then, deliver personalized experiences where they matter most.
What types of personalization do buyers expect? Start here:
- Display related products and articles based on a visitor’s purchasing or viewing habits
- Display recently viewed items
- Show FAQs for previously purchased or viewed items
- Adjust call-to-actions on forms based on previously completed forms
Personalizing your website for different customers can yield great results. Take JLL’s example: after personalizing their global website they saw 100% increase in lead generation and 40% decrease in bounce rate across their sites. Hear firsthand how they accomplished their personalization goals in their webinar here.
Optimize for Search Engines.
According to Comscore, voice search accounted for 50% of searches in the US in 2020. This number is set to grow as more and more consumers adopt voice search into their day-to-day habits, affecting marketing and commerce strategies across industries.
To optimize your site for voice search, you’ll need to adjust your SEO strategy. Here are a few tips from CMSWire on how to get ahead:
- Think in terms of questions: Voice searches are often phrases in the form of questions. Creating an FAQ page can help your site rank higher in organic voice search results simply by listing out questions that are relevant to your business.
- Simplify Your Site: Stick to one main topic per page and focus on a flow of content that clearly communicates what you want a visitor or site crawl to understand from their visit.
Step 2: Invigorate
The second step to effective digital transformation is invigoration. While innovation focused on where your business may need to add new capabilities or solutions, innovation is about gaps in existing processes or departments. Here are three areas that may be ready for invigoration.
Align Marketing and Sales.
Uniting sales and marketing makes it easier for buyers to interact with your brand, empowering teams to launch more targeted campaigns and speed up conversions for faster time to revenue. Start by reevaluating your content creation strategy. Your site content should go beyond simple text and images to educate your customers. Experiment with different forms and channels for your content. Creating engaging content leads to increased conversion, warmer leaders and faster conversion.
Understand the Landscape.
In a crowded marketplace where buyers are overwhelmed with corporate communications, understanding the landscape will help you set yourself apart. Start by evaluating your competition to determine where you’re winning and where there’s opportunity to improve. Once you identify your differentiation and value prop over your competitors, evaluate strategic investments across people, process and technology.
Another area to evaluate is the talent pool. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain talent, and employees want flexibility in when and where they work. Are you equipped to manage a remote team? Can you hire talent from anywhere? Are you offering training and clear career paths? All these improvements can help you build a better team.
Establish Transformation Goals.
Employees believe that companies with a strong vision for the future are more likely to succeed in the coming years. Clearly communicate your goals for transformation projects to gain buy-in across your organization. Forecast expected ROI for digital transformation projects to establish what success looks like from the start. This allows you to budget for the changes, and invigorate the customer experience through not only an investment in technology, but an investment in hiring more roles to move to best in class.
Step 3: Implement
The final step in digital transformation is implementing the changes you’ve identified. For some, that may mean new technologies that meet your buyers’ or employees’ needs. For others, it may necessitate new processes for managing existing departments or technologies.
Move quickly during the implementation phase to avoid years-long rollouts. After all, technology and buyer needs change so quickly that your strategy may need to be reevaluated in quarters, not years. Focus on delivering the minimum viable product through agile methodology, then iterate over time to improve.
Don’t forget that implementation doesn’t stop at technology – think about change management best practices to ensure a smooth transition. Have your teams been trained up on new technology or processes? Are there updates or feature retirements that will require future attention? Where can you set your teams up for success long-term?
Ready to get started with digital transformation? We’ve helped brands like Molex, JLL and Kemet achieve their business goals. Get started by contacting us here.