Picture this: the year is 2021 and the internet is ‘literally’ high on buzz words such as disruptive technology, IoT, VUI, AI, distributed cloud, and innovation. Digitalization and Digitization are but just an example of our addiction to tech jargon. The two terms look and sound similar but most certainly, differ in meaning.
Digitalization, also known as Digital Transformation (DX) is when a business incorporates digital technology in its processes, tools, operations, or even to revamp its products and services. It is the process of employing digital technologies and information to transform business operations. Google Trends suggests that the term ‘Digital Transformation’ peaked in popularity in Sept 2020. The use of a laptop for report generation is the most basic and simple example of digitalization.
Digitization is the process of changing information from analog to digital form. An example of this is the transformation of physical forms to digital forms where the process hasn’t changed, except the information is now stored and viewed in a digital format versus handwritten. Digitization helps reduce paperwork.
In summary, information is digitized while a business is digitalized. Unless this distinction is clear, it can be challenging for business leaders to establish a clear vision.
It started with the invention of the transistor in 1947. There was no looking back from then on. Next came the pager, computers, game consoles, emails, laptops, CDs and digital cameras. The list goes on and on. Fast forward to 2021 where we live and breathe technology.
With the speed at which technology has taken over our daily lives and businesses, one would be right to assume that every business understands the importance of digital transformation, specially in terms of customer experience. Interestingly, this isnot the case. Many CEOsdon’t entirely understand what it means to digitalize their business. Othersdon’t want to have to do anything with technology and leave it up to the CTO/CIO to make technology related decisions instead of working with them in close collaboration.
In a recent research, 79% of companies admit that it is only because of COVID-19 that they have increased their budget for digital transformation.In another study, 47% businesses haven’teven started their digital transformation as yet while 59% are worried that it might already be too late for them! The same study found that 55% of businesses believe they have less than a year before they start to suffer financially and lose market share. 12 months isn’t enough time to digitalize customer experience but a significant number of companies have managed to do this during the COVID-19 crisis. The food retail sectors, specifically, grocery stores were forced to digitalize their customer experience entirely. The sector achieved in months, what it had planned to achieve in the next 5 years and managed to thrive. In the UAE, there was a consistent 2x growth in revenue in Q2 and Q3 2020 versus Q1 2020.
Call it ‘Digital Darwinism’ or ‘Survival of The Fittest’, done right, it can mean the difference between making it and going extinct. If you are still reading, chances are you appreciate and understand the need for digitalization.
So, why do some digital transformation efforts succeed while others fail? In a 2019 survey, CEOs admitted that of the $1.3 trillion that was invested in digital transformation, more than $900 billion was wasted. That’s a 70% failure rate. It is fair to conclude that digital transformation is not only about technology. It is a combination of attitude, strategy, teamwork, willingness to learning new things, project management, prioritizing the customer and change management.
To get started, segregate your business into segments that need to ‘undergo the surgery’. While it differs for every business, for most, the following segments need to be focused on when embarking on the journey to digitalization:
Regardless of the area you focus on, you need an overall strategy with a clear timeline.We will focus on the customer experience segment in this blog.
An engaged customer is also, usually, a paying customer. Highly engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per purchase and have 3 times the annual value in revenue compared to the average customer. Furthermore, companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers!
We suggest that you:
The end result needs to be a seamless multi-channel experience for the customer along with increased revenue generation opportunities for the business. Customers are more likely to return if their experience is as painless and as technologically diverse as possible.
If you are still not convinced, here is a list of reasons you might want to digitalize:
Nevertheless, data is valuable when it is visualized and analyzed accurately. At the heart of StagFox’s offering is the true voice of your customers. With our state-of-the-art CMS (Content Management System) you can set your campaigns and surveys to view insights based on gender and age ranges. With our fully automated reporting suite, you can analyze trends in real-time.
If you are still convinced that you can retain your customers without digitalization, you might be risking:
Global net spending on digital transformation in 2018 was approximately $1 trillion. This number is expected to increase to more than $2 trillion by 2022. Every business is now a technology business, and what matters most is a deep understanding of the customer, which is enabled by technology. Get started today and contact us for a demo!