The internet has caused many organizations to not only rethink how they conduct business, but also how they restructure their online business entirely. Over the last few years the internet has been a complete game changer, it has opened up markets to businesses from all parts of the world and has made it incredibly easier for competitors to enter your market. Many of these competitors offer better prices and have a better value proposition in place in order to win market share and customers.
Having a long history of success and being an industry leader today does not guarantee or confirm tomorrow’s success. In order to be a constant in customer’s minds, stay competitive in the internet landscape and emerge as an industry leader tomorrow, companies who may be stuck in a different decade need to take the challenge of solidifying themselves in the internet space. In the Industrial Revolution and in past decades, businesses wanting to enter the marketplace had to think about and depend on various things, such as: means of production, traditional marketing, sales planning and most importantly a physical location with a storefront. Luckily for some and unluckily for others, these principles do not apply to businesses wanting to enter the marketplace today. Virtual stores and eCommerce capabilities have taken the traditional way of conducting business and restructured it completely, leaving companies that are not used to this process at risk of becoming obsolete.
Even with new competitors restructuring business, many brick and mortar companies are still strategizing and building plans around the old ideology and not embracing today’s eMarket. The truly successful companies that are staying competitive and structuring internally for growth are utilizing Information Technology and seeing eCommerce as a platform that must be used as an advantage. Because of the influx of technology restructuring business, traditional economic truths are not applicable in the virtual world of eBusiness and the internet. Today’s buyer not only expects more throughout the sales cycle, they also hold more power. So what should companies that may not traditionally have been built with the internet in mind do? Here are the 3 most important things companies must strategize and restructure when attempting to stay competitive in the internet age.
UI and UX
Customers are bombarded by advertisements and by marketing in general wherever they go, so much so that their brains have adjusted to these distractions by omitting and ignoring them all together with little effort. The most common and poorly constructed marketing tools would be the first to be overlooked by a possible client while the ones that are well thought out content and design wise are given a fighting shot to make an impact and resonate with the customer experience. One incredibly important tool to implement is responsive design and the idea that customers shopping for goods and services are going to be using multiple platforms, not just a PC but a laptop, tablet and smart phone. It would be drastically poor thinking if an organization’s web presence is not built with the idea of Responsive Design in mind in the age of eCommerce and eBusiness. A customer’s first experience with a brand may very well be from an email campaign they click on via their smartphone, so make sure that all platforms are clearly thought out when building on your online presence.
Seamless Sales Cycle
Customers expect the sales cycle to be a route with seamless, smooth sailing, from the first interaction they have with your brand. Outdated websites and traditional selling that require a possible client to pick up the phone and call a sales representative is a thing of the past. If you want to compete in the highest level of sales and business you have to give your customers the ability to virtually walk through your store and pick and choose from your inventory. If a customer can’t physically touch a product in a store, they want to be able to see it and build on its accessories with the simplest of ease. Giving your customers a way to see your products and services in another state or country would be nearly impossible years ago, but nowadays having a product catalog and an eCommerce site set up that is easy to use for customers through guided selling and a rules engine can be ideal. If there are any hiccups in ordering online or the process is too complex and time consuming the percentage that a client will actually follow through with the initial sale minimizes, costing your company money and customers. Always think with a customer-centric point of view.
Technology has advanced so much, that if you can’t be in a meeting or discussion in person you can be there virtually through other means, whether that be through a Webex, Google Video or even an embedded chat window in your website for easy access. This idea of being
present in the day to day activities of your business with your clients should also be structured in your social media presence. Organizations can easily see in real time customer interaction with their brand through various social media platforms.
While the internet has opened the floodgates to multiple forms of competitors and risk, the challenge of leveraging strategies formulated for the digital and eCommerce platform should be seen as an investment that will pay off in the future. The rise of the internet age and eCommerce in the selling cycle should be executed as a robust tool that helps the overall sales process and business brand. The first step into becoming a market leader in this day and age is to reevalute your business model, putting less emphasis on the physical infrastructure and more into core activities that build on customer loyalty and brand building through more virtual means.
Verenia is one of those businesses that was built with the digital age in mind. We are a group of innovative thinkers and manufacturing experts that pride ourselves in supplying our customers with the most flexible and robust eCommerce and CPQ software, EosCloudStore. To see the Eos Platform in action, do not hesitate to contact us for a live demo. No strings attached, just great software.