With everything that has happened in 2020, it’s time to look ahead and think about future-proofing our businesses. While we can’t predict what future challenges we might face, we can create sustainable and resilient business models designed to overcome the disruption when the unexpected happens again.
What does a ‘future-ready’ business look like?
Looking at the impact of COVID-19, a recent report found that ‘future-ready’ businesses had these six characteristics in common, which can all be linked to technology and an adaptable mindset:
- Have a positive attitude to change
- Are open to new technology
- Actively plan for their technological futures
- Set detailed strategies
- Keep up to date with emerging trends
- Are adaptable
Of the 1,813 businesses surveyed, 20% featured all six of these traits, and they were the ones that fared best during the pandemic. So, how can more businesses join them in being better prepared for the unknown?
Technology is the future
Digital processes were already making their way into the mainstream, and the recent pandemic has fast-tracked this trend. From Zoom meetings and digital healthcare solutions, to an increase in eCommerce and contactless payments, digital has embedded itself into almost every aspect of daily life.
Businesses across all sectors are now considering how they can continue to use technology to their advantage. While some businesses are already well on their way, eCommerce will be completely new territory for others.
Benefit of moving online
A solid eCommerce platform will connect each part of your business. They offer a wide range of tools that can help with everything from inventory and finances, to digital marketing. With data available on every aspect of your business, you can highlight the areas that are affecting your targets and take any necessary actions.
Plus, with more people now working from home, a solid digital platform is more essential than ever before. Using technology, your team can continue to work together without the need for a shared physical space.
Improved customer experience
The customer experience is a priority for any modern business to succeed. Another survey found that across Europe, Asia and the Americas, there is now a higher demand for digital options that allow customers to carry out purchases themselves. Both eCommerce and marketing platforms have been created with this in mind, allowing businesses to deliver a great customer experience.
Making it personal
With advancements in technology, businesses are now able to better understand each of their individual customers and deliver a more personal experience. Personalisation engines use a customer’s data to create individual profiles. It can then target their specific needs and preferences, supporting your marketing strategies and the overall customer experience.
Using personalisation engines can lead to an average profit increase of 15%, which is brilliant news for those businesses already using them. However, consumers now expect personalisation as standard, rather than it being an added benefit.
This is all part of a wider picture, with sites like Amazon creating high customer expectations. Businesses from all sectors are now expected to offer features like order tracking and live customer chat, and most eCommerce and marketing platforms will have these functions ready for you to implement. Some cloud-based platforms can even offer options like voice-activated assistants, helping up your game even further.
Move to eCommerce and future-proof your business
There are a wide range of platforms available, and they each specialise in different features. So how do you know which one to choose? Start by reviewing what you and your customers need. Knowing what you’re after will narrow down the choices and help you choose the right one for your business.
Some of the most popular options available are Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. We find Shopify to be the most comprehensive. With a user-friendly interface and numerous integrations, it’s perfect for those taking their first steps into the world of eCommerce.
Their platform is also ideal for the current economic environment, making it easy to scale up or down. With everything that has happened this year, scalability will be a key feature for getting your business future-ready.
Taking your first steps online can be daunting, but with a little planning, you can narrow down your options and choose the right platform for you and your customers. Using technology to your advantage, you can create a sustainable business ready to withstand whatever the future holds.