The small business landscape has changed radically as a result of COVID-19, and Salesforce’s Small & Medium Business Trends Report found that 88% of consumers expect business to accelerate digital initiatives due to the pandemic. Many Aussie businesses have already adopted some tech or digital tools, but you might find an opportunity to fill any gaps and fine tune what you’ve already got in place. Here, we share our five steps to digitising your business.
Create and maintain your website
One in five consumers will stop considering a small business they haven’t used before if it doesn’t have a website, according to the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Digital Marketing. You can look to create one yourself or hire an expert to build one for you – just make sure it’s easy to navigate with a simple structure and clearly labelled pages. In the Digital Marketing report, Paul Liascos from Spotzer says it’s important to get the basics right. “Tell your visitors who you are, what you do and what you don’t do in a really clear and concise way,” he says. Customers want to see your business information up front, so they know how to reach you and when you’re open. And they also expect to see a returns policy, especially if you’re operating an eCommerce store. Keep your website content up to date and aim to refresh it every few months.
Invest in digital marketing
Digital marketing tools like search and social media can help you reach new customers. Search is the number one digital tool consumers use to help them find and choose businesses. But according to the Telstra Business Intelligence Digital Marketing report, two-thirds of SMBs say they do not use common search strategies like search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) that could make it easier for new customers to find them. Your social media content is an opportunity to show your authenticity and to keep customers up to date with changing business information. And if you invest in social media advertising, it can be an effective way to target specific groups of customers. Find out how you can take your business’s digital marketing further with a Telstra Business Go Digital Consult – they’re normally valued at $149, but Telstra is offering them to small businesses for free until December 31st 2021.
Enhance your online customer experience
You already know how to deliver a positive customer experience in person, but it’s important to make sure you’re providing the same level of service online – and customers may expect to interact with your business differently since COVID-19. There are many things that shape how your business fares online, from how quickly you respond to queries, to the flexibility of online transactions (like online bookings and payment methods), whether you use data for personalisation, and if you integrate video or digital experiences into the customer journey. If you’re looking to dive deeper into how you can meet customer expectations online, access the free Telstra Business Intelligence report on Customer Experience for more.
Get cyber-secure – and show it
Although digitising your business brings plenty of opportunities, it can also increase the risk of a cyber incident – and if a breach does occur, it can severely impact your reputation and profits. In the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Managing Risks Online, Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, suggests building cyber security into your digital business as you increase its capabilities. “Small businesses should consider security-by-design, privacy-by-design and user safety considerations which are balanced when securing the ongoing confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data and information,” she says. Cyber security is a growing concern for customers, so it’s important you show them that you’re keeping their data secure.
Digitise how you work
Technology can help improve many areas of your business operations, from the way your team works to supply chain management and customer-facing purposes. Automating repetitive processes can help iron out inefficiencies and potentially save you hours each day – and if you adopt tech that is scalable, you’ll thank yourself in the long run as your business grows. Even the most essential processes like payments and invoicing can be made easier with cloud-based solutions or apps. There are tech solutions for just about any business, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider consulting an expert to help you determine which digital tools would suit your business needs.
The digital landscape is always evolving, and the ways customers interact with businesses online continues to shift. But by making the most of tech, you can meet customer expectations around your online offering, help prevent online threats and potentially increase efficiencies in the way your team works.