Digitalization breaks barriers to market

Achieving business success

digitalization

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Digitalization has made it easier for business to expand more easily around the world

Jennifer Vessels
Next Step—Silicon Valley & Oslo, Norway

With the accelerating pace of technology adoption and innovation, customers in all industries have global reach to a plethora of goods and services. Digitalization makes it easy to shop, book, and use financial, transportation, education, home, health, or professional services anywhere, anytime.

Digitalization is a process and philosophy of leveraging technology to enhance customer satisfaction. This can provide new (recurring) revenue streams and greater customer experience through easier access to more relevant solutions. Ultimately, this leads to greater market valuation, due to increased customer commitment and profitability through operational efficiency.

For businesses, digitalization means rapid access to new markets and tools to quickly satisfy customer needs. It also decreases barriers to entry for competitors and increased customer expectations—which cannot be ignored. As shown by Adobe, Hilton, and Apple, successful digital business model transformation, customer loyalty, and streamlined operations pays off—with up to 300 percent increase in market valuation.

Why should businesses add a digital component to their offerings? For one, who wouldn’t want to add a revenue stream that “virtually” puts you on an even footing—or higher—than a competitor? Throughout the history of businesses, companies have had to adapt or diversify to whatever is new and innovative at the time. There are quotes about those who don’t. “Don’t let things pass you by.” “Those who don’t change will become extinct.” That, of course, is the scariest one.

In 2015, just three years ago, the Interactive Data Corporation predicted that a “new kid on the block” would surpass 30 percent of the top companies—by 2017. We’re a quarter into 2018, and that prediction has been exceeded.

The term “a savvy consumer” is a reality. New smartphones are released every few months with tablets close behind. Shoppers know the power they hold in their hands. A multitude of social media channels and apps fill our screens, most with the ability to make a purchase—and leave a comment. The customer relationship with the business owner over a counter may be decreasing, but it doesn’t change the importance and relevance of the experience even if you don’t see each other. It may be more important because the experience must be seamless, visually appealing, quick, and efficient. When dealing with technology, there’s risk of a glitch or two.

How do you handle and become comfortable with this large amount of digitalization—when there might be an upgrade next week—and most importantly, achieve results? You need a plan.

Learn how you can be relevant: Refer to Digitalization—The Next Step to Success (www.nextstepgrowth.com/2020-vision-digitalization-for-successful-future) or email letstalk@nextstepgrowth.com for information on how Next Step can help your business transform.

Customers today have choices. So do businesses. Start now to prepare your business for future relevance and success in the digital world.

To learn more about Next Step Growth, see www.nextstepgrowth.com.

This article originally appeared in the April 20, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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