Digital Technology for Your Online Business
New businesses launch online every day. When yours is in e-commerce, you likely want to find as many ways to keep it on the web as possible. Thanks to modern technology and data science, you can do everything online, from selling and collecting payments to marketing and communicating with your customers and employees.
Nicasio Design dives into online services that can help you keep your big business inside of your laptop.
What Can You Do Online?
The short answer to this question is: everything! These days, you no longer have to have a brick-and-mortar location to get in front of your customers. If you set your business up the right way, you won’t even have to have a warehouse to store products. Some of the most valuable digital avenues you can utilize in your business involve tools and resources that help you analyze data, manage your time through automation, reach a wider audience, accept payments, communicate, and, all in all, make better decisions by assessing process performance.
Data Analysis and Process Mining
There are many different ways you can use data in your business. One is to do market research so that you can best understand your customers. Perhaps a more valuable use of data and data analysis is in the mapping and optimization of process flows. This is a way you can dive deep into your company’s data to discover and validate information that can boost your business.
Process mining can lead to increased sales while mitigating risk. You might also even find business opportunities that you didn’t realize before. Digging deeper, when you talk about task mining, you’re able to discover and inspect how individual human-to-machine interactions take place. Not only does this help improve overall processes, but task-level actions are optimized so employees have confidence in the systems they use.
It’s not difficult to get started with process mining, but you must first identify where your data will come from and how long it will take to get it. Your key personnel should have access to this information so that they can help you discover additional sources of data that might matter.
If you have a remote team, time management may be one of your utmost concerns. But, with a small investment (there are also some limited-capacity free services out there), you can find many different digital platforms that can help you keep tabs on your time clock. One of these is a product roadmap. You can utilize this type of tool – a downloaded template to make it easy – to come up with a strategy for everyone involved in each product or project. Using a template is a quick and simple way to establish deadlines and identify goals and obstacles. Other options include automation, collaboration, and project management software.
Customer acquisition is one of the best ways that you can utilize digital technology for your e-commerce business. There are many options, but to extend your reach the furthest by signing up with a service that allows you to put your products on several active marketplace storefronts. This means you will sell alongside the “big boys,” and this will give you a decided market advantage over other small e-commerce sellers. Other great ways you can dive into customer acquisition are through organic search, pay-per-click marketing, social media, and brand referrals in the form of product reviews, directory listings, or guest postings.
If you hate paper checks like the rest of us, and you prefer not to handle cash, you are in luck. The digital economy is booming, and both bank-funded payments, as well as cryptocurrencies, are easier than ever to accept. Give your customers the convenience of downloading your company’s mobile app so that they can pay right from their phones at checkout. (Businesses that can’t take online payments often miss out on sales.)
Something to keep in mind here is that security is your number one priority when it comes to accepting online payments. Look for a service that offers API authentication and bank data verification when your customers pay with ACH. Popular ACH processors include Dwolla and Stripe; these can make your application highly user-friendly.
Communication is essential in any business endeavor, especially on an e-commerce platform where your customers can’t be physically present to see your products. Wiser Brand notes that you can use social media, which more than half of all consumers expect, to reach the masses. Don’t count out email, instant messaging, or even video chats either for things like troubleshooting and installation help.
Another popular technology for helping you automate communication with your customers is a chatbot. A chatbot is a type of artificial intelligence that can loosely mimic human behavior. These can be simple or advanced, and they can answer many questions for your customers. According to online marketing agency Neon Goldfish, a reason to use this type of AI is to simplify things and ensure that your customers can get answers to their questions around the clock.
More than just communication, you can also use the internet to collaborate with your employees and customers. For example, you can use the Google suite of online tools to work together on projects. Even if you are not actively speaking on the phone, through video, or in an instant message program, you can see what the other is doing and leave commentary for instant or later feedback. You can think of these programs as digital whiteboards that keep everyone on the same page.
Dropshipping is not new in the world of e-commerce, but it’s worth a quick mention. A dropshipping platform is an online marketplace where you can sell your branded merchandise without ever having to touch it. This can streamline processes and reduce the need for inventory. Plus, with so many suppliers out there, you may be able to get a highly competitive price and excellent shipping terms on popular products.
The advent of the World Wide Web has brought the world closer than ever before. Today, you can start a business at home in your pajamas without sacrificing services or professionalism, and you can maximize your productivity and profitability with technology like automated process management and process mining, collaboration tools, and secure payment processing. You have an opportunity to communicate with your staff and customers and, if you’re savvy, technology can make it so that you can sell products that you never even have to touch.
Whether it’s website development, online marketing, video production (and more!), Nicasio Design has you covered. Reach out to us today for more info! (912) 441-7011