Why your digital strategy is the key to surviving post COVID-19
COVID-19 has been changing how businesses operate. The latest research from Mckinsey & Company indicates that "normalcy is not likely until the second quarter of 2021, and herd immunity is not likely until the third quarter." With this timetable, those unwilling to incorporate a more digital approach may find themselves in trouble as the pandemic continues but more so when the pandemic ends.
According to new data from IBM's U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has accelerated the shift from physical stores to digital shopping by roughly five years. This expedited transition from traditional to digital necessitates businesses incorporating digital efforts to retain their market share, otherwise losing out to companies that have improved their value chain through these adoptions. Supporting this is a study by Bain & Co., which indicates that those unwilling to pivot during a crisis end up losing their market share while those who take action grow faster.
It is not the first time we have seen technology change the competitive landscape, though perhaps not this rapidly - making the ability to pivot all the more urgent. Blockbuster, a game and video rental business, went bankrupt and closed in 2014 due to the introduction of streaming services and companies like Netflix. Toys "R" Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 due to their inability to improve customer experience and shipping services. General Motors, which failed to innovate in manufacturing technologies, was ultimately left behind in quality and, unable to catch back up, filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Borders, an entertainment and book retailer, eventually went under as they failed to innovate when ebooks and music streaming services presented themselves.
So how can a small business pivot to include digital solutions? It starts with your digital strategy, analyzing how your business can improve via technology, and a well-made website (no, a Facebook page does not cut it). For example, a locally owned restaurant could create an online order form or start a delivery service. Consignment stores and local shops can open an e-commerce store, allowing customers to shop from home. Some businesses may want to take advantage of automation, increasing operational efficiency, and lowering costs. The solutions will depend entirely on your business and where your sticking points are, which is why a thorough digital strategy is critical now and in the future.
The need to implement digital solutions is no longer a distant concern; digital transformation is hitting our main streets rapidly through COVID-19, and businesses without a digital strategy are likely to be left behind in the years ahead. By acquiring the knowledge on emerging digital technologies, you can better understand how your digital solution will affect your business, leverage data to your advantage, and improve your competitive edge. This rapid sort of "digital Darwinism" will change how we do business, allowing those who implement these solutions to thrive.
NH Rocks provides modern Media, Marketing, and Events services, including consulting, to help update your digital solution and increase resiliency during and after COVID-19. For New Hampshire businesses, we provide the only closed-loop marketing system that can discount your services up to 20% and stimulate the local economy. Learn more by visiting NHRocks.com or our business success division, NHMeansBusiness.com.