The pandemic kicked off a new wave of digitization in 2020. Businesses worldwide changed their business operations and worked remotely, using new technology to collaborate internally and reach customers.
And by the end of 2022, 70% of all organizations will increase their use of digital technologies.
Because businesses need digital technology to survive.
But digital transformation is a tough nut to crack. Technology is evolving quickly, and knowing what technology is right for your business is easier said than done.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create successful digital transformation strategies, what digital trends you should be aware of for 2022, and how to figure out which technology is right for your business.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is digital transformation?
- What is a digital transformation strategy?
- What are the benefits of digital transformation?
- Improve efficiency
- Greater resource distribution
- Offer a better customer experience
- What’s possible in 2022?
- Website personalization
- Cloud-based technology
- No-code/low-code platforms
- How to implement a successful transformation in your business
- Figure out your goals and success metrics beforehand
- Identify areas of improvement
- Use the right technology
- Transform your customer experience with ActiveCampaign
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the use of new technology to improve (or create new) business processes and overall customer experience strategy. These improvements are often needed to meet changing business and market requirements.
There are many reasons businesses choose to use a digital transformation initiative — the most likely being that they have to. Businesses that fail to adapt to their surroundings put themselves at risk.
Let’s say your customers are abandoning their carts because your payment system isn’t efficient. It’s slow, and there are too many steps in the payment process.
To provide a better experience, you adopt new payment technology. As a result, your payment process is streamlined, your cart abandonment rate drops, and customers have a better experience.
What is a digital transformation strategy?
A digital transformation strategy is the plan of action that outlines how and why a company will reposition itself to accommodate digital changes.
Digital transformation strategy includes:
- Why your business needs digital transformation
- How it’ll benefit your business
- How it’ll improve the customer experience
- The digital technology you plan to use and why
- How you plan to roll out the use of new technology
With a digital strategy in place, businesses can make sure their digitalization aligns with the company’s overall success. It keeps things on track and provides the company with a timeline and an end goal.
What are the benefits of digital transformation?
Now that we’ve outlined what digital transformation is let’s look at the benefits in more detail.
With new and improved processes, you increase the efficiency and productivity of your workflow.
Well, it depends on the technology you’re planning to use.
Let’s say you decide to implement a new internal communication tool as part of your digital transformation journey. With this tool, employees communicate quicker than before. This allows them to be more productive with other tasks.
This is just one example of how digital transformation can improve efficiency and increase productivity. But as we’ve mentioned, this only applies if you implement the right technology. We’ll talk about this more later.
Greater resource distribution
If your workflow is as efficient as possible, you use fewer resources to get things done. This means you can allocate those resources elsewhere to improve other areas of your business. It’s a win-win.
Let’s use customer experience automation as an example.
Your business has decided to automate the customer journey to accelerate business growth and provide customers with a more personalized digital experience. A big part of this new technology involves sending personalized follow-up emails to prospective customers.
With the adoption of new technology, your sales team spends less time contacting prospective customers and more time identifying qualified leads to grow your customer base.
As a result, you’re able to maximize your resources (in this case, your employees’ time) to be productive in other ways.
Offer a better customer experience
As we’ve already mentioned, digital transformation isn’t just about internal processes. It impacts customers, too.
Research shows that they value the experience they have with the companies they’re buying from. And with better and more advanced technology, you can provide a solid customer experience.
Take a look at Bonjoro, for example…
By using Bonjoro’s technology, businesses provided consumers with a better email experience. They received a 70% increase in open rates and a 44% increase in click-through rates.
What’s possible in 2022?
What can we expect when it comes to digital transformation in 2022? Let’s find out.
Website personalization involves creating a personalized experience across your website.
In 2020, it became increasingly popular. 40% of marketers made in-page edits to personalize their websites when the pandemic struck. We expect this trend to continue into 2022.
72% of consumers only engage with personalized messaging. If a brand fails to offer a personalized experience, 45% of consumers are likely to buy elsewhere.
Consumers have certain expectations when it comes to their online experience. It’s up to you to meet those expectations and personalize your website.
Here are some suggestions for website personalization:
- Know your audience: To effectively personalize your website, you need to know who your audience is. This will allow you to tailor your content accordingly and even segment your audience based on their demographics. We’d suggest using site tracking to get this information.
- Understand their online behavior: Personalize the online buying experience by understanding what your consumers are looking at. For instance, you can upsell by showing them similar items based on the pages they’re already looking at. Here’s an example from online fashion retailer ASOS:
- Show visitors what they want to see: When you know what your audience is looking for, you can show them what they want to see. Take a look at how ActiveCampaign manages this, for example:
With our web personalization features, you can use tags to personalize text, images, and show consumers the right content at the right time.
With so many businesses adopting remote work (82% of employers plan to allow remote work at least some of the time), it’s no surprise that cloud computing has become more popular.
Not only does it allow companies to operate remotely, but it also provides flexibility to adapt to unexpected hurdles — the pandemic being a prime example.
As we head into 2022, global spending on cloud services is set to increase 8.8% from 2021.
Brandon Medford, the senior principal analyst at Gartner, also comments on the use of cloud-based software:
“Organizations are advancing their timelines on digital business initiatives and moving rapidly to the cloud in an effort to modernize environments, improve system reliability, support hybrid work models and address other new realities compelled by the pandemic.”
Put simply, cloud-based software is sticking around.
If you’re thinking about using it, you’ll need to migrate your existing information into a new platform.
Here are some best practices you can follow when it comes to cloud migration:
- Choose the right application: First things first, you need to find a cloud-based platform that suits your needs. Every business is different, so spend some time figuring out what you need from a platform and find something that fits the bill.
- Create a cloud migration strategy: A migration strategy will make the move smoother. It’ll also reduce your chances of losing vital information during the migration. Take a look at this migration checklist to see what you should include in your strategy.
- Be prepared for challenges: Migrating to a cloud-based platform doesn’t come without its challenges. Whether that’s poor latency or concerns about safety and compliance, you need to be prepared to address these challenges when they arise. So try to think about potential challenges before you migrate. That’ll make it easier to deal with issues.
With more businesses working remotely in the last couple of years, teams needed access to software that would allow them to create the perfect workflow and improve the customer experience quickly and efficiently.
Enter: No-code/low-code platforms.
No-code/low-code platforms allow non-developers to create apps and build software without using code. This has become more popular over the last few years.
Gartner predicts the worldwide low-code development technologies market will hit $13.8 billion by the end of 2021. That’s an increase of 22.6% from 2020. According to Forrester, it’s predicted to grow by almost $22 billion by 2022.
Given the fact that so many businesses are continuing to work remotely in 2022, we expect the use of low-code/no-code platforms to remain popular.
How do you know if and when you need a no-code/low-code platform?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have gaps in your customer journey? If some of your customers are falling through the cracks, a no-code/low-code platform could help. You can create an end-to-end customer experience, ensuring that every prospect experiences an ideal customer journey (read our guide to creating a customer journey map).
- Are you spending too much time on repetitive tasks? With the right no-code/low-code platform, you can create automations to save you time, streamline your internal processes, and provide customers with a better experience.
- Do you want to customize your workflow? No-code/low-code platforms help you create apps and functionalities without needing a developer. This makes it quick and easy for non-technical folk to build a custom workflow and create functionalities that improve the efficiency of your business.
How to implement a successful transformation in your business
Implementing digital transformation is no easy feat. It involves changing the way your entire business works, which is a big undertaking.
Let’s take a look at how exactly you can implement digital transformation for your business.
Figure out your goals and success metrics beforehand
You need to set metrics and goals to track performance before you implement your digital strategy.
Without these in place, how will you know if it’s a successful digital transformation?
These metrics will allow you to track performance once the software goes live. And if things aren’t going to plan, you can make adjustments.
We’d also suggest reviewing your business goals beforehand too. You need to be clear about how your digital transformation will support these goals to make sure everything aligns with your business strategy. This will contribute to the growth and development of your company.
Identify areas of improvement
Once you’ve figured out your business and performance goals, you need to find areas of improvement in your current digital infrastructure.
There are a few ways you can tackle this:
- Review your workflow: Take a look at your workflow in its entirety. Are there any bottlenecks that keep cropping up? Or do the same problems keep arising? Finding these areas will make sure that your digital innovation fixes these problems.
- Speak to your team: Get insight from your team to figure out what needs to be improved. After all, they’re the ones working with the processes daily.
- Talk to your customers: Businesses use digital transformation to provide customers with a better experience, so find out what they think would make their experience better. We’d suggest using an online survey to get their feedback.
Once you’ve collated all this information, you have a solid foundation to identify how digital transformation can improve your business processes.
Use the right technology
Using the wrong technology for your business can hinder productivity and negatively impact the customer experience, which pretty much defeats the point of using digital transformation in the first place.
But with so much digital technology to choose from, how can you make the best choice for your business?
Here’s what we’d suggest:
- Be specific about the features you want to help you improve your processes. This will help you weed out platforms that don’t fit the bill. For example, if you’re looking to automate the customer experience, look for a digital platform that offers email automation, integrations, and audience segmentation. If you come across platforms that don’t offer these features, you know to stay clear.
- Test more than one platform: If you’re choosing between a few different technologies, give them a test run to see how their software performs first-hand. Most platforms offer a free trial or free membership. For example, we offer a 14-day free trial at ActiveCampaign.
Transform your customer experience with ActiveCampaign
When done right, digital transformation projects can refine business processes, increase customer engagement, and improve employee productivity.
The tricky part is knowing what digital technology to use and how to use it efficiently.
If you’re thinking about using technology to improve customer experience, take a look at ActiveCampaign. Our software allows businesses of all sizes to deepen relationships with customers at every touchpoint.