While small business technology needs vary among companies, there are some technologies that are practically mandatory for boosting eTail results. Here’s a look at several of them.
Global Supply Chain Management Software
As mentioned earlier, any company that relies on multiple suppliers cannot afford to operate without supplier management software. It helps companies track supplier performance, perform evaluations, manage orders across all online sales channels, and drive continual performance improvement.
Global Payments Platform
Merchants need to adapt to consumer payment preferences, not the other way around.
Companies that conduct business worldwide should understand that people have distinct preferences of payment methods depending on local culture. A global payments platform helps accommodate those different styles in order to save time, add convenience, and lessen business spending.
Apps now afford retailers the opportunity to connect with customers outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar or even website-dependent constrictions. Brands no longer have to wait for consumers to step foot into a store or click on the site; instead, they can reach customers everywhere, even when customers aren’t shopping. By doing so, it allows companies to increase conversions. The constant presence of an app on someone’s phone is a frequent reminder that the brand exists. It also can utilize location-specific information to deliver targeted marketing.
Blogs and Vlogs
No matter what the business, content is king. Without strong copy, it’s difficult to recruit or retain customers. Effective sales copy, including blogs and video logs (vlogs), can more than triple a company’s sales. It’s also useful for proving expertise, engaging with customers, and building trust and reliability. At the core of all such interactions, it’s important to answer the questions “What can I do for you?” and “What keeps you up at night?”
While the efficiency of using social media can be debated until the end of time, one thing is obvious: It provides an effective way to connect with customers and prospective customers. People buy from companies they know and trust. It’s helpful to use social media to engage with followers to build that trust. Whenever a company posts, it should be a helpful tip, an answer to a common question, or a photo of a new product being offered. In short, it should be something of value to the viewer.
What likely comes as no surprise is that technology is continually evolving. Some technological trends that have emerged for 2017 include using drones for delivery, one-click checkouts, apps payment, digital wallets, and biometrics. As a small business owner, it may be unrealistic to adopt all of these technologies. However, utilizing the ones that provide the greatest ROI is a step in the profitable direction.
Benefits of Technology
There are some distinct advantages of having effective IT solutions in place. Some of these include:
Technology allows small businesses to automate some of the tasks that previously required an employee. The sales function can be managed through contact management sites. Bookkeeping can be handled by certain software applications. When various tasks are automated, employees can focus on strategy, innovation, and reducing costs elsewhere.
Technology ushers in the ability to share information more quickly and with fewer resources. It allows a firm to communicate more frequently and directly with customers. Better communication builds trust, thereby creating a stronger public image.
Technology helps an organization understand its cash flow needs and preserve important resources, namely time and physical space. It helps reduce the cost of storage needs. It also helps executives save time and money by allowing them to host meetings online instead of at company headquarters.
A company is only as good as its data, and when that is sacrificed, it’s difficult to rebound. In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo underwent two major breaches of data that compromised significant data for billions of customers. Its financial position has been compromised ever since. Other companies, such as Adult Friend Finder, Ashley Madison, eBay, and Target also suffered similar breaches.
Technology is available, however, to lessen these impacts. Virtual storage systems can keep information safe so that only certain employees can access the data.