Innovation is a critical skill to be able to apply to your business, particularly following an economic or social event much like we are experiencing right now. An easy yet effective way to embrace innovation is by using digital tools to help your business grow. This can help you meet your customers’ needs more efficiently, generate more profit, and keep your business ahead of the game.
This article will explore how businesses can embrace digital tools to navigate changing times, looking at how to adapt to a digital world. We will also look at how many businesses in New Zealand have embraced contactless pick up as a new way of doing business, as well as the importance of a simplistic approach to taking your business online. We will also provide some handy online tools that can help ease the integration into a digital world.
Adapting to a digital way of working can mean many things for many different businesses. It might be having online meetings while staff work from home, increasing your social media presence, building an ecommerce store, or using text or email ordering systems. Your business may be adapting to one or all of these digital changes, but chances are they feel new and daunting. They might not be part of your business plan. Although this can be frustrating, we encourage you to
be open minded, take your time, adapt, and choose digital tools that work for your business.
Think about your short term and long-term goals, and how great the investment is versus the potential income.
We have seen many customer-facing businesses in New Zealand readjust in various lockdown levels, predominantly in the form of contactless click and collect. Everyone from local fish and chip shops, upmarket restaurants, clothing stores and even dog groomers have created safe, contactless ways to sell their goods and services.
The benefit of being able to digitally order and pay is huge to businesses of all sizes; reducing material waste, generating income and providing employment.
Although a huge majority of small New Zealand businesses don’t have an e-commerce store, they have adapted to accepting orders via text or email and integrated PayWave. This simple yet effective technique is relatively low cost and low risk, not to mention an easy shift to readapt to as COVID-19 continues to appear in our community. This guide on operating under different alert levels can help.
The major key to adapting to the digital world in these ever-changing times is to make manageable steps that suit your business’ ability and budget. If you are already familiar with operating in a digital world, you might increase your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) keywords, if you have the marketing budget, maybe employ a third-party business to run a targeted social media campaign. But if you are unfamiliar with the digital world, start small, keep it simple and look inside your business for help. You might have a team member who wants to upskill or isn’t at full capacity with their workload who could take on some digital responsibility.
A simple place to start online is with Google My Business where you can engage with your customers for free across Google Search and Maps pages. You simply sign your business up and manage all your contact details in one place. You can also upload photos, chat via instant messenger, receive reviews, post deals and receive analytics about who is interacting with your business online.
Here are some other useful online tools you could look at to make your transition to a digital world more manageable: