4 ways to digitalise your business

Back in the industrial revolution, Britain led the world in advancements that enabled mass production: trade exchanges, transportation and factory technology. Although we are steeped in a rich history of forward thinkers, many businesses today still operate using technology and systems developed in 1995. These same companies are now faced with the colossal challenge of moving their business into the 21st century, which is time consuming and expensive. The famous Moore’s Law predicts that computer processing power doubles in size every 2 year, but tools and standards are changing faster than expected. Customers will be able to research their potential purchases by voice, selfie and gesture. Meaning it’s never been more important to stay up-to-date with technology and best practices in today's fast moving world. The major problem with keeping current is: costs are innumerable. Here's how to avoid slipping into the past with 4 cost effective ways to digitalise your business:

Acknowledge your Customers

Technology is everywhere, so it’s safe to assume your customers are using it to enhance their lives. I know it seems obvious, but please don’t overlook this. From ordering food online to customising their favourite outfits, customers want everything in an instance (or in a second!) So the real question is: How are they buying? What tools are they using? The answer in each case involves the internet in one form or another. Smart businesses utilise Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook as these are all great free resources to boost your web presence. But free services can only take your business so far. There are services like Wix.com to build a website and boost your chances of creating new customers. No more door-to-door flyers to attract interest, this can all be achieved using the web.

Merge your Online Presence

By 2017, the web will impact over half of retail transaction and will represent a sales opportunity of over £1.6 trillion. Many retailers face the challenge of merging their online stores with their physical ones. It’s important to nip this in the bud when you’re an SME. Whether you’re a small clothing brand or a coffee shop, linking your e-commerce platform with a cloud base EPOS like Practi is an affordable way to ensure that there is no miscommunication when dealing with customer order requests. Practi is an investment that will save you time and money!

Cloud Technology

Get ready to sleep in because of Cloud Technology! It’s easier than ever to run your business. Real-time analytics built into cloud systems allows you to track sales data, inventory, employees, employee metrics all from your smart phone, tablet or computer. The best systems will enable the user to track multiple branches of the business from one location. Meaning you get to spend the day with the kids while being more productive than ever before. Say goodbye to the long drive from Greenwich to Shepherds Bush to cash up for the day.

Utilising Analytics

In today’s world, smart businesses utilise advanced analytics to structure their data and gain deep insight into their customers purchasing behaviours and habits. Luckily, as the digital world becomes more competitive, a robust analytic engine might not cost a fortune. For retailers, an excellent POS systems will often have a data analytics system built into it. The data captured by these systems can be used to help predict behaviours and track past experiences with the company. You can get the full customer picture by using these systems as a central data hub. This combines all information about the transactions, browsing history and customer-service interactions into one easily accessible file. This will give you a 360 view of your customers and help you make those important business decisions.