The Biggest Business Blunder You’re Making in 2021
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
When the internet was young and technology was prohibitively expensive, the digital transformation seemed fraught with peril. The pitfalls were many, and the stakes were high. By investing in untested, costly technology you ran the risk of unnecessarily overtaxing your business. Not to mention your own mind as you fumbled through learning how to use it. Thankfully, those days are well behind us. The technology itself is substantially cheaper. The benefits of data analytics are undeniable. Best of all, most software is developed with the end-user in mind, making it easier to do the things you need to do to keep your business successful.
The Covid-19 pandemic underscored the necessity of digitization for small businesses. When face-to-face interaction ground to a halt, practically everything was forced online. Those skeptical about the digital marketplace found themselves learning it on the fly, usually to middling success. In order to succeed, attention to this rapidly expanding medium as a part of your business model is vital.
65% of Global GDP is expected to be digitized by 2022. That equates to roughly $6.8 trillion in digitally exchanged investments by 2023. The trend toward digital-first, tech native commerce has been building for years, but Covid has accelerated it tremendously. Company spending on digital transformation technologies and services reached $1.3 trillion during the pandemic alone.
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Thus, most businesses have had to digitize some part of their operation, leaning on technology to facilitate both employees and customers during the greatest health crisis in modern memory. 72% of small businesses expedited their digitization in 2020-2021 and faced several hurdles along the way. With limited working capital, many businesses operate without dedicated information technology teams which multiplies feelings of uneasiness when approaching a digital overhaul. This limited budget also makes the sticker price of a complex digital transformation seem overwhelming. The unknowns feel more massive, a sentiment that resounds with some recent findings done by Cisco:
● 24% of digital-only small businesses are in the most advanced stages of digitization.
● 4% of small businesses are digitally native.
● 26% of small businesses have made minimal to no effort to digitize.
While many businesses have taken the initiative to go digital, there is still some trepidation to push deeper into the sphere, even as the effectiveness in doing so is routinely demonstrated. More and more commerce is being done online, more businesses are changing their digital approaches, yet few have meaningfully entrenched themselves.
There are one billion active smartphones on the planet, making them the preferred method of digital interaction, outpacing desktop computers. More people are online than ever, and the largest share of that traffic occurs on smartphones. The ease of engagement in this ‘mobile-first’ approach should be a game-changer for small businesses, yet many businesses are hesitant. While the shift to a mobile-first mindset can seem unnerving, there are quantifiable gains to be made with carefully considered campaigns directed toward mobile consumers.
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Consider this: Black Friday 2020. US consumers spent $9 billion online, an increase of 21.6% from 2019. Smartphones accounted for $3.6 billion of those sales, an increase of 25.3% over 2019. The mobile-first marketplace is in full swing. With the holiday season approaching, experts anticipate those numbers to hold and potentially grow. The pent-up demand of a pandemic restricted world is reaching critical mass. The digital revolution is here to stay; its influence is only growing. In this digital-first decade, the embrace of digital technologies alongside innovative consumer relations campaigns will lead many businesses to record-high profits, taking several savvy small businesses out of survival mode and into real recovery.