Digital technologies are everywhere. They’re in our homes, cars, smartphones, and most of the products we use in-between.
Technology is always advancing, making our lives more efficient and convenient. The business world is no exception.
Digital technology is essentially any technology that is digital or digitally connected. The smart devices you use are “smart” because they implement digital technology. It is changing the way businesses operate by making them faster, more efficient, and productive.
Digital Technologies for Business: Websites
Websites are the building blocks of digital technology for businesses. They are the most accessible place to start and are a technology that every company can implement and customize if they want to advance and grow.
At the most basic level, a website can serve as an information hub.
If a customer isn’t aware of your operating hours, location, or contact information, they can hop on their favourite search engine and start looking for it online. If your business doesn’t have an operating website, they may not be able to find a reliable source, resulting in frustrated consumers.
You don’t want to lose a sale or miss signing a client just because someone doesn’t know how, when, or where to contact you. That’s why your business needs to create a functional website that hosts reliable information.
If you run the type of business that sells products or services, going online can vastly improve access for your consumers.
eCommerce can be defined as the process of commercial sales conducted over the internet. It’s a great way to gain a larger audience, meaning more potential buyers.
Developing a website that is functional and easy to navigate is key for eCommerce, but creating a website that will advance your business goes beyond this.
Design and responsive web development are important factors to ensure that people don’t leave your website as soon as they access it.
You want consumers to come and complete the task they started; that’s why it’s important to invest in creating a great website for your business.
Digital Technologies for Business: Applications
Applications (apps) are a type of digital technology that nearly everyone has experienced firsthand. Apps come in the form of games, social media platforms, and of course business interaction.
Companies that are looking to advance and grow can develop and integrate business mobile apps into their practice to help them accomplish and exceed business goals.
Internal apps are developed for employee use within the company. These apps serve as a backdoor so that employees can access their work when they are away from the office.
Creating an accessible, remote work experience is essential for any company that wants to advance.
Whether your company employs full-time remote team or you have employees who frequently travel, working through a computer is not always the easiest avenue to get tasks done.
Having an app that employees can access from their phones and tablets allows for them to work “on the go” much easier. This makes workdays more efficient and ensures tasks can be accomplished in a timely fashion.
Employee retention is an essential pillar of the growth of any organization. Research done by Stanford University concluded that employees who have the opportunity to work remotely in a business are up to 50% less likely to leave their job for another company.
An internal app that allows your employees to work from home will not only make work more accessible and efficient; it will also incentivize employees stay at the company.
Websites can certainly be functional hubs for information and transactions, but we now know that a majority of all online Google searches happen on mobile platforms. Have you ever tried to access a website that isn’t entirely formatted for your mobile device? It can make crucial information nearly impossible to access.
While it’s good to have your website adapted for mobile, the best way to ensure that the information is properly formatted for any and every mobile device is to develop a consumer app.
Consumer apps are created specifically with your customers and clients in mind instead of your employees. They are often product-facing or made to improve customer support.
For product-facing apps, you can create a mobile eCommerce experience that ensures your customers only see your products. Research from Criteo shows that customers prefer mobile apps over websites and are more likely to complete a purchase or action within an app versus on another platform.
Consumer apps aren’t just for selling; they are often used as a customer service tool.
Apps are faster and more convenient than websites or printed information. This convenience means that you’re more likely to provide good customer support with a mobile app than without, making for happy, loyal customers.
Creating a consumer app will not only help drive sales, but it can also help you retain customers long-term.
Automation software is a digital technology that works within your existing tech to help make your business more efficient. This is the type of technology that acts as an aid to your job, rather than taking over jobs within your company.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of automation software that automates tasks within a business. RPA software is not the easiest to understand at a glance, but Automation Anywhere’s website provides an in-depth explanation of RPA.
In layman’s terms, imagine the mundane tasks you have to do repeatedly:
- pulling data and entering it into an ROI report,
- transferring customer information from one catalogue to an entirely new platform,
- or manually removing a product from your eCommerce site when it’s sold out.
These are all tasks that can be automated with RPA.
Implementing RPA will get the job done faster than humans with virtually no error, plus it can do the job 24 hours a day, so everything is always as up-to-date.
With RPA, your employees will be able to focus on the jobs that only people can do. Employees can feel more fulfilled in their work without the mundane tasks piling up, ultimately resulting in higher productivity.
You can use automation software on websites, apps, and company messaging spaces like Slack. Chatbots can serve different purposes, but typically, they are smart auto-responses that digest your questions and pull from previous chats to answer them automatically.
This can be helpful for internal questions so that managers don’t have to answer the same questions all day long. Instead, they can focus on managerial tasks and work toward reaching goals without unnecessary interruptions.
Chatbots can also perform in the same fashion for consumer inquiries.
With the growth of Google and other digital technologies, consumers expect to get their answers immediately. Implementing chatbots will enable your company to answer frequently asked questions and resolve them quickly.
Decreasing the turn-around rate for answering questions can increase productivity and consumer satisfaction for any company.
Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing (NLP) may sound like advanced automation software, but it is likely a tool that you are already implementing every day.
NLP is the software that enables spam filters to function in your inbox. It filters through messages and detects anything that doesn’t sound natural and moves it to your spam inbox.
While spam filters in your inbox are helpful, there is NLP software you can use in addition to the existing spam filters. This software detects more unnatural language, making sure your inbox is only receiving the messages you want to see.
Implementing NLP software in your business reduces the time you and your employees spend sifting through emails each day. It also helps ensure that real emails from real people aren’t being filtered into your spam file.
Missing real emails because they are filtered incorrectly can result in lost business. To ensure that your company is at its most efficient when it comes to receiving emails, enable NLP software.
Whether you’re a small or large company, you can use digital technologies to develop your business. If you are looking to grow and stay up to date with “the times,” implement digital technologies to see your business become more efficient, retain employees and customers, and advance beyond your goals.