Accelerating Digital Transformation – Rising from the Pandemic Ashes

By Radhika Iyengar Yuvraj » 11 min read

It was in early 2020 that I’d published my article on ‘Intelligent Digital Transformation’. In there, I raved about how businesses adopting digital models with an outside-in 360-degree customer-centric view, just stay ahead of the competition.

And then soon after, the C-19 pandemic strikes!  And with it, businesses saw the emergence of the need for an “accelerated intelligent digital transformation".

Although inducing a recession in economic activity, Covid-19 has led to a surge in e-commerce, with its rising demand driving the need for a speedy digital transformation. With lockdowns becoming the new normal, businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital” like never before, providing & buying more goods and services online. The e-commerce’s share of global retail trade rose from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in just a year.

Businesses that have leveraged leading digital platforms to provide timely responses to the demand were the ones most benefitted. They have harnessed the potential of e-commerce and digital, and are now better placed to benefit from global markets for their goods and services in this digitalizing economy.

This speeding up of digital transition has left an impact on our society and daily lives, which is here to stay, if not grow more.

Are all businesses and countries prepared to meet such a growing expectation? Findings reflect a strong uptake of e-commerce across regions, with consumers in emerging digital economies making the greatest shift to online shopping. This also means that there is a huge opportunity for developing businesses and countries to look beyond just being consumers, and instead become active players - creators of the digital economy.

Adopting a reimagined digital transformation strategy promotes faster digitalization for businesses especially MSMEs. While strong leadership and alignment of the overall strategy are core elements of success, especially during digital disruption and transformation periods, the role of technology and the differentiation it can offer is paramount.

Advanced capabilities to capture and harness data, understand customer needs better, and enable swift digital operations supported by strong regulatory frameworks, can catapult businesses to create and capture significant value in the digital economy.

What is digital transformation?

A quick recap...

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT) networks, advanced analytics, robotics, and solutions into all business areas and business processes, leading to fundamental changes in how a business operates and the value it will deliver to its customers.

An MIT study found that companies that have embraced intelligent digital transformation are 26% more profitable than the competition!

In this blog, however, the emphasis is mostly on the digital solution components for businesses aiming at a successful digital transformation and with a focus on the customer. Also, about the need to get there fast.

The intelligent approach, and getting there fast.

Being digital-first is about implementing new technologies and methodologies. It also requires you to rethink how you interact with your customers.

Post pandemic, does the ‘360-degree customer view drives business success’ still hold the top priority? I would say ‘Absolutely!’ Just that the shift has to be pretty fast and alongside increased automation of operations. Especially since the competitive environment is rapidly expanding to global players.

Nearly half of all organizations cited online customer experience and customer satisfaction as their leading influences when asked about the factors influencing a business’ decision to implement a transformation strategy. The companies that transform digitally end up creating highly engaged customers leading to spikes in conversions and revenues.

Engaged customers are:

Intelligent Approach

 

Being digital-first means customer service teams are no longer being reactive. It’s about being proactive in the way you help your customers, who use a wide range of channels to seek out answers to their problems.

Here are 3 critical areas to focus on:

1. Understanding the customer and their journeys

The online customer has been and is still calling the shots. But, to deliver an improved online customer experience, we first need to understand who this new kind of customer is.

Digital technology and the pandemic have transformed consumers’ online habits and expectations. Customers now get what they want exactly when they need it thanks to mobile devices, apps, machine learning, automation, and much more. Furthermore, these new digital technologies have caused a shift in consumers’ expectations (eg. Need for digital features that present hygiene and health sensitivities and compliances), leading to a new modern online buyer. They are constantly connected, app-native, and aware of what they can do with technology that also adheres to the current regulations and environments.

With the opportunities that arise from modern digital technology and processes, customers have already begun to rate organizations on their online digital experience first.

2. Personalization is a game-changer

Mining customer analytics to track and better understand customer behaviors and needs can help in converting customers by enabling decision-making through subtle but persuasive selling. Educating customers about your brand via case studies, testimonials, research articles, and about your products/offerings that would interest the customer, guiding them, and positively influencing their buying decision – can be some of the effective online sales tactics.

Generating automated personalized content to customers at an opportune time can drive high conversions with minimal manual interventions. And how personalized can the content get?  Content can be personalized for segments or micro-segments of audiences or for a one-to-one basis. The following graphic presents a quick view of how personalization maturity impacts conversions.

Personalization is a game-changer

So, what is the level of effort to get such personalization happening and running and within the window of holding the customer’s attention, which unfortunately is not more than a couple of seconds in this dynamic digital ecosystem? Simply put – it's got to be real-time.

The good news is - advanced technologies like Customer Data Platforms are already gaining traction. A CDP not only enables a real-time customer profile but can also set up real-time activation and real-time customer experience, powered by data science, ML, and AI.

3. Onboarding the right Digital Partner…

“Applying a sound digital strategy powered by digital innovation enables digital transformation to achieve digital disruption and maturity”.

According to McKinsey to accelerate the digital transformation it is important for enterprises to capture the value of migrating to the cloud.

A digital strategy consulting partner would present a deep understanding of various cloud technology platforms and appropriate use of various digital elements (e.g. virtual assistants, site accessibility & performance, high search maturity, and personalization, speech recognition) that influence customer gain/loss along with presenting the latest trends and opportunities to disrupt.

Choosing a vendor with a rich portfolio of digital services and domain expertise and good NPA score, is a key criterion. Also, with expertise in new-age tech that will help power the digital initiative with the integration of eCommerce, mobility, AI, and other advanced technology solutions. And, a vendor with established agile and lean practices that can be harnessed to rapidly gain from small incremental values of the digital transformation initiative.

Get Help from Our Experts

At the core, our experts at TA Digital believe in integrating Data, Content, and Experience focused at CX-driven outcomes to model a digital transformation journey. All this, while establishing a strategic alignment with our client.

Our proprietary processes and years of Digital Experience expertise have earned us a 97% customer satisfaction rating with our clients ranging from Global Fortune 1000 to Mid-Market Enterprises.

DesignRush has recognized TA Digital as a top Marketing Analytics Agency.

Our partnership model is put into play meaningfully by our digital strategy & consulting folks who help clients easily break down the pain points and gaps in the existing digital environment, thus recommending a roadmap towards implementation of precise areas of improvement. Using tools and techniques for ROI and TCO analysis based on Quick-win use cases discovery and supported by score card based Platform Selection, we have helped clients to quickly arrive at optimized plans that lead to reaping digital transformation benefits fast.

We have helped our clients overcome widely-faced challenges and add value in four crucial ways:

  • Enhancing the customer experience
  • Augmenting competitiveness
  • Increasing revenues and
  • Decreasing the cost of operations

And importantly, 

  • A Swifter implementation and early go to market.

About the Author

Radhika Iyengar leads the Business Analytics & Data Strategy Practice at TA Digital, India and holds 20+ years of experience across the wide digital technologies spectrum and in agile models. Radhika has managed large accounts and has partnered with clients in their digital transformation journey, ground-up, with focus on strategic consulting, data driven insights and real time customer experience.

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About TA Digital

TA Digital is the only global boutique agency that delivers the “best of both worlds” to clients seeking to  achieve organizational success through digital transformation. Unlike smaller, regional agencies that lack the  ability to scale or large organizations that succumb to a quantity-over-quality approach, we offer resource  diversity while also providing meticulous attention to the details that enable strategic success.

Over the past 20 years, TA Digital has positioned clients to achieve digital maturity by focusing on data, customer-centricity and exponential return on investment; by melding exceptional user experience and data-driven  methodologies with artificial intelligence and machine learning, we enable digital transformations that intelligently  build upon the strategies we set into motion. We are known as a global leader that assists marketing and technology  executives in understanding the digital ecosystem while identifying cultural and operational gaps within their  business - ultimately ushering organizations toward a more mature model and profitable digital landscape.

Recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2021 on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing companies  in the United States, TA Digital is pleased to share high-level strategic partnerships with world-class digital experience platform companies like AdobeSAPAcquia, commercetools, Sitecore, and Elastic Path.

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WRITTEN BY:

Radhika Iyengar Yuvraj

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