One of the greatest problems facing businesses, both big and small, right now is whether or not they should embrace technology and if so, how? In this increasingly digital age, where we are surrounded by screens and wifi connections, learning how to adapt and connect with customers in new ways, enhanced by technology is a growing challenge.
But how important is it that brick and mortar businesses learn to love tech?
How Business Are Already Embracing Technology
We have already seen some companies with a physical presence attempt to answer these questions. On a smaller scale, several businesses are using mobile devices to make the lives of their customers much easier.
Buzz Bingo, for example, allows its bingo players to either play bingo traditionally, marking their numbers off on a card with a pen, or they can use an electronic tablet to play and buy their tickets, with numbers being marked off automatically.
Specsavers, which sells glasses and contact lenses, also uses in-store tablets to show shoppers what style would suit them best. Framer Style is said to take the “guess work” out of the glasses buying process. Starbucks and Sephora are two other big-name brands using in-house devices to their benefit.
But there are more high-tech examples, too, and these are across a range of industries. Niantic’s Pokemon Go lets all sorts of businesses – from coffee houses and restaurants to garden centres and clothes stores – place virtual Gyms and PokeStops to encourage players to visit their establishments.
Meanwhile, the use of push notifications by companies including airline JetBlue and Ticketmaster keeps consumers engaged with a brand at all times.
Is Digital Adoption Make or Break?
From the above examples, it is clear that digital adoption is happening across a wide range of industries.
From gambling to retail, to travel and entertainment, everyone is getting involved in the revolution. The next question then, is, is it make or break?
The reasoning for embracing technology is obvious. In the UK alone, 90% of adults are internet users and 85% of UK adults are smartphone owners, meaning that being online (and optimized for mobile) is one of the best ways to access and interact with your potential market.
It stands to reason that going digital is a very smart way to boost your business indeed.
Though with that said, it’s not as though going digital is without its challenges. In particular, it’s important that there is a company-wide understanding of your digital strategy so that everyone can work towards the goals and can assist the customer if need be.
Furthermore, there are questions of data protection (if data is saved and does data need to be saved in order for solutions to work?) and who will develop these solutions too.
These are not easy hurdles to overcome, either. However, the benefits of going digital appear to vastly outweigh the downsides and we can expect to see more businesses embracing technology in innovative ways in the future.