Any company of any size — whether it’s one employee working out of her basement or a multi-national company balancing millions in revenue — must consider how digitization is affecting business as we know it. The question is no longer “When do we innovate?” but rather “How do we innovate?” According to Gartner, in the next five years, U.S. CIOs expect their companies’ digital revenues to grow from 16 percent to 37 percent. If digital innovation isn’t part of your current strategy, you’re not going to be around for long — just take a look at what’s happening in retail.
Retail continues to be an industry where the “innovate or die” adage has proven true for old giants (think Sports Authority or Circuit City) and has shown its value in creating new ones (like Amazon). And innovation doesn’t discriminate based on a company’s size or revenue.
Smaller retailers, in particular, must prioritize innovation and take the often feared leap into digital. These small businesses often stand to gain the greatest potential from digital transformation. By taking advantage of CRM software, ecommerce websites and marketing automation, small businesses can compete, and even beat larger competitors, whose implementation processes are often complicated and time-consuming due to legacy technologies.
The digitization of shopping, paired with digital evolution in adjacent industries, is creating an ever-changing retail experience. In the small business world, companies that can figure out how to take advantage of new technologies will outsmart and outpace competitors. To survive the imminent tectonic shift in the industry, emerging retailers must think about the customer from the inside out. Here’s how: