Digital transformation of SMEs can open up a world of opportunities. Photo by fancycrave1 from Pixabay.
- SMEs are an integral part of Singapore’s economy. SMEs contribute 48% of the country’s GDP, and employ 65% of the workforce.
- The first step in the digital transformation of SMEs journey can be as simple as securing an online presence, such as a website or social media platform, with focus on increasing customer engagement.
- The next step is to bring retail and service offerings online and provide a smooth digital payment experience.
Analyst firm IDC says that it expects digital transformation to attain macroeconomic scale over the next three to four years, changing the way organisations operate and reshaping the global economy and calls this as the dawn of the “Digital Transformation Economy”
Sure, you may say, digital transformation is key, especially for big companies, but what about digital transformation of SMEs?
Going digital is not anymore an option even for SMEs; it is an inevitability. However, the journey to digital transformation of SMEs won’t happen overnight. You must take steps today, no matter how small, in order to survive and ride the digital wave tomorrow.
Digital transformation of SMEs: What you should know
Here are some insights you can start considering right now in your journey to go digital.
1. Use available technology to your advantage.
SMEs have fewer resources, but don’t let that stop you. There are many tools available online that you can maximise. Do you already have an online presence? Secure your own Facebook page, or start with a website, however basic.
2. Bring your retail and service offerings online.
E-commerce is already the name of the game online, and you need not start from scratch as there are a number of platforms you can try. Platforms such as TackThis! (www.tackthis.com) can help you get on board eCommerce with the necessary tools you need.
TackThis! understands that you need to focus on retail operations instead of tinkering with the technical and ecommerce operational stuff. These come with bundled options from digital marketing to payments that you can implement as you scale.
Going online and adopting e-payment systems are key steps in the digital transformation of SMEs. Photo by lifeforstock from Freepik.
3. Provide a smooth payment experience for your customers.
Whether online or for your physical stores, make sure that you are accepting digital payments. Providing your customers with a cashless option - be it QR-code enabled, POS terminals, or mobile payment integration - will make for a more seamless digital experience.
4. Increase customer engagement on digital platforms.
When was the last time you chatted with a customer? As a small business owner, it feels good to know what your customer thinks about your product. Instead of just posting announcements on your social media pages, make sure you reply to comments and messages.
Free social listening tools can also cue you in on customer feedback. Send out a newsletter periodically for new offers or updates. You can check out tools such as Hootsuite, Mailchimp, and Sprout, which you can trial for free.
These are just a few tips to get you started on the journey to digital transformation of SMEs. Always remember, every journey starts with a mindset.
Technology tools and platforms will accelerate your digital transformation but how you embrace digital as a company is what makes the difference. This entails adopting a more open workplace culture, fostering agility and focusing on customer experience.
About the Author
Dickson Gregory | Co-founder | Takatack Technologies Pte Ltd