Digital transformation has given SMEs to adopt robust transformation business models to take their businesses online gradually, assuring survival in the ever-growing digital market
The widespread closing of stores and businesses in India and worldwide due to the outbreak of coronavirus was unprecedented. The outbreak of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns resulted in innumerable stores, factories and many other businesses remaining closed for an extended period, either by policy mandate or downward demand shifts. Small and Medium Enterprises that were looking to scale their growth despite multiple roadblocks have undoubtedly been impacted severely by the pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic is, in fact, still looked at as a significant crisis for SMEs, which continue to scramble for the right alternatives to bank on in the new normal. With offline appearing to be a risky proposition, considering the looming fear of the third wave or any future pandemic-like situation, the best bet for any small and medium business is to go for digital transformation.
Importance of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation holds the key to offering a lifeline to small or medium businesses. A business may take on digital transformation for several reasons, but by far, the most likely reason is that it is an issue of survival for them, especially in the new normal. It has now become critical for any organisation to adapt swiftly and seamlessly to supply chain disruptions, rapidly changing expectations of customers and time to market pressures.
Creating Growth for SMEs via Digital Transformation during the pandemic
The outbreak of the pandemic has resulted in many organisations undergoing a healthy re-negotiation in terms of their relationship with digital technology. There are several key areas pertaining to a business’ digital transformation efforts that have been pushed higher on CIO agendas by the pandemic. A business can now look at the option of furthering its customer support reach with the help of digital tools like chatbots, which have of late been advanced to become virtual conversational assistants backed by AI. In addition, businesses can now leverage automation tools to boost resilience and alleviate redundant and conflicting systems.
Transforming business models
A major bottleneck that businesses are coming across in their bid to get their business kick-started after the economic jolt of the pandemic is with regard to gathering capital. Even as the liquidity with banks as well as non-banking financial companies is good, they are most likely to
back business models that have the foresight and strength to sustain any pandemic-like onslaught. -Therefore, it is imperative that businesses go for paid activities initially to get a short-term head start while simultaneously investing in SEO to achieve long term growth. The focus must be on boosting the organic outreach by implementing comprehensive SEO strategies that would organically improve the ranking of their websites and apps. This resultantly helps businesses scale their organic revenue multifold.
One of India’s leading footwear chains Mochi shoes, which approximately has more than 150 stores across the country, increased its organic revenue by as much as 35 times by undergoing digital transformation and adopting updated SEO strategies that were in sync with the algorithm of search engines like Google. While most offline stores shut down due to the lockdown policies, the footwear chain took it as an opportunity to switch to online stores during the pandemic. As a result, they witnessed an increase in Organic Sessions by 400%, increased Keywords in Top 3 Ranking, and increased ROI by ten times.
Digital transformation is intrinsic to the survival of SMEs in the post-pandemic era. Hence, it has become more relevant than ever. But, more importantly, it has given SMEs to adopt robust transformation business models to take their businesses online gradually, assuring survival in the ever-growing digital market.
*The author is Kaushal Thakkar, Founder & MD, Infidigit
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