Year-End Strategy Guide for Your Digital Transformation

Whatever your plans were a year ago, COVID-19 undoubtedly delayed them, if it didn’t completely derail them. As 2021 approaches, now is the time to take back control of your business ecommerce strategy.

Transformation is the lifeblood of any ecommerce business. Knowing what your business goals are for the new year is one thing, but developing a solid strategy to reach those goals is a major project that shouldn’t be left to the last minute. Here are five distinct facets to consider as you look to the year ahead.

Assess the culture and leadership mindset

A company that was founded on an ecommerce platform, may not require any changes in culture or leadership mindset to embrace digital technology. However, we all have our preferences in the way things are done and the software and platforms we use. We all have preconceptions on what will work and what won’t. This is just human nature. Talking to an outside ecommerce consultant can help ensure your perspective stays fresh while you’re working on your year-end ecommerce planning.

Even proponents for change may resist change

Digital transformation initiatives almost always have a cascading effect on employees and management. Business units may need to be restructured, roles and job requirements may need to be amended and job titles may change. Even if the change is for the better, some degree of pushback should be anticipated and countered beforehand. If employees need to be moved to new positions and retrained, this should be included in your strategy and discussed with them in advance.

Focus on customer experience

Issues in today’s customer experience and expectations go far beyond what they were a few years ago. Page loading times and data security are always a concern, of course, as is the color of a “buy” button. But the customer experience is likely changing on your competitors’ websites. Consequently, they’ll have new expectations for your website as well.

Additional questions to ask within organization include:

  • How integrated is your service to SMS messaging?
  • What is the consistency in your advertising messages?
  • Have your ad campaigns been integrated with the latest analytics to take advantage of the increasing personalization of messaging that is now available?

Digital transformations trends that will continue into 2021

Red Hat’s Enterprise Project identified eight digital transformation trends you should be aware of as you move into the new year.

  • Rapid adoption of digital operating models.
  • A surge in big data governance and analytics.
  • Expanded adoption of cloud technologies.
  • More effective use of AI and machine learning.
  • Mergers and acquisitions in IT outsourcing companies.
  • Growing numbers of digital partnerships between consultant companies.
  • New digital transformation success metrics.
  • Improved focus on long-term value of digital initiatives.

Prepare to be agile

The beginning of 2020’s second quarter saw the rise of a new meme on the issue of digital transformation throughout LinkedIn, Twitter and many business magazines. The joke? That COVID-19 was the team lead for every company’s digital transformation this year. Because what other choice was there? Brands had to be agile, and that’s not changing any time soon.

As we round the bend toward 2021, the questions to ask are (a) what lessons did your company learn that you should carry forward, and (b) which did it not yet learn that it should? Consider how you’re enabling your workforce. Are your employees still working from home? Do they have the technical tools they need? Does management have the tools they need to oversee them? What tools are available that would work better and — just as crucial — how could you migrate to them with minimal disruption?

Explore new technology integrations thoroughly

For ecommerce businesses, integration is always the crux of digital projects. Adding new features to your website or integrating software changes into your architecture can open up a wasps’ nest of unforeseen complications on reliant technologies. These should be examined long before any transformation initiatives get a green light.

As an experienced ecommerce consultant at Acro Media can readily tell you, website planning is just one component of a digital transformation strategy. Having worked on dozens of web development projects this year, an Acro Media ecommerce software consultant can explain the trends, best practices and how to ensure that your strategy leads you toward solid solutions that give you the best opportunities for growth in the coming year.

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