SMALL and traditional businesses have always been resistant to digital transformation. But when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it was an eye-opener to say the least,
Technology was needed urgently to address new consumer behaviours, lifestyles and needs. Who would have expected the change to digital be so rapid and unprecedented?
The current trend is to stay at home and go online! For all we know, it’s the new normal and everyone is on board.
Let’s look at why customers prefer going digital.
1. Open 24/7: Having an online platform means you can be open 24/7. You can actually make money while you are sleeping. Whether it is to place an order or schedule an appointment, having the option to do it at any time of the day allows customers freedom to purchase or book without time constraints.
2. Avoid crowds and checkout lines: With social distancing in place, nobody wants to be cramped in a supermarket or clinic when there’s the virus floating around. Having an online presence allows appointments and orders to be made without physical interaction, squeezing and cramping in physical stores.
3. Kill lots of birds with one stone: Running around from store to store to find all the stuff you need is not convenient. It’s much easier to get something from one place – the smartphone. So, having your business online allows customers the option to pick and choose what they need without having to move about. Let’s say they want burgers from outlet A and fried chicken from outlet B for lunch. Instead of driving to both outlets, they could just order them through an online food delivery service and get them delivered right to their doorsteps at the same time!
4. Compare prices: This is undoubtedly a big plus for Malaysians because we love cheap stuff. Let’s say you sell a bunch of T-shirts. Instead of customers going to your store to physically check out the cheapest shirts, it’s easier for them to just look at the prices already displayed on the website. No more flipping price tags and casually putting them back on the rack when nobody is looking.
5. Save time: Shopping and booking appointments and then waiting is so time consuming. Customers only have 24 hours in a day, and they want to be able to sleep for at least eight of those hours. So, having an online platform allows customers to make an appointment or shop and then just pay and go back to sleep.
Having an online platform also builds credibility and trust among potential customers, further helping to gain traction in selling products and services.