Consumers today want the ability to buy at any time and in the most convenient way possible - in person, on their desktop or increasingly, on their mobile device.
These buying trends and expectations present huge opportunities to SMEs who can use new technology to challenge in industries and markets previously dominated by the larger players. But not all SMEs are keeping up. In fact, the UK Cabinet Office’s Digital Inclusion Strategy reported that at the end of 2014, a third of SMEs did not have an e-commerce website to sell their product.
This is a big problem for SMEs. In an era in which digital disruption is changing business models and creating new markets, SMEs can’t afford to stay on the sidelines of the digital economy.
Fortunately, new products like SAP Anywhere can help SMEs make the move to digital quickly and easily. By delivering digital transformation across the front and back office of a business, SAP Anywhere helps small companies make the most of technology in a way that helps them achieve their goals.
A company’s true shop window
For many businesses, websites or online stores are now a company’s true shop window. That’s why the mantra for many new SME startups should be ‘mobile first’. A website capable of selling needs to work equally well on any device, including mobile. Customers won’t wait to get home to a computer if a website doesn’t display well on their phone, they’ll just go somewhere else.
Once the website is in place, digital marketing tools like e-newsletters can help customers find it. All additional sales channels and marketing activity should aim to bring customers to this website or store. Using third party vendors such as Amazon can help widen the reach of products but the aim should still be to move these customers onto the company’s own website.
Once customers are interested, they will want to interact with the business, wherever they happen to be and at any time. The system needs to be always ready for this - automatically tracking inventory. After all, a customer will move on if a company can’t fulfill a purchase and the e-commerce platform hasn’t been updated with stock information. Automated inventory and sales systems can help a company gain better visibility and be ready to sell when the customer’s ready to buy.
Technology that helps SMEs do what they do best SMEs are not only experts in what they sell, but they’re also typically experts in the other vital component of running a business – their customers. Focusing on these two things – commerce and engagement - is what ultimately drives a successful company.
What SMEs need are technology solutions that are simple to understand and easy to implement; that add real value to their business and help them achieve their goals with the right support and guidance along the way.