IMPORTANCE OF DIGITALISATION FOR SMEs

Why and how it is helping SMEs during this global pandemic situation?

Today, digitalisation had become a buzzword. How so? Most businesses are making their way to incorporate digital technology whether it is the direct B2C business or B2B business. Companies no longer rely on traditional media platforms to do their marketing and business activities.

What’s more to that is when the Pandemic of COVID-19 has made its way in forcing SMEs to reevaluate their business operations which traditionally requires “face to face” communication to online meetings. While the early adopters of digitalization may have adapted to the current situation, a large number of SMEs are still struggling to cope. Despite the struggles, it is also what keeps their business alive.

SMEs that are able to adopt digital tools during this crisis would be able to continue their businesses and revenue income.  Digital tools are especially beneficial to micro or small businesses as it reduces costs such as reliance on manpower, automates business processes and evaluates consumer behaviour. It does not only allow you to get more done with less but also accessible at any time anywhere, corresponding with the new norm of working from home.

However, there is still a huge gap in the adoption of digital tools between large scale businesses and SMEs, especially in E-commerce and cloud computing. Hence, the government can address this problem by offering workshops for skills development and innovation and types of supporting funds for different industries.

In 2019, according to an economic survey from Singapore, firms who adopt digital tools had an increase in value by 25% and productivity by 16% on average. Singapore had also introduced SG:D which stands for Singapore Digital, as a movement to unify Singapore’s digital effort to help different industries to kick start their digitalisation journey and creating new ecosystems, opportunities and capabilities for the future.

 

Online presence and engagement

Digitalisation had gone beyond just creating a website and social media accounts for your company. What you can obtain are the insights for meaningful marketing strategies, data collected can help with analysing and understanding different buying patterns. The online interactions between you and your customers could also be translated into valuable information for you to grow and improve better. This could be based on reviews, ratings or comments.

Online advertising could be more affordable than traditional promoting. Nonetheless, companies are able to choose their target market that they would like to push products to, based on demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral segmentation. The online presence of your company would naturally affect the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

 

SEO and PPC

SEO is where you include content on the website to improve the site’s visibility to search engines so that it could help the website to show up more often when doing relevant searches. If your company is an online business, then one of the utmost importance steps in acquiring potential customers is through the search engine optimisation. SEO is also a non-paid organic search where you can boost your website with relevant content. Unlike PPC (paid per click), it is a paid advertisement where you are required to pay when there’s a user who clicks into your website. PPC might help you to reach out to customers more immediately however users might not get what they want from your website. Both of the strategies will help your business in the long run even though both do have their own pros and cons.

It is just a matter of time for every business to slowly incorporate digital tools in their daily operation as the advancement and development of technologies will soon take over the traditional ways of operation. In order to maintain in the competitive business market, SMEs have to overcome the lack of experience, lack of resources and taking the chance now to apply for government funds to support their business to implement new technologies.

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