Imagine Facebook as a country. It would not be much smaller than China and India in terms of population – in fact, it would the third-largest one on the planet today.
Facebook carries almost 50 per cent of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK and more traffic than Google in the United States. More than 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day, with 34 per cent related to product reviews.
Technology has been the one significant change to the way in which people and businesses interact over the past decade.
Social media, the web, platforms and applications allowing users to create and share content and participate in social networking has brought such disruptive change that you might well have missed the full of scope of it.
As much as technology has the ability to modernise in progressive steps, it also has the capability to overturn businesses or even industries with lighting speed. For businesses desiring for growth, this is both a warning and an opportunity.
The consumer is now ‘always on’ and global
If you’re not playing in the 24/7 arena and one of your competitors are, then you’ve just lost customers without even trying. Today’s consumer is now ‘always on’ and global – the connected customer.
Business should dramatically change the way they consider their product or service offering, their marketing strategy, and the channels they choose to use.
Connecting between the physical and digital worlds
Technology provides Businesses a multichannel platforms which can offer a uninterrupted customer experience across your brand and across multiple formats and devices, with customers going from screen to store and store to screen as part of their buying behaviour.
Savvy businesses are embracing this insight and using technology and data points to communicate one-to-one with their target customer fostering the all-important personal connection.
Level the playing field
Small businesses can have a global customer base through the ‘www’ shop window. However, while this has opened up new market opportunities and new target segments, businesses still need to deliver on their brand promise.
Distribution, logisitcs, fulfilment and most importantly, customer service need to be topnotch. If not, businesses will quickly experience the dizzing speed at which technology can overturn a business – using valuable resource time in repairing your brand reputation instead of building it.
Value proposition definition
Technology used to be an enabler of your value proposition. Amazon and similar businesses have proved that technology is your platform to deliver your value proposition.
Access and speed to market
An increasing trend is the emergence of companies that make 1money as a middleman, while incurring no or limited costs.
For example, Airbnb owns no properties but charges a fee to link millions of accommodation seekers with property owners. Uber follows the same model; it owns no cars and hires no drivers, but makes money by linking drivers with customers through a simple app.
In the UK, Notonthehighstreet has built a prominent business by providing an e-commerce outlet for small product manufacturers who may not normally have access to large retailing and marketing opportunities.
Whether you are an entrepreneur with the next Airbnb idea or the SME business owner wanting to market online, with the right approach, you can acquire a large customer base, on a different continent by building or accessing nothing more than an interface with the aim to maximise and retain customers by managing the quality and service provided.