Digital Transformation – More Than a Simple Challenge, it is a Perspective Shift for Companies!

We are excited to share a guest blog post from SlimPay today. This post focuses on how digital transformation is creating change for companies a crossed several industries. Companies have to adjust how they develop and market their product in order to leverage opportunities through digital trends. This blog post is a two-part series when you’re done reading this post make sure you check out part 2!

GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple & Microsoft) have transformed consumers’ habits, propelling them in a 100% digital world. Many other digital companies since then appeared in several sectors, from transportation to energy or leisure, generating an expansion of digital offers and making it sometimes difficult for traditional companies to follow the trend. Perceived as a threat by some companies, the digital transformation may also be an opportunity to re-invent, invest in new projects and take advantage of the new trends.

A recent Harvard Business Review ’s survey stated that companies are convinced of the importance to start a transformation by 2020. In its 2017-2020 plan, BNP Paribas announced the acceleration of its digital transformation.

How to face this challenge? What are the main steps and what to expect exactly?

PART 1 –  Digital transformation as a marketing and sales lever

The digital transformation quickly changed the competitive landscape in many industries. All the companies had to adjust their product development as well as marketing strategies in order to leverage opportunities offered by the digital trend.

Enlarge the scope: new audiences, new products

The digital age transformed our relationship to time, freedom, leisure as well as our consumption habits (unlimited access to music or movies, SaaS solutions, online banks, new transportation services, mobile applications). Whether it is to win back lost market shares or target a new audience, to enlarge an existing offer or improve a service level, the digital trend is an opportunity to innovate and remain competitive.

Those innovations are possible thanks to the analysis of usages, new habits of each audience segment and through the observation of other sectors to get inspired. Key elements are crucial to consider when creating or adapting an offer: think mobile, be customer focused (in terms of added value and features), do not forget the basics of marketing mix that are product, price, promotion, packaging, as well as payment that is taking on a more important role in the customer journey.

Accelerate profitability: how to launch an offer efficiently

The digital is also a good way to launch new offers and projects quickly for a limited cost. Beyond online promotion that allows high visibility for a minimum of budget, each step of the launch can now be managed online: customer acquisition, subscription step, sales channels, etc. Thanks to the cloud technology and SaaS solutions, it is now possible to create a 100% digital customer journey. Traditional process is now replaced by more efficient methods which is a clear opportunity for all types of companies.

Subscription: a viable business model

Already well known in the press sector, subscription and pay-as-you-go models developed a lot over the past few years, especially in the digital services industry. Benefits for consumers are obvious (freedom, budget management…), but also are benefits for companies (predictability of recurring revenue, revenue growth) : this reinforces viability of this model that attracts a lot of start-ups. Thus, many sectors are entering subscription commerce to sell their offer.

Maximize customer relationship

Big data is a revolution in terms of customer knowledge. Thanks to data collection, it is now possible to understand customer habits, journey and preferences. This customer-centric approach allows to customize offers and generates new types of interactions between brands and consumers. Social networks are also a new communication channel, in which consumers express themselves freely and this can be used as a source of inspiration for companies.

Digitalization opens up new paths for a customer experience that can be improved. But it is also creating new challenges such as subscribers’ management, customers’ app experiences, payment management … It must be handled cleverly!

Read the 2nd part An agile answer for a successful transformation

SlimPay

Created in 2009, SlimPay provides payments for subscriptions via direct debit. In addition to processing payments in both EURO and GBP for fixed and variable payment plans, SlimPay provides value-added technologies and services to enable merchants to effortlessly onboard customers, increase customer lifetime value and maximise revenue. With a team of over 60 payment specialists spread over 6 international offices and more than 2000 customers in 34 countries, SlimPay is the European leader for payment by direct debit.

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