Digital transformation is often talked about by brands, particularly in annual reports and updates.
It’s become a catch-all term for various types of business change, but what does it mean? How can digital transformation help companies?
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation refers to the reorganisation of businesses and business models to reflect the changes in customer behaviour brought about by the internet and digital technology in general.
This transformation is the journey from where a business currently is to where it needs to be digitally to thrive and meet customer needs.
Some examples of digital transformation are established retailers changing their working methods and structures to serve customers across several channels, or it could be a shift from using branches to online and mobile apps for transactions in the case of a financial brand.
The common theme is a recognition of the need to change existing structures and ways of working to meet changing customer demand.
The need for businesses to adapt to changing circumstances is not a new concept in itself, but the ‘digital’ part of the term reflects the vast changes brought about by the internet and the tech used to access it.
Why is digital transformation needed?
One key focus when thinking about digital transformation is customer centricity.
As we set out in the previous section, technology and competition help create the need for transformation, but it’s customer behaviour that ultimately matters.
Put simply, if you are thinking about what your customers want and how you can sell to them or provide services, then this will help your business succeed.
Businesses which fail to adapt quickly enough to changing customer behaviour will struggle.
Many well established retailers have failed over the past five to ten years. There may be multiple reasons for the demise of these businesses but one common theme has been the failure to adapt to the growth of ecommerce and the changes it has brought in terms of customer behaviour.
The need for businesses to change and adapt is not a new concept in itself, but the ‘digital’ part of the term reflects the vast changes in technology and customer behaviour brought about by the internet and the tech used to access it.
How to set your digital transformation strategy
Transformation begins with the recognition that fundamental change is needed. This realisation may come as the result of a downturn in performance or perhaps the entry into the market of a new competitor.
For example, Amazon will have given the management of many retailers plenty of sleepless nights. The very presence of a rival like Amazon will have led many businesses to take digital seriously, and to think about how their organisations need to change to be more competitive.
The same can be true in other markets. Sites such as lastminute.com or booking.com have presented a serious challenge for established travel brands, while the same is true for insurance brands after the arrival of confused.com.
There is no one size fits all solution for transformation. The process is different for B2B and B2C companies and can vary between sectors. It can also depend on exactly how far along a company is in its adoption of digital.
One key factor is leadership. Transformation, especially at scale, needs to be driven from the top. This can be hard in businesses where decision making has been slow and reliant on the input of many different stakeholders.
How Magento can help you with digital transformation
No other platform gives you the power to create unique, limitless, and engaging shopping experiences while offering the security, performance, and low TCO benefits of cloud services. There are a lot of out-of-the-box features, an unlimited ability to customize, and seamless third-party integrations. With Magento Commerce, you’re supported by a global ecosystem of merchants, partners, and developers who will bring your commerce vision to life.