We are experiencing an extraordinary revolution, the digital revolution. We can perceive these developments as a threat or, on the contrary, as an opportunity!
Our world has changed since the invention of the smartphone. This tool has revolutionized our economy and the use of mobile phones. Today, telephoning is just one feature among hundreds of others.
Indeed, an extraordinary playground has just opened up for all professionals who want to create a stronger bond with their clients. Some startups such as Uber, Blabalcar, or Tripadvisor have invested this field with undeniable success.
These digital success stories demonstrate that we have truly changed the economy. The best proof: the capitalisation of the Accord Group, a multinational company with hotels, is 11 billion euros; Tripadvisor, a networking service, is valued at ... 11 billion euros too!
But what link can be made between a multinational, a VSE, an SME, a local shop and a craftsman?
The link is the Smartphone: the consumer of Uber or Tripadvisor has a Smartphone in his pocket! This customer is the same as the one of the merchant or the TPE!
And it is not impossible for small companies today to invest in smartphones, which are the object of all covetousness: en 2015, there will be more than 30 million smartphones and 12 million tablets in France. And statistics show that this number will only change in the coming years in a constant and significant way.
Digital helps to strengthen the brand's image
The question is: how can VSEs and SMEs be part of this evolution?
First, professionals need to be aware that the behaviour of Consumers (mobinautes) have changed: nomadic and demanding, they no longer want to wait and want simple and immediate offers.
Mobinautes look at their Smartphone at least 195 times a day, according to a recent Nokia study. Many companies have a website but no mobile application yet. And today this would be an opportunity for them to modernize their image and show their dynamism, as there is always a premium to the first, they would stand out from their competitors.
Trends show that today's consumers have many expectations:
-•On-board loyalty card - request for 39% of the mobinautes,
-•geolocation - tool used by 51% of the mobinautes,
The on-board loyalty card, a major challenge for companies
It allows us to collect relevant information, and thus to build up a database allowing a detailed knowledge of the behaviour of these customers. Moreover, it allows to move from a mass communication (very expensive) and with a low ROI to a real digital marketing strategy.
Thanks to digital technology, companies can launch targeted promotional operations and optimize their communication budget. The major consequence: an increase in traffic at the point of sale and an increase in turnover.
Demystification and job opportunities
Most VSEs / SMEs find it difficult to go digital, because it seems complicated and not a priority in relation to the many daily tasks they have to perform. Most of these 3 million entrepreneurs work alone and are desperately short of time.
And this is where the digital players must be able to offer simple tools in terms of management and administration and support them in the digitalisation process. In addition, pedagogical work needs to be done.
It should be noted that only 1/3 of these companies have a website or social network (see ICT observatory of the Rhône-Alpes region) and 81 % of French companies that went bankrupt in 2013 were not present on the web according to the barometer of the company Email-Brokers. In France, a business goes bankrupt every hour.
Digital technology can not only save their jobs but also, thanks to the development of their activity, create new jobs: indeed, the use of digital technology induces productivity and profitability gains for all companies, whatever their core business.
For every 1 euro invested in ICT, a margin of 2 euros is recorded (McKinsey, 2011).
Once the company has understood the need to take the step, it has yet to define its needs and budget.
The entry ticket for a Web or Native application (downloadable only from the App Store or Play store) is at least 5,000 euros excluding VAT. To this must be added the cost of hosting, maintenance, and updates. The price may vary depending on the number of features.
Ergonomics and design have to be particularly careful. Indeed, the mobile user must identify the brand territory of the sign and recognize himself through the application. All the old websites that are not "responsive design" will have to be because of Google's new algorithm. For example, the site leboncoin.fr less well referenced because not adapted to Smartphone.
Isn't this the opportunity to switch from a site to a web application?
Yeah, it's a digital tsunami!
Over the next few years, we will see the disappearance of many companies that have not been able to make this shift. These companies are not always aware of the importance of the digitalisation of the economy. Unfortunately, this tsunami will take everything in its path and create a divide that will be very difficult to bridge. There will be two types of businesses: those that have adapted and those that have not.
This change forces these structures to be formed and to apprehend the customer relationship differently. Consumers are more demanding and companies must be more efficient.
Unfortunately, talent alone is no longer enough. That is why all players must help these companies in order to preserve jobs and take advantage of this source of growth.