A Strong Digital Presence is No Longer a ‘Nice to Have’

September 5, 2020

Chances are, video conferencing wasn’t a daily occurrence for you this time last year. It’s doubtful you dined at restaurants that provided QR codes for digital menus. And you may not have opted for ecommerce when buying from your local retailers.

Yet all have become norms due to Covid-19.

It’s clear that a strong digital presence is no longer a “nice to have” for businesses. Now, regardless of industry, it’s a “must have.” That’s why the Harvard Business Review says we’re in the midst of the most rapid organizational transformation in the history of the modern firm. (Hey, if you don’t believe us, you can at least believe the smart folks at Harvard, right?)

Digital evolution has been taking place for years, but the speed of this latest push is unprecedented, making it difficult to manage for even the most nimble organizations. Knowing the stakes are high and those who fail to adapt will be left behind, what’s your company doing to lean into the accelerating digital transformation?

It can seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to help.

Let’s start by keeping things simple. Never lose sight of customer expectations and preferences. They’re asking for not only digital experiences but an overhaul of the traditional in-person customer journey, and that means pretty much every organization has to tweak operations in some way. The most forward-thinking restaurants, for example, are embracing online ordering and payments, delivery, curbside pickup, and contactless dine-in service supported by mobile transactions. They’re recognizing how widely the customer preferences vary.

Think about the tools you can use to serve customers in the manner they prefer, and how you may be able to lean further into digital and contactless experiences. For many companies, the website becomes the “front door”—the first point of contact—if it wasn’t already. That means it’s a perfect time to revamp your website and make it the centerpiece of an omnichannel strategy in which digital and traditional channels are used to create a unified experience for customers.

Since the Covid-19 crisis started, there’s been a 20% increase in consumer preference for contactless operations, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Company. At a time when social distancing is the new normal, consumers are growing more comfortable with digital, remote, and low-touch or contactless options, and companies are responding by introducing touchless interactive exhibits, anti-microbial touch screen technology, and other creative technologies.

At Makeway, we empower brands by leveraging technology and thoughtfully merging design and development to achieve purpose-driven growth. We are proud to have helped Nationwide Insurance create an interactive digital sales-training tool and assisted the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival in turning 12 days of performances into a virtual festival. And our tailored solution for Radio Social features seamless, contactless mobile ordering.

These aren’t one-off investments in trends but rather necessary responses to a long-term evolution that will last well beyond the current crisis. We think this excerpt from the McKinsey report is particularly relevant:

"Digital-led experiences will continue to grow in popularity once the coronavirus is quelled, and companies that act quickly and innovate in their delivery model to help consumers navigate the pandemic safely and effectively will establish a strong advantage." Adapting customer experience in the time of coronavirus, McKinsey & Company

As Covid-19 magnifies trends we already saw taking place, your organization should make a point to capitalize on the opportunity. And it is an opportunity. Businesses that embrace this digital shift will be able to maintain customer relationships even after the crisis is over.

If digital solutions are not a significant part of your budget then it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee. Those who understand where the world is headed are taking action and investing in technology architecture. Not sure where to start? We’ll help you out. Just let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll be happy to provide an initial consultation at no charge.

Makeway is an award-winning digital-first agency with a decade worth of design, development, and problem-solving experience, so stick around and check out some of the work we’ve done for clients like Nationwide, Nalgene, and Pro-Tech Manufacturing.