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Faster, Better Results: The Promise of Technology in Middle-Market Businesses

By Generational Equity

Technology Business

Successful middle-market companies of the future will be those that adopt and integrate technology. This is particularly true if that technology helps the company adapt and realign to customer needs quickly.                         

Mid-sized companies have a distinct advantage over large companies because they're smaller and more flexible, yet may still have trouble finding the budget to invest in technology. What are the advantages to integrating new technology platforms, despite the costs?

Technology investment and the resulting data mining can help your company with the following:

  • Respond more quickly to changing customer desires
  • Enhance customer experience, both online and in-person
  • Capture previously undiscovered audiences
  • Convert prospects to buyers faster
  • Support exceptional customer service
  • Improve processes that result in operational efficiencies

NG Data recently interviewed dozens of data scientists and customer experience experts who encouraged companies to turn big data into improved profitability. One expert, Joe Pino, director of client success for Clutch, a provider of advanced consumer management solutions, had this to say:

“Many of these businesses are unclear how to integrate and synthesize their data across their e-commerce sites, in-store point-of-sale systems, mobile applications, social networks, and email databases. Getting control of this data with a consumer management platform is the best way to quickly improve customer experience. This allows the brand to identify, understand, and motivate customers with a holistic, 360-degree view of their behaviors, tendencies, and preference in order to develop a marketing strategy focused on earning genuine loyalty.”

What are the technologies under discussion? Usually it includes some combination of mobile, cloud computing, social media, the Internet of things and big data.

Big data, big budget?

Every business owner knows that investment in information and technology requires significant resources. To fully harness these technologies, companies must balance their budget, personnel resources and existing priorities with the need to innovate.

Admittedly, it’s a difficult dance to execute successfully, but it can be done with the right planning and participation. The consulting firm RSM recommends these steps:

  • Form an innovation team
  • Benchmark competitors
  • Review customer requirements
  • Develop an IT road map
  • Consider outsourcing requirements

Further, it’s all well and good to integrate technology into your business so that you have better data to access. But, you must also remember to build in time to properly analyze your new data and integrate this information into new processes. Otherwise, you won’t be able to extract the full value of your investment by making better decisions.

Using data for your website

The risk of not tapping into innovative technology can be substantial, especially when it comes to your company’s online presence. A recent report by Corra surveyed 1,000 e-commerce shoppers in the United States to discover users’ pet peeves:

  • 41.2% cited poorly designed navigation with lack of subcategories for merchandise
  • 29.8% cited lack of advanced search capabilities
  • 26.4% cited too much branding and too little product detail
  • 68.9% said any of these pet peeves would cause them to shop on another site

While this report analyzed fashion commerce sites, the results can be applied to any business selling online since any of these pet peeves could be deduced by paying attention to such data as traffic rates, bounce rates, shopping cart abandonment and SEO results.

UX expert and Interaction Designer at Corra.com, Jessica Stoilkovic, found that any ecommerce site should generate trust, make it easy to get support, make it easy to find products, and make the checkout process simple and short. It’s a concise list that belies the necessary investment a business must make to get each of these requirements right.

By Jessica Johns Pool.

© 2017 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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