The Role of Digital For SME's

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Digital for SMEs

The small and medium businesses (SMEs) in India comprise of 63.4 million units and accounts for approximately 1/3rd of India’s GDP, offering employment opportunities to an approximate figure of 460 million people. Similarly, in terms of exports, the SMEs contribution is estimated at about 45% of the total exports. 

Despite the SME sector contributing to a sizable chunk of the country’s economy, traditional and out-dated business strategies and the low rate of technology influx has started to hinder these industries in enabling them to achieve their full potential. A primary barrier has been technology adoption, and this is where SME’s must strive to understand and adopt new-age digital channels to help amplify their businesses. 

New Mantra’s for SME’s 

With evolving habits and behaviour patterns, SME’s must stay up-to-date with ways in which they can understand their target audience and how to maximise their satisfaction. 

  • CRM tools are a great way to increase customer retention – you can only think about approaching new customers once your current ones are happy enough. 
  • Similarly, to attain an even more detailed understanding of their customers, You can consider carrying out a ‘KYC’. A KYC is a detailed onboarding process where businesses can collect and store detailed information as per their requirements. A KYC process can be made mandatory and helps promote transparency along with in-depth analysis of the buyer persona.

Tools Kit

The benefits of exploring a diverse range of tools are multifold. Exploring tools across multiple functions ranging from social media to sales or even email can result in an array of benefits. If you’re looking to scale your business, an in-depth understanding of digital tools is a must.

  • While social media has many uses, one of the primary benefits is the influence they have in maintaining reputations of brands. This is precisely why exploring ORM (online relationship management) tools to help customer interactions is a smart move.
  • Similarly, by adopting an automated email marketing tool, you can build and hone strategies to target a large number of stakeholders. These tools can help in creating highly personalized messaging in emails and elevate the impact of your existing email marketing strategy.
  • Lastly, exploring a Whatsapp Business API is another innovative way to build relations with both new and existing customers by offering them digital support and assistance. This offers a highly personalized experience and helps give your brand an identity – rather than an SMS – where a string of digits do not leave the same effect. 

‘E Route’ For SME’s 

E-commerce is a strategic game-changer, particularly in recent months with the focus on offline selling at an all-time low. If as an SME you are yet to explore online channels for sales, it is never too late to start. E-commerce provides you an opportunity to break free from the limitations of physical commerce-enabling you to market yourself to a larger audience. With lower barriers to trade, and lower expenses without any rent and inventory costs, e-commerce is a no-brainer. Here are some tips to optimize your e-commerce strategies –

  • Consider price, features, support, ease of use and performance while choosing an e-commerce builder.
    • Augment your e-commerce platform with the help of insightful product descriptions, video content, and quirky blogs. This helps keep visitors engaged and helps offer them an insight into your brand rather than just serve as a transactional platform.
    • Tinker around with diverse sale strategies and promotional offers to help understand your audience even better, and evaluate how these strategies affect your sales and revenue.
    • There are plenty of e-commerce platforms which are offering free assistance to businesses affected by the pandemic that are worth exploring.
  • Evaluate whether you need an on-premises or cloud hosting environment to run an efficient e-commerce platform. 

S for Social, SME’s & Success

Along with the standard features offered, social media platforms have taken distinct measures by launching innovative offerings specifically aimed to help SME’s. These offerings have been launched in light of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought a huge burden on the shoulders of SME’s while they faced problems staying afloat. Social media become the norm for marketing strategies, so these platforms went a step further to help out SME’s – 

  • Utilize Facebook’s ‘Business Resource Hub’ that includes a ‘resilience toolkit’, helping businesses prevent disruptions. The Small Business Resiliency Toolkit holds a framework for small businesses that lack the time or resources to create an extensive plan to recover from business interruptions. The Toolkit is based on best practices and is designed to educate you on basic business resilience activities and approaches.

These resources will guide your company toward addressing preparedness issues while building the flexibility to handle potential business disruptions. The Toolkit is designed to lead any business, even one with no disaster experience or knowledge, towards greater resiliency.

  • Leverage Instagram’s ‘Support SME Sticker’a feature that allows brand users to easily show their love for businesses through stories. They can tag businesses directly in the sticker to give their followers an overlook of the account. This feature is a great way to promote local businesses and help them thrive on social media.
  • Similarly, on LinkedIn, SME’s can make use of the ‘Open For Business’ feature. This feature allows freelancers and small business owners to add their services to their LinkedIn profiles, which helps make them discoverable on the LinkedIn search engine.

SME’s form a substantial chunk of the economy in our country – and often face difficulties adapting to dynamic technological innovations that spring up on a consistent basis. In the digital world we live in today, it is imperative to embrace these new innovations to fully thrive and sustain business.

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