During the pandemic, businesses pivoted faster than ever. Phew. They simply had to, in order to survive these “unprecedented times”.
Like Australia’s finest restaurants overhauling their websites to offer takeaway. Entertainment venues using QR codes to meet entry requirements. Artificial Intelligence is breaking new ground for big retailers across the country.
And as we adapt to our new normal, it’s a critical time for small and medium businesses to keep up with digitisation.
Have a read of our New Shopping Normal report and you’ll find out why. Our research shows that more than half of Aussie shoppers plan to keep shopping online at the same rates they did during extended lockdowns.
At the same time, the Amazons and Ubers of the world are well and truly advancing the digital experiences.
So, how can your business keep up?
You might remember this year, the federal government proposed the Small Business Technology Investment Boost at the latest budget.
In short, it means any Aussie business with a turnover of less than A$50 million could deduct an additional 20 percent of costs (up to $100,000) on expenses that support digital adoption. In other words, spend $1 – and get $1.20 back at tax time. Not bad at all.
Think cyber security systems, subscriptions to cloud-based services, business management software, and marketing communications software, like MessageMedia.
This move shows that digitisation is a major priority for the government. And businesses that don’t find modern ways to work risk being left behind.
So, here are some ways to digitally boost your businesses, without breaking the bank.
Future-proof your point of sale (POS)
Cha-ching. We’re all familiar with the sound of an old-school POS system. But today they can do much more than record sales and cash balances left in the trusty register.
In fact, POS systems are quickly becoming the brains behind bricks-and-mortar businesses. Apart from just sales and cash tracking, modern POS systems can route electronic payments to bank accounts, track inventory, identify fraud, and even collect customer data.
Automate your marketing
Emails, web content, SMS, social media. According to Salesforce, these are some of the channels the average marketer uses to communicate to customers.
And while nothing beats sending a birthday discount to your loyal customers, it can be sorted out faster using marketing automation.
Here’s why automation is a no-brainer
Send event and appointment reminders at the perfect time and allow customers to accept cancellation requests back.
Tune into when your customer is surfing the web, and schedule ads for peak hour to be displayed then.
Or send an SMS with an enticing discount code just shortly after somebody abandons their cart.
Invest in tech services that are integrated with marketing platforms. It’s all part of making communications as seamless and personal as possible. You can use Hubspot, ActiveCampaign and Shopify to easily engage customers via multiple communications tools at once, including SMS (thanks to a MessageMedia integration).
We play nice with others
At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.John Chambers, Former CEO, Cisco
Rescue rostering from the pen and paper
Fixed schedules. Salaries. Superannuation. Rates of pay. Overtime. Sick leave. Shift swaps. Holidays. Exhausted, yet?
Believe it or not, hundreds of small businesses are still putting pen to paper to tackle this Tetris game. And that’s where digital rostering systems can be the ultimate lifesaver.
MessageMedia can also help lighten the load.
Need to fill a shift quickly, or send out a team reminder? Consider using SMS – it’s proved a major success for our customers in healthcare, hospitality and government. Just ask Estia Health Aged Care, for example, which used MessageMedia’s integration with Humanforce to fill critical roster vacancies.
Access inventory at your fingertips
Nothing’s more daunting than tracking inventory with a big old filing cabinet, or an Excel spreadsheet that runs to 600 pages. (No thanks.) And with recent supply chain delays, an accurate and efficient system counts. Digital inventory systems can track the all-important numbers and level up your stock planning and management. It’ll remind you when stocks are running low, or if there’s a shipment next week.
Some connect to a phone or tablet that can scan product movement from a barcode. And real-time reports can be quickly fed into accounting software, easing business planning and admin.
So where does SMS fit in?
Well, almost everyone has a mobile phone – from your customers to your staff. And 98% of text messages are read within the first 90 seconds. So why not use it to schedule appointments, manage rosters and track deliveries?
That should help you free up time and energy to focus on your customer base and boost those sales. For more interesting insights about engaging today’s customers, check out The New Shopping Normal report.