Online business: The next new is already here!

A recent blog discussed how digitalization and new technologies are changing the way sales work is done. Certainly no one could have predicted how the need and speed of change would accelerate so strongly, as we have seen over the last couple of months.

This exceptional situation has shaped people’s lives and basic daily routines, both at school and work, and at the same time digital solutions have rocketed into everyday life. The share of e-commerce in businesses has also grown exponentially, and even online grocery shopping which has been around for years but has never taken off, has doubled in a short period of time.

Basic needs remain

Despite the prevailing exceptional circumstances, certain basic needs remain for both people and businesses. In the B2B market, solutions and products still need to be able to be presented and people who spend more time at home are still decorating, furnishing and renovating their homes – or moving to a new  home. More realism and a sense of wow are needed to make a purchase decision as businesses and consumers optimize their spending.

Businesses now need to adapt to a situation where people are not physically in meetings, on the streets or in shops to receive advertising or to compare products and service providers. Still, the show must go on and a prerequisite for success right now is to bring these same opportunities online, because despite the limitations, our goal is to live daily life as normally as possible. Basic needs haven’t disappeard – they help us to cope moving forward and create faith in the future.

The importance of digitalization has grown and continues to grow

Especially in consumer products, e-commerce has established its position in support of the brick-and-mortar shop (Omnichannel) and some companies have already opted for a purely digital business model without the actual stores. Some companies may also use the “Digital Show Room” concept, which expands the variations of store products or introduces a certain product family more widely, or even a complete solution with digital aids, if the store space does not allow the presentation of all product variations or subassemblies.

Years ago, the most important competitive advantage of e-commerce was the ability to buy from the comfort of one’s own sofa. People still demand the ease of online transactions regardless of time and place, but increasing competition online and technological advances have also taught people to demand more. A successful online strategy should provide front-line experimentation opportunities for customers: visual configuration, building subassemblies, virtual demonstration, or product testing in one’s own environment at the correct scale. A better online experience is more likely to engage the customer until the purchase is made.

The successes of the future will be decided today

Modern digital solutions streamline the sales process and add value to both consumers and B2B sales. Plus, they bring a way to stand out from the competition! With the help of technology, it is possible to create real-world views and features in the online environment. This is not a stretch of the imagination, as even today the customer can:

  • design and arrange new outdoor furniture to one’s own terrace via AR
  • explore a new home or business space virtually
  • view the outcome of an upcoming renovation even before the job starts
  • try out different product options visually – including animations showing mechanical functionality
  • present massive machinery remotely, down to the last gearbox cog

Technology is bending to all of this, but in the past, such widespread interest in these solutions hasn’t been seen. As work and shopping habits change, what was considered to be in distant future is suddenly here faster than expected. Now that we have had to take a bigger leap, it remains to be seen whether the change that has taken place is permanent. Will the current state become the new normal and the former no longer exist?

If the technology is solid and proven in business use, fast, easy and cost-effective, why fight against change? The one who can engage the customer will win the sale and be successful in the future. Are you already creating wow effect for your customers with the help of Digital Twins?