The Value of a Digital-First Mindset

Have you heard colleagues, competitors, and industry experts using the words digital-first? Are you familiar with the concepts behind these latest buzzwords? A digital-first mindset is one in which your business approaches every challenge or opportunity with the fundamental belief that, in order to be beneficial, any strategy must be as digital as possible

Experts say that, to accomplish the transition to a digital-first mindset, you’ve got to imagine two things every time without fail and then approach every question with these priorities in mind. First, you’ve got to believe that as much of your output is being consumed in digital form as possible, even if you’re not sure it’s true yet, and, second, you have to commit to a vision in which you power everything you offer with digital technology. With these two shifts in place, you’ll be on your way to change. 

Your Customers Are Already Digital-First

When you apply those two criteria – consuming as much digital content as possible and consistently opting for digital technology – it’s easy to see that your customer base is already digital-first. Just look at some of the stats:

  • There are over 300 million internet users in the US, representing a stunning 91.8% penetration rate (Statista)
  • Over 80% of adults go online daily in the US; 30% say they are always connected. (Pew Research)
  • The average American spends over six hours online every day. (Small Biz Trends)
  • People spend more time on social media than they do managing their everyday activities. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Globally, more than 2 billion people shop online (Oberlo)
  • 58.4% of internet users buy something online every week. (Datareportal)
  • US online shopping is expected to top over $1 trillion in the coming year. (Statista)
  • 59% of shoppers prioritize shopping on mobile devices (Think with Google
  • 63% of all shopping journeys begin online (Zippia) but mobile shopping carts have an abandonment rate of 85.65%. (Woosuite).

What does this mean for your business? In a word, profit – but only if you’re ready to grab the opportunity by seamlessly blending the cutting-edge technology your customers demand with the high-level personalization and exceptional personal service they don’t want to give up.

What Does a Digital-First Retail Mindset Look Like in Action?

Tech powerhouse Slack says that, “A digital-first mindset shifts [operations] from reactive to proactive. Technology becomes a core part of doing business, and staff members at all levels are empowered to identify, assess and implement tools that make sense.” They offer five pillars of a digital-first mindset that will benefit any organization:

  1. Vision and Strategy – Believe that the technology you need exists and that you’ll know it when you see it.
  2. Core Business Processes – Can you use tech to streamline processes?
  3. Customer and Employee Experience – How can technology create a simpler, more exciting user experience?
  4. Metrics and Iteration – Track those results!
  5. Collaboration and Communication – Make your team more efficient and productive with better tools.

As a retailer, you’re probably (and understandably) especially interested in that third pillar. Bringing your new digital-first mindset to CX, you will want to consider several areas of focus.  Make sure that your website is top notch, easy to navigate, and translates beautifully to mobile. Create an integrated omnichannel experience that emphasizes online, but inspires and delights shoppers wherever they are on their path to purchase, motivating them to fill their carts and complete transactions. Invisibly capture visitor data and leverage it at every opportunity. Seamlessly blend online and instore shopping to create a relaxed onsite experience that doesn’t penalize associates for transactions that close online.

Advantages of Cultivating a Digital-First Mindset

“The digital first thinking is now more important that ever in the retail space. The recent pandemic rapidly pushed consumer behaviors away from visiting brick-and-mortar locations to make their purchase decisions. Consumers today are researching products online and visiting store locations with a purchase decision already made. Understanding your customers and their expectations in advance is key to unlocking a joyful buying experience, and increasing revenue per buyer.” -Phil Kanaby, Engineering Manager at Shoptelligence

Your competitors are already making the transition to a digital-first mindset. 89% of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or are planning to do so. Industry leader Gartner reports that 91% of businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative and digitalization is a priority for 87% of senior business leaders.

Cultivating a digital-first mindset will keep your business competitive.

How Shoptelligence Fits into Your Digital-First Business Plan

In one Accenture survey, 75 percent of respondents said they are more likely to buy from a business that does at least one of three things: “recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.” You can accomplish this goal by partnering with Shoptelligence, AI-powered software that quickly and easily plugs into your existing website, providing shoppers with personalized recommendations across categories from your existing inventory. Companies using Shoptelligence have seen 6X increase in engagement, 35% increase in AOV, 150% increase in conversion rate, and 2X+ increase in average revenue per visitor, leading to quick ROI.

Let’s talk about how Shoptelligence can do the same at your business. Schedule a demo today.



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