Is Your Industry Being Impacted by Digital Disruption? 6 Signs to Watch For
I’m not sharing news when I say that technology is changing the game for businesses – in a big way.
It’s disrupting the old ways of interacting with customers, suppliers, partners, and employees. It’s doing so in B2C and B2B. Across all industries. For businesses large and small.
Unfortunately, a single major disruption can alter your industry forever – and cost you your business if you’re not prepared for it.
The most popular example, of course, is Uber. The invention of a simple app lead to a total disruption of the taxi cab industry.
The digital disruption of your industry could be driven by a technological breakthrough, market factors, regulatory concerns, macro-economic factors – you name it.
But the key question for business owners is… how do you know it’s headed your way? And what can you do to prepare?
Signs of Impending Digital Disruption
- There’s an increasing interest in your industry from venture capitalists.
- New technology in your industry is focused on cost-cutting.
- Your industry has an aging customer base.
- Your industry is struggling to find new customers.
- Customer service is still handled in-person or on the phone – not through digital communication.
- Your industry faces high levels of customer dissatisfaction.
How to Prepare for Digital Disruption
You don’t have to be caught off guard by digital disruption. In fact, you can use technology to prepare.
Seek digital opportunities.
Be aware of technological innovation related to your industry. Then see if it’s a fit for your business.
For example, I recently worked with a bike shop that offers the GURU Fit system, computerized technology that aids bicyclists in finding the perfect fit.
It is the only shop in a large geographic area that offers the technology – so you can bet it sets them apart from competitors as experts in the bike world.
Don’t be a late adopter – or you may find your competitors are quickly overtaking you.
Listen to your customers.
This can – and should – involve face-to-face conversations. It could also mean surveys and questionnaires.
But you can also listen to customers online. By looking at their behaviors on your website. Analyzing the terms they are searching for.
Using this data, you can see what the trends are now – not a year ago, or even five days ago.
Consider how to improve your digital touchpoints. Or how you can allow people to swipe their phone to complete an action related to your business instead of making a call on it.
Mobile is taking over. And people expect the convenience of being able to schedule, order, and assess everything from everywhere.
If your company doesn’t offer it, someone else will, and they’ll dominate with that increasing sector of your audience.
Look at the big picture.
Understanding your local competitors is key to success for many businesses, but don’t lose track of the industry across the nation.
Stay up to date with what’s happening both in your state and across the country in your industry. If digital disruption is happening elsewhere, you can bet it will head your way eventually.
At that point you have a choice: do you maintain the status quo and hope it works out? Embrace the digital disruption when it does come your way? Or lead the way and become a disruptor yourself now.