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Although planning and implementing digital innovation isn’t easy or quick, it can certainly help your business thrive in times of unpredictability as opposed to merely surviving. You only need to look at the likes of Amazon and Microsoft who are prospering despite the curveballs of 2020. Let’s look at how these businesses (and others) have embraced digital innovation.

  1. Amazon isn’t afraid to experiment
  2. Best Buy made the most of personalisation
  3. Nike maximised their customer data
  4. Ainscough improved business visibility
  5. Microsoft introduced cloud-first offerings

1. Amazon isn’t afraid to experiment

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Where would any article on business innovation tips be without some takeaways from Amazon? Arguably the number one leader in e-commerce (at least, it is at the time of writing), Amazon isn’t afraid to experiment with ideas. According to this Forbes piece, founder Jeff Bezos sees ideas as business assets and encourages employees to channel an ‘opportunity mindset’.

And these ideas don’t just sit on the backburner. In 2007, Amazon released the Kindle despite having little to no background in hardware and numerous people advising against it. The outcome? The Kindle was - and still is - a huge success.

Then came the Echo, which is arguably the most popular and well-known smart speaker to date.

Your key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to experiment and wade into unknown waters when it comes to digital innovation.

2. Best Buy made the most of personalisation

American consumer electronics company Best Buy was experiencing dips in its market share until the CEO decided to embrace digitalisation. For example, AI technology is enabling the brand to offer personalised product recommendations based on what Best Buy already know about its customers.

Modern-day customers are surrounded by distractions (from digital ads to the stresses of everyday life) and their attention spans have decreased. So, if your business relies on commerce, you must offer your customers seamless, convenient purchasing experiences. Personalisation is a great way to help them quickly and easily find the products they want/need.

Your key takeaway: Prioritise customer data management (such as by using a CRM system) and use what you know to offer personalised recommendations to your customers.

3. Nike maximised their customer data

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Like Best Buy, Nike ensured it was truly connecting with customers by collecting rich insights into customer habits and preferences and using this data to improve the overall customer experience. When the brand knew:

  • What consumers wanted to see
  • What consumers wanted to interact with
  • Where consumers were likely to be found

…it could create more targeted marketing campaigns, improve the e-commerce experience (e.g. make the website more streamlined, introduce an app etc) and more.

Your key takeaway: Collect customer data but don’t just sit on it. Analyse it and use it to improve your overall sales and marketing strategy and customer experience.

4. Ainscough improved business visibility

Crane hire business Ainscough have over 30 depots up and down the UK. With over 400 cranes in their fleet, ensuring total visibility of these assets can be a challenge. So, Ainscough decided to invest in a connected ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system which allowed them to access real-time data from multiple parts of the business.

Key data from sales, finance, maintenance and resourcing could finally flow seamlessly into one system, making activities such as resource planning more efficient. Find out more about this story here.

Your key takeaway: To maximise visibility and efficiency, connect your core business systems and processes with a great ERP solution.

5. Microsoft introduced cloud-first offerings

business people group with young adults and senior on meeting at modern bright office interior.

When Microsoft faced growing competition from top contenders like Apple, they knew it was time to innovate their offerings. In 2014, they started to move away from their traditional software and began promoting their cloud-based solutions.

Ideal for both personal and enterprise use, these cloud solutions (such as Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft 365 suite) made accessing documents and various systems while on-the-go more convenient. No need to sit down at a computer or laptop - all you need is an internet connection and a browser-enabled device (like a smartphone).

Key takeaway: Improve your business efficiency and productivity by migrating to the cloud.


Want to start your digital innovation on the right foot?

Hopefully, these key takeaways have inspired you to start your business’ digital innovation journey or improve the path you’re already on. But of course, there’s more to know - such as how to create a digital transformation strategy.

To help you out, we’ve created a guide of the considerations and disciplines you must prioritise during your business’ digital transformation. Click the button below to grab your copy.

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