By: Maya Adly, CEO of ROAR
The traditional service-based sector is opaque, convoluted, and known for its obsolete practices. It’s been exempt from using strategic engagement tactics, modern-day approaches to reaching customers and doing things to enhance the overall consumer experience for decades. It’s because these businesses – massage therapy, hair and nail salons, and others are considered non-essential. Essential or not, however, the pandemic has proven companies who remain stuck in old ways are not only falling behind their competitors but quickly disappearing from the market.
Since then, the world’s largest black swan event technology has become an imperative aspect of business operations, and according to a recent study, 45% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) now say they’re ready to start planning for a digital future.
Targeting a new age audience with technology as the way forward
Consumer expectations are not what they once were. As society has become accustomed to increasingly sophisticated ways to interact and engage with businesses, the demand for continuous innovation is nowhere close to coming to a halt. This is in part, due to the entrance of a new and dominant cohort, Generation Z. The flourishing preferences of Generation Z are a hallmark characteristic of the present day. This group is fixated on technologically robust and creative ways to live. They are environmentally conscious, financially savvy and community forward, and the world’s very first digital natives.
As the need to attract the attention of Generation Z grows, paired with business expansion and an increasing reliance on technology, businesses will inherently adopt a cataclysmic number of solutions.
The disadvantages of digitization in the service-based sector
With this in mind, digital transformation has some clear disadvantages in its current form. Today, on average, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use a minimum of 8 software solutions. Depending on the type of business, this number drastically increases and the more marketing a company does, the more solutions or platforms the business must acquire as part of its tech stack.
More solutions lead to more:
- staff members/employees
- hours spent on training and learning each solution
- budget cost increases and ultimately,
- time taken away from what the business knows how to do best.
A sheer 62% of businesses that shifted to digital approaches during the pandemic, said they would maintain those changes, and expand options going forward. One very key instrument of this change is the target of small to mid-size businesses – the core of the economy and the first movers of new technology.
Disjointed software is the number one problem businesses face today
However, technology itself is not the problem. The real issue lies in the fact that software solutions are currently disjointed and designed to function simply as bridges. Each bridge can integrate with only so many others leaving businesses with a multitude of platforms that have limited integration capabilities. What companies need are platforms designed to be ecosystems or marketplaces that centralize both B2B and B2C business activities.
The global personal services sector is expected to grow from $982 billion in 2020 to $1411 Billion in 2025. In Canada this year, it’s forecasted to generate 30.4% of its total revenue through online sales.
Solutions for the future
More sophisticated and end-to-end platforms like ROAR, a B2B marketplace, and consumer ecosystem are entering the market to fill this gap in the service-based business sector. ROAR has integration capabilities that surpass anything currently available and serves businesses and their customers by centralizing solutions and features – for both parties – all in one place. This gives businesses the ability to plug into a holistic ecosystem and tap into all the solutions they need with ease.
B2B Marketplaces and consumer ecosystems make way for late adopters to gain full speed ahead and save both consumers and businesses time and resources. The utilization of a hub to interact, prospect and market reduces the number of platforms needed to reach target audiences and generate sales. In truth, the hyper-growth of e-commerce and a saturated landscape gives businesses little room to exist without a hyper-tailored marketing strategy. Furthermore, as we head into an even more advanced version of our current digital-first world, there is a strong sense of urgency around the need for consolidated solutions.
According to Forbes, To win hearts and wallets, companies must not only deliver amazing marketing, sales, e-commerce, and service interactions but also prove that they have the customers’ best interests in mind.