People are constantly spending more time and money online. For entrepreneurs, this means digital business opportunities are always growing. As long as technology continues to develop, so will the options for starting new business models and enhancing your customer’s experiences. This is what running a digital business is all about. In this quick guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about digital businesses – including what they are, how they work, and how you can start one.
What is a Digital Business?
A digital business uses technology to reinvent traditional business models and create new value for customers. As technology becomes an increasingly important feature of life, digital businesses use it to transform the way they operate, enhance their products, and shift customer experiences.
Digital businesses have become popular thanks to the increasing shift of people spending more money online. This has resulted in many businesses moving traditional operations towards new digital channels. It has also resulted in various new business opportunities that focus entirely on the digital landscape.
However, a digital business isn’t only a business that sells online. Instead, these businesses have used digital resources to create a competitive advantage, or shift operations away from tradition.
What is an Example of a Digital Business?
Technology and the online world offer endless opportunities for digital businesses to tap into. This means there are many different examples of what a digital business could look like. A typical example of a digital business would be an eCommerce store. This is where an entrepreneur has taken a traditional business model (retail) and transformed it into an online experience. Ecommerce stores could operate as a part of a traditional retail business, or they could represent the business’s entire retail operations.
Another digital business example is streaming services, which turned the traditional experience of watching movies or listening to music into a digital experience. Digital businesses include individuals and organisations that offer online courses, online events, or any app that you can download onto your phone. Basically, if a business uses technology to shift its product offering or customer experience, it can be classified as a digital business.
What are the Types of Digital Business?
You can classify digital businesses into four main categories. These are:
- Basic digital engagement: When a business has a relatively undeveloped digital presence, and only relies on basic digital tools like email and standard business software.
- Intermediate digital engagement: When a business relies on a moderate amount of digital tools, such as online marketing tools and a website.
- High digital engagement: Businesses that use many digital resources, multiple online marketing channels and rely on internal digital tools.
- Advanced digital engagement: When a business truly relies on digital tools and uses them at a high level. This could involve developing a mobile app, managing all sales through a website and running an online-only marketing strategy.
How Do I Start a Successful Digital Business?
Technology and the digital world offer endless opportunities for starting a business. One of the best places to start is to assess your current skills and interests and determine how you can turn them digital. This might be through starting an app, an online store, a video channel, or offering services through digital channels.
Also, look at traditional business models and consider ways they could be disrupted by digitally transforming them. An example of this would be turning traditional payments into mobile payments or developing a digital tool to assist industries that are traditionally “non-digital”.
As with starting any kind of business, you’ll need to:
- Perform thorough market research
- Create a solid business plan with a viable business model
- Understand your target audience
- Create a marketing strategy
- Put together a team
Of course, you’ll need to make sure that your business also has a strong digital presence. This will involve creating a great website and developing a strong, trustworthy brand.
These days, practically every business and industry is taking an increasingly digital approach. Whether this means relying on new software systems to manage manual tasks or shifting an entire business model into the online space. For entrepreneurs, technology offers unlimited opportunities for new business ideas. And as technology continues to develop, digital businesses are also always changing. Digital businesses change the way people normally think and operate, by turning technology into a key part of daily life. As long as innovation exists, there will always be space for new and exciting digital business developments.