OPPORTUNITIES ESPECIALLY FOR SMALL-MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
What does it mean to do digital exports for a small to medium-sized business? What are the most useful digital tools for developing exports? With this post we conclude a topic I started in January to answer these questions.
Viruses – which we will have to learn to live with – and the current geo-political situation require a reflection on how to export. After 2020, many things have changed. Starting with trade fairs which – unfortunately – have not yet resumed with the usual participation (both by exhibitors as well as visitors). Everything leads to the conclusion that it will be essential to combine more and more digital tools with the traditional way of exporting. And this represents an opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises, because connected investments are often more contained.
In previous posts I have tried to present these tools without claiming to deal with the topic in an exhaustive way. I simply shared my experience over the two years of covid. On the other hand, it would be impossible to fully deal with an area that is constantly evolving, a “living” subject that adds more depth every day, hand in hand with the technological evolution.
DIGITAL INSTRUMENTS: A WORKSITE THAT IS ALWAYS OPEN
The areas of digital development for developing exports are many and constantly evolving. Let’s see some of them:
- Think of artificial intelligence and avatars that are already able to interact online empathically with customers, speaking all the languages of the world. Tomorrow – when costs will be more affordable – even small and medium-sized enterprises will be able to set up their customer service with this technology: answering professionally, at any time of day and in any language! This is what is already happening in the world of pharmacies with what is called digital medicine: avatars that help take care of the well-being of patients in an empathetic way. In other words, virtual assistants who – thanks to AI (GPT-3) – assist patients 24/7, generating business in pharmacies.
- Or let’s think about what is already happening with virtual influencers who are becoming real celebrities with millions of – yes – real followers. Even brands are becoming increasingly interested in this world that has grown thanks to artificial intelligence with increasingly advanced anthropomorphic digital proposals. Says Takayuki Moriya, CEO of the AWW agency “… with an influencer in the flesh you can’t control every detail of what that person will do, say or post. Instead, with a virtual influencer you can create a more compact community and manage communication. It’s like finding an apostle available to talk to his followers on issues that are relevant to you. “
- Finally we cannot forget the metaverse. Another digital tool that has enormous development potential. Here, too, the costs are still high for small and medium-sized businesses, but I highly recommend staying informed. We are certainly still in an experimental phase, but we think that in 2021 companies have doubled their investments in this area. For now let’s talk about companies like Gucci, Lego, Vans, Domino, etc. Or Nike who created Nikeland where a champion of the calibre of LeBron James gives virtual basketball lessons. In 9 months it hosted 6 million users. It doesn’t take long to imagine what can happen if we integrate this space with e-commerce. For consumers it is a new way to interact with the brands they are fans of. The metaverse must therefore be seen as an evolution of the internet; as an additional sales channel.
- Linked to the metaverse, the topic of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) which are movable or immovable digital assets based on the blockchain. As such they can be bought and sold in the virtual plaza of the metaverse. This is a long and complex topic so I refer you to the many resources you can find on the net. For example: What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?
This is the ninth article on the topic of Exporting with digital tools. The topics dealt with to date are:
1. Exporting with digital tools: introduction to the topic
2. The blog
3. Video calls, virtual fairs and more
5. The SEO
6. The CRM