“The digital economy represents a departure from the traditional zero-sum-game business model with its focus on shared value creation.”- Brian Wong
There was a time, in the 70's, where having your own cell phone was a luxury that the wealthy enjoyed. Now, even elementary school children have one (or two!). Similarly so, there was a time where not having a website wasn’t necessarily an indicator that the business was antiquated; however, that time has passed. Let’s face it - people are comfort lovers. That’s why people would prefer to shop for products and services through your company’s website or app in the comfort of their homes. People are spoiled – they want their goods delivered to their doorstep.
People would rather buy an item based on a picture than to look for the item in real life. People are spending more time in virtual stores than in real stores. Undoubtedly, searching for products online saves clients a lot of time and energy; shopping with friends and family or going in-person to pay bills can be a fun activity when it’s being done for leisure or infrequently; however, physically visiting every store in search of a particular item is exhausting and visiting every creditor is time-consuming. Customers are growing intolerant towards companies that do not have apps and websites. With the advent of digital entrepreneurship, it has become possible to buy and sell anytime, anywhere. Your business should make this possible.
Digital entrepreneurship, commonly known as e-commerce, can be broadly defined as the buying and selling of goods online. It involves exchanging data, transferring money, and transaction of goods and services - all on the internet. It is absolutely imperative that your business has a website and that it allows clients to facilitate transactions without having to physically visit your business. As innovations and breakthroughs in digital technology have transformed the economy, giving room for interactions without a physical meet is required. With these global changes, organizations and businesses have to catch up with this new flow by adopting e-commerce to interact with their customers and meet their needs as business transactions are performed through the internet.
Furthermore, the recent spread of COVID-19 globally has restricted several human activities; for example, most clothing stores are not allowing people to try on clothes in the dressing room; stores that do not have online stores are financially ruined unless customers are going to drive to the store to buy clothes that they cannot try on. Customers would much rather order a similar item online to avoid the commute. Also, customers find out so much more information about products on the website than they do in person. They don't have to stand in long lines and they don't have to find workers to show them where things are. Parents of small children don't have to bring yelling children to the store while they shop when they shop online.
Consequently, several small and even large scale businesses have closed down in this period, while others explore the challenge and create opportunities to earn more by embracing the new normal: e-commerce. Following the closure of stores, restricted movements, and social distancing, the digital economy has proven to be very helpful in the fight against the pandemic as businesses now engage the internet to stay connected with their customers. In surviving this difficult time, it has become a necessity for entrepreneurs to leverage digital tools by enhancing shared value creation since consumer behavior has been affected. Digital services like virtual streaming, cashless payments, contact-less delivery, online stores, and markets have increased, and this helps to reduce the infection risk.
As the world moves through this phase slowly and expectations are high, the pandemic will soon be a thing of the past. The digital economy will continue to open new opportunities and drive inclusive growth for entrepreneurs. Digital entrepreneurship operating in a digital economy was once the future, but now it is here and here to stay as the new normal.