Interview with Javier Riquelme on the importance of a digitization strategy for retailers
Javier Riquelme´s Interview
Digitalization is a fundamental aspect to ensure business continuity. Not taking the step to digital transformation is not ensuring the continuity of a business, according to Javier Riquelme, digital business director of the agency OLE!, with whom we have had the pleasure to talk and deepen on the importance of establishing a digital transformation strategy in stores and the benefits it brings.
1. Digital transformation is essential to improve the competitiveness of companies. What do you think should be the first step that an SME or business should take on the journey towards digital transformation?
More than one step, I would divide it into three, which are as follows:
- The first is observing change, this being the most important step. Companies must learn to analyze themselves. That is to say, to make an analysis of what digital situation they are in at that moment and set their sights on the future. One problem we see now is that many companies want to tackle digital transformation without having analyzed themselves first, pretending to go from "A" to "D" without having gone through "B" and "C" first, and that generates frustrations and problems. Therefore, an analysis must be made and understand where you are at the digital level and, from there, start building.
- The second step would be improving processes. To achieve real change, it is more important to focus on the process rather than on the result. What tools and training should I have to reach my goal. With the tools and solid training, the result will be positive.
- The third step would be anticipating or foreseeing change. The digital world is constantly evolving. Either the company is very attentive to the evolution around it and you understand it, or it may be left behind again.
2. The improvement in the efficiency of companies once they have embarked on the path to digitization is evident, how can they see a digitization strategy reflected in their company's profits?
There are several points to highlight.
- The first is increased profitability. When you optimize a company's processes, you reduce many operating expenses that are high and unnecessary. Additionally, you would see improvements in the speed of the sales process and a reduction in the workload, which also influences profitability.
- On the other hand, more efficient management. Manual processes are usually more tedious and there may be a human failure, when a computer is more complicated to fail. This allows for more efficient management.
- Additionally, higher productivity. The improvement of processes and their automation will allow you to detect any internal error and its quick correction to improve it.
- Improving the customer experience is another important aspect. Nowadays, customers are looking for a fast, simple and safe shopping experience and these aspects are incorporated in digital processes.
- Another benefit to highlight is the digital positioning, which is essential today. If you know how to use certain tools, it will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.
- The working conditions provided by teleworking are also a highlight, since the satisfaction of workers is essential. Employees must be taken care of, as this gives you a fundamental strategic advantage.
- Increased capacity for analysis and parameterization of what is happening in your company is also an issue to highlight, since without digitization it is much more complicated to carry out.
3. What do you consider to be the main tools that a business or SME should implement in its digital transformation process to support its growth, reduce costs and improve efficiency?
For an SME that is just starting out, there are a series of basic tools.
- First of all WordPress, which is a content management system, which may not be the best, but it is the most used, the simplest and the most intuitive. It also has ready-made modules that you can add to your website. It also has a very good commerce module, called WooCommerce.
- It is also recommended a WeTransfer to send files that do not fit in an email.
- Coupled with WooCommerce and WordPress, I would recommend Mailchimp, which is an e-mailing tool, very easy to use and customize and connects very well with WordPress.
- Also Google My Business, which is what allows you to be in the Google search engine.
- I also consider interesting Hotjar, which is a tool that allows you to know the behavior of users on your website.
- Finally, having a tool for managing teams and tasks is highly recommended for employees. Examples include Trello, Gira and Asana.
4. How important is employee training for the correct development of their activity with the implemented tools? What training formats are the most appropriate?
Nowadays in the digital world you have all kinds of training. You have face-to-face training of Masters, focused on all kinds of digital processes, from RRSS, Business Intelligence, etc.
But the digital world has brought with it the democratization of education, and you can also find high quality online courses and training at a much more affordable price.
5. What advantages can digital transformation bring to a business in its daily processes such as invoicing, resource management, suppliers, etc.?
I would highlight above all the improvement of the production process, through the automation of manual processes, also increasing productivity by reducing time and costs.
In addition, the detection of problems before they arise is fundamental. But not only that, digitalization has brought with it the detection of new business opportunities, opening doors to market new products or services, allowing companies to open borders, which was much more complicated without digitalization.