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There’s More to be Just E-Commerce

The development of information technology has brought significant transformation on how businesses engage their customers. Today’s trend demands a model that makes highly effective and efficient information sharing between businesses and customers, with great emphasis on excellent user experience. This trend forces companies to re-evaluate their customer engagement model, not only for internal improvements of products and/or services but also for the overall growth of their businesses.

In recent years, the fast-growing companies are dominated by those that choose to adapt technology that enhances their business communication to be effective and efficient one. One of those giants is Uber. In their company profile, Uber narrates the genesis of this company dated back in 2008. At that time Uber founders, Travis Kalanick and Gerret Camp, had a trouble to get a cab. They want to resolve the trouble with a simple idea –tap a button, get a ride.

Ever since they go online, Uber has gained customers’ trust with their effective and efficient service. In 2016, Business Insider reported that this company is spreading in 58 countries with value at over $60 billion. Now, Uber is celebrated as the biggest taxi company in the world with almost no budget allocated for vehicle investment. The similar case also happens to the biggest hotel company in the world, Airbnb, which does not own a single hotel building but valued at a whopping $ 30 billion. Both companies chose to digitalise their business communication and now virtually nothing can hinder them from expanding.

[Source: amirsthoughts.com]
The two companies exemplify the trend of how virtual networks reshape conventional business model. In the conventional model, communication between companies and customers involves minimum engagement. It starts and ends once the service or the product is ordered and delivered. However, in the latest business model, it goes beyond communication but requires deep engagement, not only between companies and customers but also between customers themselves. Nowadays, companies do not only need to sell their products or services but more importantly than ever, they need build communities around their products or services.

A virtual network connects customers who use products or services from a company. These customers then form a community where they can exchange information related to the products or services they have used. Commonly, the information they shared revolves around the level of satisfaction, testimonies and feedback/recommendations. This community engagement then becomes an important source for companies to gather ground information from their customers which will help them review, rebuild and rebrand their products or services. When customer satisfaction increases, the probability of market expansion increases –companies that adopt technology as their communication and marketing channel will be able to break physical boundaries that do hinder their expansion. As long as the community of customer keeps growing beyond physical boundaries, the company also keeps expanding.

Moreover, digital technology also creates the possibility of working remotely. Companies do not necessarily need a physical gallery to display their product. They do not even need a big office to colocate all their employees. Digital experiences replace any conventional model of how companies handle employees as well as customers. Business will be much more dynamic. Physical constraints, such as distance and space barriers, are solved by the adoption of technology. Instead of spending money to have a sophisticated company building, the investment will be focused on how to build maximum engagement and collaborative work resulting in low cost but efficient services. Nowadays, companies that want sustainable growth with minimum cost services will not ignore the fact that adoption of digital technology is mandatory.

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