As written on Inside Small Business

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Embrace digital transformation to turn your business into a high-performing solutions provider.

Digital transformation. It’s the big buzzword of 2016. Everyone’s talking about it. Big businesses are investing in it. And consultancy firms have dedicated services to it. But what does it actually mean for SMEs?

Since the ubiquity of digital technology – beginning with the internet and accelerating with mobile technology – the behaviour of consumers has radically transformed. Research companies, such as Forrester, dub this era as “the age of the consumer.”

Let’s consider the purchase of a car. About 10 or 15 years ago, a consumer may have searched physical directories and newspapers before visiting several dealerships and finally making their purchase. Their journey was heavily influenced by advertising from the manufacturer and the sales tactics of the dealer.

But now, the tools of research and influence are in the hands of the consumer. They are influenced by their friends on social media. They are informed by the reviews of car research websites. And they’re comparing prices and options using online comparison services.

In this age, by the time the consumer reaches the dealership, they’re highly informed and knowledgeable on what they want – and why they want it. Along the way, they’ve been less influenced by advertising, and have become immune to the tactics of the salesman.