January 22, 2021

How digital partnerships can enable business development

Kevin South, Head of Digital & CX at SEACOM

Gone are the days when small businesses need to sell their products to just the people who live or work in the immediate vicinity. Digital platforms and partnerships are empowering micro-companies to extend their offerings, fostering business growth and development.

New business models are disrupting industries worldwide, and organisations are leveraging digital platforms and service providers to help them reach wider markets, provide better services, streamline operations, and access industry insights.

The global business landscape may be unpredictable, but new opportunities and innovative solutions will lead the way in 2021.

Going digital

Smaller businesses have been hit hard by lockdowns, and to assist them, Google has adjusted its Shopping Search algorithm, making it easier for consumers to find businesses.

Previously, we needed shopping malls to attract customers and newspapers to advertise products and services, but now digital technologies are empowering organisations of all sizes to revamp their business models.

A report from the Facebook and Small Business Roundtable revealed that:

  • 79% of businesses have adapted operations to accommodate customers
  • 35% expanded the use of digital payments
  • 56% of businesses using online tools reported that almost half of their sales are digital

A Connected Commerce Council study found that small businesses without a pre-existing e-commerce presence were more likely to temporarily close during the crisis.

Digital pioneers

Tapping into a growing digital market is a sure-fire way to ensure your business doesn’t get left behind.

Darth Kitchens is a Cape-Town-based start-up looking to become South Africa’s largest virtual kitchen network. Virtual kitchens are centralised spaces that host multiple "restaurants" and use third-party platforms like Uber Eats or Mr D to deliver food.

Farming pioneers Farmers Gate Nigeria and Farm Direct South Africa have built digital platforms to sell produce directly to consumers. As most farmers take pride in their produce but live and work far away from their consumers, these platforms connect micro-businesses to their customers more easily, allowing them to generate more revenue and potentially grow into larger businesses in the future.

The power of teamwork

Strategic partnerships with digital service providers can be a great interim solution for organisations that understand the benefits of digital transformation, but lack the capacity to go digital.

Digital partnerships give companies access to expert knowledge without taking on the excessive time and costs needed to grow their business. Organisations can focus on their core offering while reaping the benefits of the digital economy.

With a good tech partner, businesses can avoid the constraints of fully funding a platform upfront, while benefitting from plug-in, modular, scalable services, and access to new markets and distribution channels.

Data and digital skills and capabilities are constantly evolving, and active collaboration between organisations to combine digital assets and capitalise on new opportunities is the only way to win.

Knowing what your business needs is a good place to start. Are you looking for someone that can help you decipher consumer data or transform your company into a nimble, cloud-based business?

Whatever form of digitalisation you’re looking at, you’ll need reliable connectivity to support your growth. SEACOM has a connectivity solution for your business; we’re ready to help you focus on digital transformation in 2021.