How The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Accelerating The Future Of Work

For a decade we have talked about accelerated change. More than any other factor, the pace of change in technology, the economy, and society are reshaping the future of work. Yet even as forward-thinking leaders have pondered effects of accelerated change on their organizations, actual transformation has been, paradoxically, slow. 

That is, until now.

If the future of work requires restructured workplaces, redefined roles, rapid learning, and reserves of trust—and it does, organizations are being challenged to do all that and more as they address the coronavirus pandemic. While we have long spoken about VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous)environments, we are finally and undoubtedly facing one.  In the span of a few weeks, the world’s economy traveled a path from cautious observation and common-sense health advisories to massive cancelations, business shutdowns, and work from home mandates. JPMorgan, AT&T, Google, Amazon, Nike, Facebook, among many, many more are hustling to virtualise business operations as social distancing continues to be the best practice to “flatten the curve” of contagion. 

Coronavirus, it turns out, might be the great catalyst for business transformation. 

In fact, where we once saw the future of work unfolding over years, we now believe that with coronavirus as an accelerant, everything we’ve predicted about the future of work will unfold in months.

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COVID-19: a call for digital transformation

The COVID-19 outbreak is a tragedy that will have widespread and long-lasting implications for humanity and our global economy.

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, more and more enterprises will miss their financial targets because of supply chain disruptions and dampened customer demand.

It’s also unclear how long this pandemic will last, since there is no vaccine to combat it yet, nor any approved therapeutics to slow the course of its toll on the human body. What should be clear is that COVID-19 will drastically impact most businesses for months, probably years. Bottom line: this will not be a short-term event so businesses must prepare for the long haul.

With this mindset, it’s imperative for enterprises to build in the necessary operational resiliency to survive this new reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the value of IT and digital transformation and organisations should use this time to accelerate the transition.

IDC conducted a survey in China last month and canvassed the opinions of 32 CXOs in ten industries regarding the impact of the new coronavirus on corporate business, the value of IT and digital transformation in the fight against the outbreak, and new digital transformation measures after the pandemic.

Here’s what they found:

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Or Contact Enlight Strategic to start your digital transformation Journey today

Coronavirus: Your online presence is now more important than ever

COVID-19 has brought about some drastic changes to the way we do business. One of the most noteworthy being brought about by “social distancing”. Physical contact, face to face meetings and group presentations are now limited or completely restricted.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

Discovery recently released a statement encouraging their clients to use their online tools instead, in order to take pressure off their call centre while their employees are working from home. Many business will have to follow suit, and rely on their online platforms to continue supporting their clients and customers during this time. 

As more people will rely on digital technology to communicate, source information and transact, your online presence will become critically important and continue to perform a key role for your business in the new post COVID-19 world.

The national lock down in South Africa has forced many businesses to close their doors for 21 days with a possible extension looming, while others have slowed operations in line with a lower demand during this time.

While most businesses and people currently have some spare time on their hands, we must try to use this time productively and get to the things that have always taken a back seat.

Yes, I am talking about company websites that haven’t been updated for years and social media accounts that have been created but sitting dormant, as well as that e-commerce strategy that gets shelved whenever physical demands are more pressing.

Businesses should use this time to relook at their digital strategies and ensure that they are still relevant. It is now more important than ever before for businesses to prioritise this. A new era has dawned and digital operations are here to stay.

Want to get started?

Here are 5 basic things that need your attention:

  1. Content: Re-evaluate the content on your digital platforms. Does it accurately reflect your products, brand’s personality and unique value proposition?
  • Information Architecture:  Ensure that the order in which information is displayed on your digital platforms is allowing users to find what they need easily and that every end goal requires no more than 3 clicks to be achieved.
  • User Experience (UX). Reconsider your user personas – are they still relevant? Are the user journeys catering to each of these user categories?
  • Customer Experience (CX) Rethink the customer journey. If your physical business is being affected, expand capacity for self-service online and digital sales. 
  • Enable remote experiences with a personal touch. Recorded video content, remote conferences, online learning. Not every product or service is 100% suited to self-service delivery. Sometimes the human touch makes all the difference to customers.

The decisions you make today will shape your business for years to come.


If you require more assistance with your online presence and platforms please don’t hesitate to contact Enlight Strategic on info@enlightstrategic.com or +27 72 744 7993.


The new normal: Preparing for coronavirus’ long-term impact on business

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing havoc around the world, and at this stage it is clear to see the devastating impact that it is having on our people and economy. Looking ahead, we cannot ignore the lasting effects that this pandemic will have on “life as we know it” and must prepare ourselves for the fundamental changes that this will bring to our society as a whole.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

In order to slow the transmission of the virus, a drastic change had to be implemented in the way we live and work. This change was social distancing and it had to be implemented almost overnight. It suddenly put every company’s ability to work remotely to the test and unfortunately many came up short.

According to Gartner, 54% of business leaders indicated that poor technology and/or infrastructure is the biggest barrier to effective remote working. In some cases, even the companies who had the infrastructure in place lacked the culture required to make operating remotely a success. 

A recent Gartner survey also revealed that 91% of HR leaders have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the Covid-19 outbreak. The biggest challenge however stems not only from the lack of technology infrastructure, but also from a lack of comfort with the new ways of working.

If you think about it, we are currently conducting one of the largest social experiments ever executed on a global scale. Boards would have never agreed to allow an entire workforce to work from home and physically distance themselves from their clients and colleagues in this way, but here we are. And the outcome may very likely prove to be a viable case study for this new way of working.

It is highly likely that many short term emergency measures that are implemented now will become a permanent fixture, as emergencies tend to fast forward decisions and the implementation of processes that would normally have taken years of deliberation in the past. 

Everyone is asking when this will all be over. The short answer is “never”. Yes, the word will normalise again but it will be the “new normal”.  In a couple of months from now, new ways of working would have been tried, tested and implemented and become permanent fixtures with lasting benefits to the companies who took action during this time.

There are important ways in which businesses can prepare and react to ensure that they mitigate the adverse effects the virus will have on their operations in the short and long term.

Keep an eye on Enlight Strategic’s Covid-19 section, where we will be sharing advice, research and recommendations to ensure that your business does not get left behind during this crucial time. 

The decisions that business leaders make now will forever shape their businesses for years to come. This epidemic is a wake-up call for companies to carefully review the strategies, policies, and procedures they have in place to protect employees, customers, and operations and most importantly make the improvements to their business that have been long overdue.


We hope you find the content in this section useful. Please feel free to reach out to us on info@enlightstrategic.com or +27 72 744 7993 if you have any questions or would like to speak to a consultant directly.


Why digital transformation is vital to the future of retail

Traditional retailers around the globe are facing unprecedented pressure. With online competitors able to offer the same products, often at a lower cost and with a greater degree of convenience, consumers have come to expect more than the traditional retail experience can deliver.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

That’s as true for South African retailers as it is for their international counterparts.

While economic pressures have certainly played a part in the decline of several major brands over the past few years, there’s no doubt that failure to embrace changing customer expectations has also played a role.

If retailers are to ensure they don’t fall victim to the same issues, they must embrace customer-centric digital transformation.

While this is obviously something that needs to happen across the organisation, a marketing-led approach can provide the most immediate returns.

The state of play

For a long time, retailers have been laggards when it comes to digital transformation. Research from Gartner in 2018 showed that just three percent of retailers were seeing results from digital business initiatives. 

In the last couple of years, however, players across the industry have started to catch up and are embracing technology. A recent Gartner report found that as many as 77% of retailers plan to deploy some form of AI by 2021.

Far too many retailers, however, are investing in it solely from a warehousing and operational side. In doing so, they’re missing out on the potential impact digital transformation can have on marketing.


Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.


Digital-led marketing

Ironically, most retailers are ideally poised to take advantage of marketing-led digital transformation. Any retailer with a loyalty programme already has vast amounts of valuable customer data.

With the right data extraction and analytics tools, this data can be used to gain valuable insights about what individual customers are buying, how much they’re spending every month, and where they’re spending their money (in both the physical and online realms).

This can then be refined and used to provide customers with personalised marketing across the digital channels of their choice.

As well as individually-tailored, highly visual forms of storytelling, retailers can provide customers with personalised offers that improve their overall experience of the organisation.

This, in turn, means that they’re more likely to remain loyal to the retailer in question, spend more money with it, and recommend products to their friends.

That’s a lot of advantage to be gained from retailers simply making the most of the tools available to them.

Factor in the potential for internet of things (IOT) technologies to dramatically improve the in-store customer experience and it’s clear that there’s no need for retailers to lurch into obscurity, provided they’re willing to embrace change.

Getting started

For many legacy retailers, however, even getting started can be a challenge. This is especially true for the largest ones, where getting the organisation to embrace change can feel like turning around the proverbial ocean liner.

Because retailers have been slower to digitally transform than most other industries, however, any movement can still produce significant results.

Before any organisation can get started on its digital transformation journey, it’s vital that it conducts a digital maturity assessment.

This allows the organisation to determine where it is in the present, so that it can define where it wants to go in the future and how to get there.

It’s important to note that, even with a proper assessment and plan in place, digital transformation won’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term game with gradual progression.

But by starting with one area of the business, or even with a single system, retailers can see the impact of digital transformation without upending the business in its entirety. Implemented properly, that success will filter through to the rest of the organisation organically.

Retailers still have plenty to gain from digital transformation, but if they’re to experience its full impact, they have to embrace it now rather than later.


Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.


Digital maturity is vital to profit growth: Here’s why

Organisations of all sizes and across almost every industry have embraced digital transformation and accepted digital maturity as an ongoing goal to work towards. Far too many companies, however, view it as a box-tick item. In doing so, they miss out on the significant return-on-investment opportunities that come along on the journey to digital maturity.

By Catherine Murray, Head of Digital Transformation, Enlight Strategic

Microsoft’s digital transformation overhaul, in response to disruption by companies like Amazon and Apple, moved the company into a more forward-focussed cloud-based business. This resulted in a whopping 258% stock price growth over 5 years. Over the period from 2014 to 2019 revenue increased from $93.5 billion to $122 billion.

Similarly, Nike’s ongoing digital transformation programme to reinvent its brand and supply chain and move into the ecommerce space has resulted in a 69% stock price growth in just 2 years. Its stock price was $52 at the beginning of 2017 – it’s now up to nearly $88. Revenue increased from $33.5 billion to $39.1 billion in that same time period.

Among the benefits that come with transforming digitally and becoming digitally mature are reduced business costs, improved customer experience, increased agility, and reduced time to market.

Combined, these benefits can play a massive role in growing a company’s profits. In order to understand how, it’s worth reminding ourselves what a digitally mature company looks like.

Constantly maturing

While there are a number of competing definitions for digital maturity, there are a few characteristics that the most mature companies have in common.

They will, for example, have a well-established transformation roadmap that effectively fends off disruption and evolves as needed. They also use digital technologies to run their business and have the ability to drive continuous change across the company.

Additionally, these companies realise that achieving digital maturity is an ongoing process rather than an end-point to be reached.


Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.


Analytical, data-based approach

A part of that ongoing process means organisations using their available data as effectively as possible.

For the organisations that get it right, the rewards are plentiful. According to research published by Entrepreneur in 2019, businesses that effectively use Big Data saw a profit increase of 8 – 10% and a 10% reduction in overall operating costs.

Getting to that point, however, is easier said than done. According to research from Gartner, as many as 80% of marketers will abandon their personalisation efforts in the next five years. It attributes this to a lack of real return on investment and the challenge of managing customer data.

In order to overcome those data-based challenges, it’s vital that the entire organisation buy into digital transformation as a mindset. In doing so, it will reap the benefits of a data-based analytical approach.

Customer experience and digital maturity

One of the biggest advantages of this kind of analytical, data-driven approach is that it allows companies to give their customers a hyper-personal experience.

And in a world where it’s increasingly difficult to differentiate on price and quality, customer experience (CX) can make all the difference. In fact, research from Gartner shows that more than 81% of companies are competing mostly or completely on the basis of CX.

Here too, the opportunities for increased profits are big. According to research from PWC, 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalised experience. Similarly, 66 percent of customers say they’ll pay more for a great experience, and experience-driven businesses see almost 2x higher YoY growth in customer retention, repeat purchase rates and customer lifetime value than other businesses.

Nike’s success is largely attributed to improving its connection with customers through membership opportunities, stronger digital marketing and powerful data analytics.

Nike started selling directly to customers and partnered with Amazon for an updated e-commerce strategy. This end-to-end focus on consumer touchpoints and data better allowed Nike to connect with customers more personally and recommend the right products.

The company also opened concept stores and improved its online and mobile app experience, and has since ended its relationship with Amazon to gain even more direct control over their CX.

Given that the interactions people have with companies now largely take place on digital devices and platforms, it’s clear that transforming digitally is vital to providing good CX.

A few simple changes can result in a massively improved digital customer experience, bringing with it significant profit growth. That makes taking the journey towards digital maturity a no-brainer.

Boosting productivity

Digital transformation doesn’t only boost revenue growth, it also impacts employee productivity. A recent survey by Zensar shows that a lack of proper technology tools can hinder productivity and lower morale.

53% of the surveyed employees said they would be more empowered to better manage workflow if they were provided with the needed tools. 76% also added that having the digital tools they need at work makes them more productive and more than half, 53%, said it makes them more successful.

Utilising digital technology to change traditional ways of working also results in lower business operating costs, as teams can work remotely and collaborate online. This also generates more employment opportunities which is critical for economic growth, especially in South Africa.

Opportunities abound

These are just a few examples of how taking the leap into digital transformation and embarking on the journey towards digital maturity can be vital for profit growth.

They are not, however, the only ones. If an organisation embraces digital transformation in its entirety, then everything it does will feed into improved efficiencies, better customer experience and reduced time to market.

This requires assessing the company’s digital maturity across all five main areas of the business: Leadership, customer experience, technology, operations and culture. All of these feed into one another and, ultimately, result in increased profits.  

Companies can then work with a consultancy to improve their digital maturity and get recommendations on how to address the problem areas to start their digital transformation journey.

Enlight Strategic offers a free online digital maturity assessment to help you get started. This will show you where the challenges and opportunities lie with taking your business to the next level.

Catherine is the Head of Digital Transformation at Enlight Strategic. She has over 13 years digital experience and specialises in customer experience (CX), digital disruption, platform and digital maturity analyses, research, and cutting though the noise, to find simple, pragmatic solutions to complex challenges.

4 important digital transformation questions answered

Companies across an increasingly wide range of industries are waking up to the need for digital transformation. Rightly so too. Digital transformation doesn’t just allow organisations to keep up with the changing world around them, it also gives them a distinct business advantage, especially when it comes to factors such as customer experience.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic 

In fact, 56% of CEOs say that digital improvements have led to revenue growth. Research from Accenture shows that 75% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company that knows their name and purchase history and recommends products based on their preferences.  

Digital transformation is, in other words, imperative. But knowing that you need to do something and knowing how to do it are two different things.

With that in mind, I’ve outlined some of the questions I’m most frequently asked around digital transformation as well as the answers to them. 

1. What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is such a broad term and the definition can change depending on your context and focus area.

Digital transformation will therefore look different for each company, but essentially it is the process of using digital technologies to create new, or improve existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet the changing business and market requirements.

This could be driving efficiencies through robotic process automation, upgrading your IT infrastructure or improving sales through better customer experience and data analytics tools. 

Enlight Strategic believes in a holistic approach to digital transformation that covers five main areas of business:

  1. Leadership
  2. Customer
  3. Technology
  4. Operations
  5. Culture

In order to achieve true digital maturity, all these aspects need to be assessed and considered.


Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.


2. Why do companies need to embrace digital transformation?

The incentive is to remain relevant, survive and thrive. It’s basically do or die. If your company does not adapt, you may experience the same fate as some companies who had to close their doors in the retail and media sectors when they were disrupted by Google, Facebook and Amazon.

From a community and economic perspective, we might not be able to change government policy or end load-shedding, but I believe it is every organisation’s responsibility to embrace digital transformation.

Companies must position themselves to contribute positively to the economy and the employment rate.

3. What does digital transformation mean for job creation?

A recent survey published by the ManPower Group predicted a very gloomy outlook for employment. It’s acutely the weakest it’s been in 5 years and down 3 percentage points compared to this period last year.

It is, however, encouraging to see that industries experiencing major disruption and companies that have subsequently undergone digital transformation are showing an uptick in hiring.

This shows a positive correlation between digital transformation and job creation and means that the strongest opportunities for job seekers will be in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Business Services sectors where the net employment outlook is +9%.

Companies also need to place more focus on Augmented Humanity and consider how technology can support rather than replace their human capital.

4. How does a company go about getting digitally transformed? Where do they start?

You can start by knowing your digital maturity and understanding what it means on a practical level.  A digital maturity assessment can help businesses to not only understand their own digital maturity but also how it compares to that of their competitors and industry as a whole.

Companies can then work with a digital transformation consultancy to fast track their digital transformation journeys, improve their digital maturity and get recommendations on how to address problem areas.

Enlight Strategic offers a free online digital maturity assessment for example, so there is really is no reason not to do it.


Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.


Tanja is the CEO and co-founder of Enlight Strategic, a digital transformation consultancy. She has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a senior executive in the digital publishing and agency space and is passionate about the role technology can play in transforming businesses.

The 5 stages of digital maturity: How does your organisation rank?

One of the most common misconceptions about digital transformation is that it’s about the implementation of cutting-edge technologies and IT systems that optimise operational processes. While technology plays an important part in digital maturity, it doesn’t give us the full picture.

By Catherine Murray, Head of Digital Transformation, Enlight Strategic

Many companies implement new digital tools and platforms only to find that they remain unused or unable to deliver the intended transformative impact due to low digital maturity levels within the organisation.

In fact, research into challenges companies face adjusting to the faster pace of digital business, from MIT Sloane and Deloitte, indicates that digital transformation constitutes a culture and mindset change first. Rethinking technology happens further down the line.

Digital transformation is better defined as a process of adopting new or different business processes and ways of thinking that help an organisation adapt and compete effectively in an increasingly digital world.

This means that companies need to understand how digital affects and can transform all aspects of the business, including leadership, culture and customer experience in addition to technology and operations.

Understanding readiness to transform across these areas is also critical, as differing levels of digital maturity require different approaches – there is no one size fits all solution.

But what is digital maturity and why is it important?

Digital maturity is simply a measure of how ready an organisation is to both understand and adapt consistently to ongoing digital change.

Higher-maturity organisations are nearly three times more likely than lower-maturity organisations to report net profit margins and annual revenue growth that are significantly above the averages in their industry, according to research by Deloitte.

Digital maturity models evaluate how well companies have incorporated digital into their operating models, how effective they are at executing on digital initiatives and their ability to adapt to disruptive technology, events, market trends, competitors or other major factors – both culturally and operationally.

Performing an assessment of an organisation’s digital maturity levels across all aspects of the business is the best place to start a digital transformation journey. It allows you to determine where you’re at in the present, so that you can define where you want to go in the future and how to get there.


Ready to transform your business? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment and get your FREE report.


What are the 5 stages of digital maturity?

In my experience, organisations fall into one of five broad stages of digital maturity:

1. Traditional: These are companies stuck with legacy systems, processes and outdated ways of thinking. They make little use of digital technologies and lack the ability to drive change across the business. Activities that support digital transformation are usually accidental and not a result of strategic intent. They are likely being disrupted by competition and must act quickly to build a strategic plan and organisation-wide awareness of why digital transformation is critical to save the business.

2. Emerging: These organisations embrace digital slowly and have modernised some aspects of their business but are largely reactive and only make changes when they have to. They are unable to outpace digital disruption. These companies must start addressing digital transformation seriously and avoid creating more legacy issues that will make it difficult to scale and compete in the future.

3. Engaged: These businesses experiment with some critical elements of a winning digital transformation strategy. Limited foundational activities and pockets of innovation are in place, but often siloed and lacking focus or leadership. These companies need a plan for driving adoption of a singular digital vision. Key stakeholders must be engaged to develop a structured and sustainable transformation roadmap that delivers measured business value.

4. Competitive: Companies in this category have a digital roadmap in place and are starting to combat disruption. They compete effectively in the current market but need a strategy for future growth. These companies should start optimising, and address any remaining blockers preventing them from launching and supporting new digital products or services that leapfrog competitors.

5. Maturing: These companies have a well-established transformation roadmap in place that effectively fends off disruption and evolves as needed. They use digital technologies to run their business and have the ability to drive continuous change across the company. These companies must develop a roadmap for continuous transformation and delivery, in order to realise their full potential and become leaders in their industry. Finding ways to remove friction enables them to react swiftly to market trends and speed up delivery of new digital experiences.

I prefer the term “maturing” to “mature”, as the nature of digital requires transformation to be an ever-evolving process without a finite end.

Digitally maturing businesses are always transforming, and never transformed. These organisations constantly move forward on the digital continuum by regularly assessing and adopting new technologies, processes, and strategies.

How do we rate an organisation’s digital maturity?

There are varying digital maturity assessment models, but broadly all involve scoring an organisation’s digital maturity performance across several pillars of the business, including but not limited to: Leadership, Customer, Technology, Operations and Culture.

Analytics and data should be included as a measure of performance within each of these categories as it is critical to the success of any digital transformation programme.

Comprehensive digital maturity assessments typically involve several months of stakeholder interviews, surveys, research and analysis by digital transformation experts immersed within the business.

That’s great, but where do I start?

Start by completing an initial short, high-level online digital maturity assessment. This will provide you with helpful indicators and an initial appraisal of where your organisation stands, which be used to motivate your company to undertake a full audit.

Keep in mind that digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term game with gradual progression.

Starting small with one sector of your business or examining one system is also a great way to show proof of concept and test out new ideas.

The pillars of your business that score lowest for digital maturity could be an initial focus for your digital transformation programme, as they are still developing and may require immediate remedial action. Understanding exactly what this means for your organisation and developing a clear action plan is an important first move.


Ready to transform your business? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment and get your FREE report.


Catherine is the Head of Digital Transformation at Enlight Strategic. She has over 13 years digital experience and specialises in customer experience (CX), digital disruption, platform and digital maturity analyses, research, and cutting though the noise, to find simple, pragmatic solutions to complex challenges.

How to supercharge your e-commerce sales

E-commerce offers its practitioners a lot of advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar stores, but one of the biggest is the massive amount of real-time customer data they can lay their hands on. More important than collecting that data, however, is making sense of it.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

Fortunately, there are more data analysis tools available than ever before. And, used correctly, they can help e-commerce stores of all sizes supercharge their sales.

Here’s how to set yourself up for success:

1. Know which metrics matter

When it comes to e-commerce analytics, it can be all too easy to focus on sales as the only metric that matters. In reality, there are a number of other metrics that are equally, if not more, important.

These include purchase amounts, billing locations, product performance, transactions (revenue, tax, shipping, quantity), and time to purchase (days and sessions to the transaction).

But you also need to know how well your marketing and advertising efforts are working, which platforms are helping you generate more customers for your business, and what are the best traffic sources, not just in terms in quantity, but in terms of quality.

Remember, the goal is to grow your customer base, not just increase sales. Knowing these metrics and why they matter is vital.

2. Embrace automation

For small-scale e-commerce players especially, unravelling all of this analysis can be challenging.

Fortunately, the best analytics tools increasingly provide automated insights into the metrics that are most important to your store.

It’s therefore worth getting as familiar as possible with whatever tools are available and to what kind of automated reports they can give you.

3. Use the right tools

When it comes to choosing tools, the choices have, by and large, never been better. Most of the big e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, provide a fair amount of raw data as well as some base-level analysis.

What they won’t tell you how, however, is how to grow or scale a business year over year. For that, you’ll need to understand a host of factors, including the trickle-down effect from changes in SEO rankings to traffic fluctuations and conversion rates.

you really want useful analytics and analysis, therefore, it’s worth using third-party tools.

Analytics product Oribi, for instance, recently launched an ecommerce analytics tool which allows Shopify users to, among other things, better test the connections between different product purchases, evaluate which product combinations are the most popular, test the impact of UI changes, and gain insights into individual customer journeys.

4. Don’t forget the human touch

Focusing on data and gaining as much insight as possible from analytics is important. This approach works best, however, when it’s combined with a human-centred understanding of the customer experience. While conversions and customer journey profiles can tell you a lot, so can individual complaints and compliments.

Key to getting this blend of data and humanity right is working to understand what your users are going through when they buy from your store and along the pathways they use to get to it.

Data and analytics can tell you what’s working and what isn’t, but it’s only once you really put yourself in the customer’s shoes that you’ll really understand why those things are and aren’t working.

5. Keep playing

As much as e-commerce can feel like a data-driven science there’s still an element of artistry required to get it right. That artistry comes from using the data available to make smarter choices, launch more inspired products, and continually improve the customer experience.

Get it right and you’ll end up supercharging your e-commerce sales.


Why 2020 should be the year we stop fearing ‘the robots’

As artificial intelligence (AI) become increasingly pervasive, so have headlines about robots taking people’s jobs. While there’s undoubtedly truth in that (in as much as new technologies have always rendered some jobs obsolete), the societal impact of these new technologies is frequently misunderstood.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

As such, I believe that 2020 should be the year we learn to stop fearing AI and robotics and rather focus our attention on how technology can augment humanity.

Artificial intelligence to create more jobs

Certain jobs are being, and will continue to be, replaced. But on the whole, new jobs will also be created and humans are likely to remain central to the workplace for a long time to come. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020, artificial intelligence will be a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3 million jobs worldwide while only eliminating 1.8 million jobs.

While there have been plenty of predictions about the industries that’ll be most affected by these new technologies, it is a more complex task than many believe.

Industries likely to be affected by AI and robots include agriculturecall centresbanking and retail. Within these industries, some companies will thrive and others will fail. Which one any given company falls into will largely depend on their attitude to technology.

The companies that will be most resilient are those which embrace digital transformation, adapt to the changing world, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by new technology.

Technology can also enhance the abilities of humans

It’s also important to reiterate that in most industries, technology could enhance the abilities of human employees rather than replacing them. But in order for that to happen, human workers will have to develop skills outside of their traditional remit.

But what do these skills look like?

The simplest answer is to be better at being human. Robots and automation typically take on repetitive work. What they struggle with is creative and abstract thinking.

A look at the World Economic Forum’s top 10 skills for 2020 — which includes complex problem solving, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence — shows exactly how important “human” skills are.

The reality is that AI is much less of a threat to human employees than is sometimes presented. But companies and industries need to take a long-term view and understand that AI is most effective when combined with human talent and not when it’s just used as a replacement.

Tanja is the CEO and co-founder of Enlight Strategic. She has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a senior executive in the digital publishing and agency space and is passionate about the role technology can play in transforming businesses.