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This is an email from XRB WIRE, a newsletter by XR Bound.

Digital Transformation Journey for Small Businesses, Visual Search & AI technology

Digital Transformation Journey : XR Bound

XRB WIRE : AR/VR/3D/Game/AI insights for decision makers- 43

Hi,

Right now, the world is still in the grip of Covid.

Even now, countries large and small are struggling to control the pandemic.

In every country, some communities & sections of society have been hit more than others.

Unfortunately, one of those sections are small businesses across the world.

In Today’s Edition :

Big Story 1: Digital Transformation for Small Business

Big Story 2: Visual Commerce & AI

by Harold Raichur

Major international publications ( The Guardian , Bloomberg Quint etc ) have reported how large corporations thrived at the expense of small businesses during the pandemic .

Business Insider identified three reason why millions of small businesses failed because of the events of 2020,

Financial Positioning

Lobbying Power

Tech Investments

Please refer to the ‘McKinsey Global IT Survey’ in my last newsletter.

As per their report, technology was the primary reason, why large companies thrived, while small ones struggled or shut down.

Since we focus on technology, I will highlights key issues small business face with technology adoption for their companies.

Another issue I want to tackle here, is the wrong perception of high costs associated with technology.

Based on my research, this is how things will unfold going forward.

POINTS to Ponder

1: In the short run- most businesses will expedite their move to online & eCommerce.

  • If you have invested in online presence, you will increase your investments on better technology, digital marketing , SEO, content marketing, AR/VR etc to create a competitive distance.
  • Those without or low online presence must invest in digital to compete for business.

2: In the long run- every business in one way or the other will become an eCommerce business.

  • There are enough tools, technologies & digital platforms to sell all types of goods & services online.

3: Shoppers have forgone the need to actually touch things ( major habit change) and physically try them on, for the time being.

  • This is a pandemic induced behavioral change and will evolve with time.

4 : Competition between online & offline players will be replaced by competition between old & news online players.( provided Point 2 becomes a reality).

Digital Transformation : Invest to save and thrive

What exactly is digital transformation and what does it mean for your business.

Short Answer- ZOOM replacing outstation flights, hotel stays and in-person meetings is digital transformation.

Covid forced businesses to adopt online video calling, which in turn lead to business continuation, growth and sizable savings.

Similarly, businesses with established digital infrastructure ( Mobile Apps, Website, Social Media, digital marketing etc) had transformed their business to digital.

Thus they could pivot or scale up their digital assets to capture business from those who didn’t.

So what is the way forward for companies who have under invested digital presence.

Obviously, not all business sell clothes, shoes or the kind of stuff sold on aggregation technology platforms like Amazon or Alibaba.

Some of you may be an engineering company with large physical products, with long sales cycle.

A great option for you would be a platforms like Aucta.

With their 3d + Immersive online platform services, you can train employees or give sales demos, to clients anywhere in the world.

Even a top level cost-benefit analysis, will show you if this “Invest to Save” strategy could work for your small business.

At the same time, most small businesses don't need 3d-Immersive or other high end tech.

They only need a well designed ( user experience, copy, good visuals, google friendly, social presence, updated & sales ready) website.

If you plan to make or update your website, and increase the discoverability of your products, then think of adopting AI powered ‘Visual Search’ solutions.

Visual Commerce: Visual + Immersive

Visual Search has been around for quite some time, the technology has got better and competitive with many players other than Google.

As per Semrush,

Visual search falls under the umbrella of what is known as “sensory search”, which includes searching via text, voice, and vision.

Image Credit : Google Lens

Brent Rabowsky, from Amazon Web Services has this to say,

“An advantage of visual search is that it relies entirely on item appearance. There is no need for other data such as, bar codes, QR codes, product name( text), or other product metadata( text).”

Visual search is not the same as ‘ Image Search ’, where you need to type in a text.

Google makes a good case for “ Google Lens” as the future of ‘Visual Search’. So do Pinterest, Amazon, Bing and a long list of companies who offer ‘Visual Search’ technology for businesses.

Image Credit : Google

Why do you need to use ‘Visual Search’, whats is wrong with text or image search.

Short Answer- The last decade saw an explosion of content- written, pictures, videos etc. Its an extremely crowded place and its hard to catch the attention of your target audience with so much happening.

With “Visual Search” enabled by AI, customers can discover your products efficiently and faster than text or image search.

Again, just because you are using a high end tool doesn't mean its expensive.

This Hubspot article gives a detailed overview of how AI & Visual Search benefits your business.

Finally,

According to Gartner, business would see a revenue jump of 30% with the use both visual and voice search.

And-

now, according to Google

Image Credit : Google

Hope you enjoy this edition & thanks for reading. This newsletter is not behind a paywall so please subscribe below. Give me feedback to make this newsletter better.

Do share your views & insights or experiences so that I can use them here with your permission .

We develop AR / VR experiences, Games & 3d projects. Take a look at our work here & let us know how can we help you.

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