How important is an online presence for your business?
If you’re currently running a business, then it’s important to learn the importance of having an online presence. According to the Canada Post, last year alone, 76 per cent of Canadians shopped online. Therefore, if you don’t already use the Internet to boost your company, you may want to start!
In fact, the Canada Post reports that if you’re in the retail industry and you’re currently searching for a new sales motto, you should consider this one: “Ship It, or Lose it.” If you’ve been paying attention to recent trends, then this shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Shoppers want the convenience of being able to purchase items without leaving their house and then have those items delivered to their front door.
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So, what can those in the retail business learn from last year’s figure? Interestingly enough, out of the 76 per cent of Canadians who shopped online last year, a quarter has become frequent online shoppers. What does that mean exactly? Data from the Canada Post proves that that simply means these customers are buying items on the Internet four to 10 times a year. Therefore, if you want loyal customers who continue to come back, an online presence isn’t only smart—it’s a must! Even more so, the report has proven that shoppers don’t only enjoy the convenience of shopping online, but they will also buy products via the Internet that they necessarily wouldn’t have purchased while in the store.
However, there has been one noticeable obstacle when it comes to having an online presence: getting packages to customers quickly. Consumers seem to want their items instantly (as if they were purchasing them at the store), but they generally don’t want to pay extra for faster shipping options.
To accommodate this challenge, stores such as Best Buy are giving their consumers more options for obtaining their options. For example, customers now have the option of picking up packages in parcel lockers inside stores or through depots that expedite the process.
Bottom line: an online presence could really aid your sales. However, it’s still important to practice customer satisfaction and come up with a method for shoppers to not only receive their purchased items, but to also receive them promptly.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”