Driving innovation through disruption

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The word “disruption” may originally have some negative connotations, but innovation through disruption is a great driver of change that can create exciting new opportunities and promote competition to bring you better customer experiences and offers.

Disruption is not just something tech entrepreneurs do; all businesses, large or small, can be disruptors, just as all businesses can be disrupted.

History has shown what happens to businesses that don’t respond to disruption – just think Kodak and Borders – which is why Australia Post has been transforming to meet the new and unprecedented rate of change.

Australia Post’s journey through digital disruption

Australia Post has taken the courageous step to disrupt their business first, evolving the service offers to help customers engage in the way they want, at a pace that matches their speed.

Australia Post has been learning a lot from the way great entrepreneurs work to see what approaches can help the organisation be more responsive to customers, and to surprise them with new ideas they may not have expected.

Not so long ago the core business at Australia Post was letter delivery – a service offering that has been, and continues to be, significantly disrupted by digital alternatives.

In addition to the challenge of managing a declining traditional mail market, aggressive competition for the growing parcels market has encouraged Australia Post to evolve, foster partnerships, and develop offerings to capture the boom in online shopping and eCommerce.

Today, eCommerce parcel delivery is Australia Post’s core business. Yet, this transformation is certainly not complete because of ongoing disruption and competition from global players, sharing economy startups, and giant retailers.

Australia Post will continue to look to the next horizon with a willingness to experiment and change – giving customers the choice to be online or be part of the 126 million in-store Post Office visits we see each year.

Welcoming growing innovation in services for small businesses, Australia Post is moving towards a model that promotes experimentation, learning fast, and taking services to market early with the infrastructure to provide ongoing improvements. This new way of working drives a sense of urgency and the spirit of competition, refocusing Australia Post on giving customers the best possible experience.

Navigating your business through digital disruption

So as a small business, what does digital disruption mean for how you run your business?

First, you need to consider how you will prepare for and adapt to disruption in your industry. Will you be a disruptor yourself or will you use this as an opportunity to find a new set of opportunities?

While people most often consider innovation through the lens of new technology, it can also be about how you work, who you work with, and the type of experience you offer your customers.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:

1. Consider how best you can skill your business up
Think about your customer experience and the processes behind it from an end-to-end perspective to identify where you can make efficiencies and where you may need extra help and expertise.

2. Know your niche and your market
Make the most of your difference and tell your unique story to capture customers searching specifically for what you have to offer.

3. Figure out what’s the next horizon for your business
Think about where your customers are and what they want, then look for opportunities – like partnerships – and how you can make the most of Australia’s thriving eCommerce market.

4. Make it easy for customers to see you and communicate with you
Whether it’s making sure you can be found on social media, getting great customer reviews, or developing a mobile-friendly website, make sure you’re where your customers are because online research is a critical part of today’s buying decisions.

5. Don’t forget there’s a huge opportunity to market your products and services internationally
According to Sensis research, while about 60 per cent of small businesses have a website, currently only 10 per cent of small businesses taking orders online are using the internet to target international customers. In today’s era of borderless eCommerce, any online business is immediately global, so don’t be afraid to try – ANZ’s Opportunity Asia Report found that 38 per cent of small businesses that invested in Asian expansion achieved a return on investment within 12 months.

Disruption has the capacity to allow small businesses to get services that provide the convenience, control and choice they need – when, where and how they want it.

Find out more at auspost.com.au/smallbusiness

Brought to you by Rebecca Burrows, General Manager Small Business, Australia Post

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