Digital Service Platform in 2022: Luxury or Necessity?
Do you enjoy receiving different services in one place conveniently, fast, quality, and in your way? I confess - it is crucial for me as for a client. If my customer experience cannot be described as “wow, amazing, I will advise your service to all my friends”, I continue to look for my perfect flexible provider.
Most clients think and do the same way. Most managers notice it and try to gather commercial offers under one virtual roof. This roof is a digital service platform.
In this Article:
The first digital service platform forerunners were branded marketplaces & one-stop shops for relevant goods. Such solutions can be seen worldwide: from utility service companies to manufacturers and suppliers. Online service platforms gained popularity from entrepreneurs and investors because they allow building a successful, sustainable company around them. But it still was all about showing what you have, not serving your customers in any suitable way.
The pandemic economy revealed the importance of agility - from remote work to service design thinking. We all understood that grocery is not just a place where you buy milk - it's a provider of possibility to buy it. So you can purchase it by picking it up in a store, or order delivery to your doors.
You should robust software to ensure all the above options and make them accessible in digital mode. That’s what a digital service platform does with your offer portfolio.
Platform Business Model vs Traditional Business Model: What is the Most Crucial Part of Any Service?
What do your customers want?
You never know for sure. Anyway, now, it’s easier to predict what goods or services will be sold like hotcakes.
In previous days customer segmentation was too generalized and was based on social demographics criteria. Today, we know that it doesn't help a lot when you need to understand your audience, increase Customer Lifetime Value or decrease Client Acquisition Costs. Customer behaviour and context data analysis will guide you to find micro-segments and discover their habits.
The big question is - how to satisfy them all with customized services? Can digital transformation manage this particular area?
How to drive new revenues and increase real business value? Transform a business model!
A business model is a way a company creates, delivers, and captures value in economic, social, cultural, or other contexts. It's everything about making a profit. Digital platform-based business models are among the most profitable and sustainable ways of growth for a company.
A digital service platform (DSP) - is a single ecosystem with a set of connected digital services that enable stakeholders to fulfill multiple needs. DSP can provide facilities for employees, customers, suppliers, partners, the community, and the government. One place to meet demands and wants for all who are valuable for business.
Customers want to get valuable solutions for their problems and appreciate companies that deliver them with 75% higher loyalty. The bad news, clients are looking for innovations. Eric Pearson, CIO, INTERNATIONAL HOTEL GROUP, once said, "It's no longer the big beating the small, but the fast beating the slow." That's what business competition will be about in 2022.
Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Deliveroo, Google, TaskRabbit, Uber. These brands are based on digital service platforms - technology-enabled business models with a network effect. It facilitates interactions between suppliers and consumers on one online service platform and connects end-users with producers for mutually beneficial transactions.
Online Digital Service Platform Components
Technologies are developing fast; solution requirements are getting stronger. Digital service platforms need to have built-in business support systems (BSS), campaign management systems, digital contracting, customer interaction management and tracking, etc. It sounds like solid advice and a piece of a job for years.
According to Gartner, it’s almost impossible to cover the following basic digital service platform layouts inside one enterprise:
Information systems platform. It supports the back-office operations and core systems.
Customer Experience Platform. It contains the core customer-facing elements, such as client and citizen portals, multichannel commerce, and customer apps.
Data and Analytics Platform. It provides information management and analytical capabilities. Data management programs and analytical applications fuel data-driven decision-making, and algorithms automate discovery and action.
IoT platform. It connects physical assets for monitoring, optimization, control, and monetization. Capabilities include connectivity, analytics, and integration to core and OT systems.
Ecosystems platform. It contains all functions of the predecessors and supports the creation of and connection to external ecosystems, marketplaces, communities. API management, control, and security are its main elements.
Our 15 years of business automation experience showed that the most effective way to deliver a highly complicated solution - to start from Minimum Valuable Product (MVP). Implementing the core business process,customer-oriented add-ons, and modern fast-code automation platforms can decrease solution delivery time up to 47%. It will help you gain customer loyalty and develop your relations throughout your life.
4 Key Moments to Pay Attention at While Choosing a Digital Online Platform Architecture
#1. Omnichannel Business Process Management
The client can start to communicate on Facebook, make an order & payment, choose the BOPIS delivery. We are getting to use such simple, convenient and fast solutions. Digital service platform provides a fancy toolbox for clients' services creation and connects all customer's interactions & history in one storage - CRM-like components.
#2. Microservice Orchestration
Scalability and third-party apps' freedom of choice are good companions when you are starting something valuable and huge. Microservice applications are created as a set of components. This architectural style perfectly fits large-scale systems. It makes changes, product updates, and extensions for programmers less time-consuming. It is much easier to understand, test, and maintain them. Time2market decreases while flexibility grows.
#3. Real-Time processing
Instant inquiries and event management. We all value on-time offers. We need them to cover all our requirements from business activity to friends and family relations. Digital platforms allow different instant services, from campaign management to omnichannel communication. Most importantly, all transactions are stored and are easy to access.
#4. Decrease human involvement in service providing
AI, Robotic Process Automation, and Chatbots: relieve stress from queries response, leave the space for social relations, and communicate where it’s needed. The next challenge for artificial technologies - become assistive and deeply personalized to imitate people better.
The potential of AI still doesn't work in full. The area of improvement lies in a connection between end-users, their transactional data, and different digital services/features.
Digital Online Platform-Based Business Examples by Industries
Aggregation Platforms (information, products, or services)... and those who need it to provide a service under one brand. We know them as marketplaces and broker platforms like eBay, Alibaba, Uber. The last one unites people striving to earn money on their vehicles and those who prefer comfortable transport at an affordable price. As of 2021, Uber offers its services in 10,000 cities across 69 countries and has 98 million monthly active users.
Social networks. Earlier, they connected individuals with common interests. Now, they provide a variety of business facilities. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok continue to add new features for seamless e-commerce. You can launch ads there, cooperate with influencers and even apply VR technologies to increase audience involvement.
Mobilization Platforms. They make people work together to achieve a long-term shared goal. It is a basis for processes like supply networks or distribution operations. One of the early examples of this kind of platform is Li & Fung — a company that provides a global supply chain by connecting suppliers/vendors with brands and retailers to meet consumer demand.
Learning Platforms. They bring participants (teachers, learners, parents, etc.) to beneficial information exchange and cooperation to grow their knowledge and skills. Udemy is a shining example with its 30 million students and 50,000 instructors teaching courses in over 60 languages. This marketplace doesn't own the products or services provided by instructors on the website but charges a commission for a vast audience. This idea brings Udemy $806.6M as total funding.
Digital Online Service Platforms Future Insights
Today, almost every market has a leading digital service platform. These solutions have one thing in common - people like them and promote them voluntarily; it creates a friendly feedback loop; technology helps to make it work autonomously. It's only a starting point for platform-based businesses.
So what is going to be next?
Mixed Business Models
Digital technology power, data, and market competition can turn more and more platform companies into hybrids. Digital competition is responsible for it. Unlike in the traditional economy, companies require expensive physical assets to create their business models. In the digital world, enterprises can multiply with smart data combination, software, and ecosystem strategies.
Advances in big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence help organizations to do more things with less investment, including building businesses that were impossible in the past. Although, AI is still in its initial stage. IBM, Google, Apple, Amazon, and others are no longer treating the technology as fully proprietary. Now they offer their AI capabilities as a service that third parties can access and use for their applications. A mix of platforms with higher data capturing possibilities and ongoing progress in cloud computing will allow future platforms to enable a wide range of new applications.
If you still have questions, drop us a line and receive advice on how to create & implement a full-fledged digital service platform in a tight schedule.