As consumers continue to flock online for a growing number of purchases, smaller-sized companies can be at a competitive disadvantage simply because they failed to position their businesses for online expansion.
To address this, Mastercard is now offering a free, online tool to help SMBs. The Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic is designed “to help entrepreneurs future-proof their businesses for a digital world,” the company said today.
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This diagnostic assessment platform is part of Mastercard’s “digital doors” program, which offers businesses a variety of tools “to maximize their digital presence,” the company said.
Dimitrios Dosis, president of advisers for Mastercard, said that in the “midst of a massive shift to digital spending, businesses everywhere and of every size are trying to appeal to a changed and changing consumer” and noted that with this latest tool, “our mission is to help as many small businesses as possible better understand and expand their digital capabilities so they are positioned to seize the online opportunity and future-proof their business.”
Why focus on SMBs? Well, according to Mastercard’s own research, 76 percent of small businesses across North America said the pandemic “prompted them to become more digital.”
Mastercard described the Digital Readiness Diagnostic tool as “a carefully developed solution that gauges a business’ strengths and weaknesses across the digital space and generates customized recommendations to help owners meet the needs of today’s digital environment.”
The assessment looks at several aspects of a business, which include a company’s overarching business strategy, its management and operations, how it is positioned for growth, how it makes payments, and how it protects employees and customers in the current climate.
“Based on the online evaluation, the diagnostic tool provides a performance score and benchmarks a business against industry best practices to provide clarity on how well-equipped the business is for the digital future,” the company said adding that it also provides “customized, expert recommendations on considerations for each of the assessed dimensions to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness.”
By way of a case study, Mastercard shared the story of Michelle Cadore, founder of the Yes I Am clothing brand and the DA SPOT NYC boutique in New York. Cadore was forced to shutter her doors for six months when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
“Fortunate for Cadore, she was able to quickly pivot her business and focus on online sales, and partnerships with online retailers,” Mastercard noted. “In June, seeing the shift in consumer behavior she added curbside pickup to her customer offerings. DA SPOT NYC reopened to the public in September, and Cadore is welcoming back foot traffic under new retail guidelines while continuing to reinforce her digital presence.”
Mastercard said in an “uncertain retail environment” Cadore wanted to ensure that “she can continue to serve her customers and her community without interruption.”
Cadore said DA SPOT NYC sells over 25 local and independent creative brands “so having our doors closed impacted more than just my bottom line,” she said.
“By shifting our focus to e-commerce, we were able to stay connected to our customer base and keep our creative community alive,” Cadore explained. “We realized the strength of our online presence in this new environment, and by working closely with Mastercard were able to identify additional digital resources to improve our business efficiencies and customer engagement.”