By Rizka Ruth Pratiwi, M.B.A

Faculty of BioEntrepreneurship

As one of the most populous countries in the world; Indonesia has 132.7 million Internet users, which points to a penetration rate of 50% of the population. Most of Indonesians now access the Internet using their mobile devices, laptops or desktops, tablets, and other devices. A study by Google and AT Kearney (2018) indicated that venture capital activity in Indonesia has grown 68 times in the past five years, driven mainly by growing interest in e-commerce and ridesharing.

In line with rising Internet and smartphone penetration across Indonesia, the modern Indonesian consumers are also increasingly using the Internet to embark on their product buying journeys. 45% of Indonesian search online for a product or service to buy with a similar number landing on an online store and 40% make e-commerce transactions at least once a month (Ecommerceiq, 2018). Consumers in Indonesia prefer to purchase goods or products online because e-commerce platforms often offer discounts (while delivery is sometimes free of charge). In addition, Indonesia’s demographic contains a productive and young population who like to purchase the newest “trending” products.

Not only in the e-commerce industry, Go-Jek is rapidly transforming into a ‘super app’ with users able to do everything from hail motorbikes, get their food delivered, and pay for it via e-wallet. In the mobile telecommunications industry in Indonesia, Telkomsel is leading the way. The mobile provider created an app, MyTelkomsel, which allows the company to react much more efficiently and effectively to customers’ needs.
However, some businesses aren’t ready for the digital age. Several things could prevent them from embracing a digital transformation, such as costs, perceived lack of access to technology, poor team member or fear of the time investment involved. Businesses that don’t embrace the digital transformation risk being left behind, though, as competitors will take advantage of the benefits of operating in a digital world.

Now, the question is: How to transform businesses for the digital age? The main challenge for success in the digital world is to develop a brand that lets users interact with you digitally, while not losing the human element. This is no simple task and many businesses have paid prices to make customers feel as if they are something less than individuals. Businesses have to create content that focuses on their customers (content marketing). For example, if they’re promoting a camera, they’ll post an article about types of camera that matches your personality. As social media is a two-way platform, customers will use this platform to reach out to brands for any questions or complaints. Companies need to be fast and make sure their customers are satisfied with their service.

Obviously, it is not an easy job to go digital. Businesses must undertake these changes incrementally over a multi-year journey. It requires going through sprints and then evaluating how effective the changes are. Some may need to be or not adjusted, and there will be learn from each stage before moving to the next stage. Just enjoy the ride and never give up!