In the last three years, online sales accelerated their growth worldwide. Much had to do with the pandemic and the sudden need of millions of consumers to purchase goods and services from home. However, also the new demands of a consumer more confident in the advantages and security of electronic commerce , as well as their demand in terms of variety and price.
In the midst of “the new normality” small and medium-sized businesses found a great channel to expand their market on the Internet. But, given the high competition, the reality is that there are many entrepreneurs who find it difficult to position their brand and sell.
If you’re stuck in front of this wall, today we want to share with you four things you need to know to get your online store off the ground for good this year. The leap towards digital is not easy, but it can definitely mean a before and after for your business. Shall we start?
1) The consumer demands transparency in the use of their data
As international regulations increasingly complicate data collection by third parties, consumers also understand the value of their personal information; therefore, they are willing to share it only with those brands with which they have a trusting relationship , since they know that in return they will obtain personalized and relevant information to manage their problems and interests; and, of course, they will always use your data transparently.
2) Social commerce is here to stay
Online sales are migrating to social networks at different stages of the consumer journey, such as viewing catalogs, information about offers and promotions, accessing online stores and handling complaints. This is a phenomenon that you cannot ignore if you want to position your products and services among those who buy online: it is estimated that sales through social media will triple by 2025. The good news is that platforms like Instagram are increasingly integrating functions to facilitate the marketing and sales efforts of business accounts; so be sure to find out about its possibilities and how to take advantage of them.
3) Expectations about deliveries and quality of service are getting higher and higher
With more options at hand to purchase everything from household appliances to organic fruits, consumers have become more demanding with the level of service: they ask not only for fast and on-time deliveries, but also for transparency and flexibility throughout the entire process , as well as offering simple methods of returns, and in many cases free shipping (especially when the competition is with other brands that sell through a large platform or marketplace).
In the case of small businesses, when it is not possible to offer free shipping, it is necessary to convey the value of the products and the brand very well , surprise customers (for example with a free sample of another product or a gift) and offer simply exceptional service. This means that the internal operation must be more than efficient, and therefore must be supported by systems that allow, for example, to connect the inventory to the online store and manage it impeccably .
4) Decisions must be made based on accurate metrics
Finally, any successful online sales strategy is based on the analysis of performance data. In addition to sales, you have to measure the rate of returns, on-time deliveries, complaints, and customer satisfaction . And, of course, you have to be clear about the Return on Investment (ROI) in marketing and advertising . The advantage is that entrepreneurs can currently access a huge number of tools and platforms to obtain these metrics. The bad news is that if we don’t have the right knowledge, choosing the right ones for the size of our business can be overwhelming. So seek the advice of an expert and, if necessary, outsource this task.