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In 2020 alone, more than 2 billion people purchased goods or services via the internet, with sales amounting to USD$4.2 trillion. And be sure these figures will soar even higher in coming years. (1)
Similar to a gold rush, e-commerce is becoming increasingly competitive with each passing day. And the increase in competition makes it more challenging for businesses to retain their market share and attract new loyal customers. For that reason, you'd want to learn new ways to grow your online sales in 2021 and beyond. Read on for more.
1 - Empower your sales team
Your sales team is responsible for implementing whatever sales game plan and tactics you have. They're more like the holy grail of your business. Indeed, in the words of one successful entrepreneur, the sales department is like oxygen, without which your business suffocates and dies. (2)
As such, you need to empower them to bring better results with whatever sales strategy you try. You understand that team member engagement boosts productivity by up to 22%, and that there's a strong link between productivity and revenue. (3)
Therefore, find ways to empower your sales team, from enhancing communication to investing in quality training. Regarding training, your sales team can boost their productivity when equipped with the right technology. For instance, this sales enablement software can help in boosting sales productivity by providing your sales team with the needed processes, resources and technology to sell effectively and increase revenue. It helps in maximising all points of engagement reps have with buyers and improving the experience they offer.
2 - Consider new payment options
More people are now adopting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. As of now, there's already many people who prefer to use cryptocurrencies for online purchases.
In that sense, several industry giants are already accepting crypto as payment. And you'd want to follow suit by allowing people to use crypto at your online store checkout. It's an excellent way to expand your market reach and improve sales and revenue.
3 - Invest in sustainable business practices
A recent study confirms that 83% of consumers want to purchase sustainable and ethical products. Further, more than 50% of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for sustainable products. (4)
So as the call for green business practices increases, you need to start producing, packaging and selling your products while keeping the environment in mind. And there's no need to worry about the extra costs, given that millennial consumers are willing to pay extra if a brand invests in sustainable practices.
You can start with small steps, such as using eco-friendly packaging options and installing green energy in your business premises. Then, try any of the following sustainability best practices:
- Use tree-free paper, vegetable-based ink and 100% non-toxic toner to print business cards.
- Use greener means of transportation, such as trains, to cut your carbon footprint, rather than air travel.
- Host video conferences as much as you can instead of one-on-one meetings that require people to travel from all corners.
- Engage in tree-planting exercises in your country.
- Use eco-friendly cleaning solutions for your offices.
- Clean indoor air using plants.
- Start a recycling program.
- Go paperless and embrace digital technologies.
4 - Capitalise on voice search
With more than 1 billion online voice searches taking place every month globally, you'd want to optimise your e-commerce marketing and sales strategies to capitalise on voice search. Undoubtedly, voice-activated searches are now becoming the norm. You'll have to rethink approaches in improving your search engine optimisation with voice search to drive traffic to your website and boost sales. (5)
Here are a few practical tips for optimising your website for voice search:
- Use long-tail keywords in your web content that mimic the exact words people use when talking.
- Speed up your page loading times to improve your ranking on search engines.
- Include questions in your content, as most voice searches are in the form of questions.
- Write easy-to-read, conversational content, preferably the ninth-grade level.
- Ensure your site is mobile-friendly, as the majority of voice searches occur over the phone,
- Create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page for your website.
5 - Take advantage of chatbots
The advancement of artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots has become a strong ally for online businesses to increase sales opportunities and lead generation.
When a customer has questions about your products, they don't like waiting around. An online business that's able to respond faster to customer queries can significantly increase sales. Chatbots can provide accurate and fast support for different sales stages, responding to customer queries promptly 24/7.
In addition, chatbots can be a frictionless platform that presents users with shopping recommendations that can smartly introduce customers to new services and products from your company.
E-commerce industry is seeing a surge in sales volume, to the detriment of local businesses. This has led to more entrepreneurs starting online businesses, thus increasing competition. To stay ahead of the crowd, you'll have to devise new sales strategies to attract and keep buyers' attention.
- "E-commerce worldwide - statistics & facts", Source: https://www.statista.com/topics/871/online-shopping/#dossier-chapter1
- "43 Thoughts On The Importance of Sales", Source: https://www.inc.com/gordon-tredgold/43-thoughts-on-the-importance-of-sales.html
- "Employee Engagement Does More than Boost Productivity", Source: https://hbr.org/2013/07/employee-engagement-does-more
- "More than Half of Consumers Would Pay More for Sustainable Products Designed to Be Reused or Recycled, Accenture Survey Finds", Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190604005649/en
- "50+ Voice Search Stats to Help You Rethink Your Strategy in 2021", Source: https://techjury.net/blog/voice-search-stats/