We are approaching the 12 month anniversary of the lockdown brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and looking back, 2020 has certainly been an unusual year. With the coronavirus pandemic, companies have had to quickly adapt and there is not enough time to stay alert to market trends, especially in a world characterised by an excess of information that changes frequently and spreads rapidly online.
With this in mind, we have compiled six 2021 sales trends that can drive your business and keep it growing, both this year and in the near future. From offering custom services based on data to buying via voice-activated devices.
1. More frequent omnichannel purchases
It may be that you have heard the term omnichannel, but what is really involved in building an integrated online and offline presence? Having an omnichannel business means offering your consumer the same quality sales experience in every channel, both online and offline, but in an integrated way. The physical and electronic businesses do not compete, but rather complement one another.
In a recent survey conducted by Forbes magazine it was shown that being omnichannel is not just a trend but a new reality. Carried out in the UK, the survey provided some very interesting data:
- 72% have used a “click & collect” service;
- 21% use this function for at least half of their purchases;
- 28% would buy from another store if “click & collect” were unavailable;
- 74% choose this type of purchase to avoid paying a delivery charge for the products;
- 65% of consumers make additional purchases at the collection points.
Yes, you read that correctly: 65% of consumers that purchased online but chose to pick their products up from a physical store ended up buying other articles when they went to collect. Being omnichannel can increase your chances of interacting with the same customer and, as a result, your sales per individual customer.
2. Growth in “social shopping”
If people are spending more time on social networks, it is a good idea if the buying cycle begins there, following brands or interacting with posts about products of interest.
However, the main social networks have gone one step further, allowing companies to put their products on sale directly, and enabling the user to purchase more easily: this is the so-called “social shopping”.
Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube are amongst those who have launched “Buy” buttons and saw significant improvements in their sales figures on the respective platforms.
Amongst these, Instagram may be the most notable, especially for segments like fashion and beauty since 90% of users follow at least one brand on the social network.
With an Instagram business account, you can create posts with direct links to your electronic business, but remember to plan the content carefully. Your posts should not be seen as ads, but rather reinforce the brand’s identity and facilitate the buying experience.
3. Voice commerce is getting closer
A very recent evolution in the world of electronic business is the appearance of voice technology. The launch of voice devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, has generated new ways for consumers to interact with brands via voice-assisted navigation.
This has opened up a new channel for electronic commerce companies to sell and expand their business: it is estimated that, by the end of 2020, voice commerce will generate a total of 40 billion dollars in sales in the United States and the UK. According to this survey, 13% of the homes in the USA now have a voice device; of these, 62% of users have used it to make a purchase.
Amazon has been offering the voice purchase option since 2016 and is the leader in this statistic. The main products acquired via voice-activated devices are food, entertainment items (books, for example), electronics and clothing.
4. New payment methods
Payment options are one of the key factors in customers completing a purchase. If your e-business fails to offer the payment method the consumers prefer, they will disappear.
Digital wallets such as Google Pay, PayPal, Apple and Samsung Pay are now being used regularly, both in physical stores and online. Digital payments make consumers feel more secure: 70% of people expect payments in digital form to exceed cash and cards by 2030, according to a survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center in the United States. According to the same survey, 30% of US citizens made purchases using a cell phone, and the trend shows this figure rising every year.
Another payment option experiencing growth is cryptocurrency. To date, we have only had virtual currencies that are used for major commercial transactions, but this is set to change in the near future. For example Overstock, the home decor and household items shop, recently linked up with ShapeShift and began to accept cryptocurrencies in its e-business.
5. Search for diversity and social responsibility
Offering the best products and investing in infrastructure is important, but in 2021 and in the future consumers are looking for more than this: they want to see companies with a purpose, who place value on diversity and have social responsibility. A company that makes a difference.
More than chasing profit, a company should have a human vision in relation to its customers, employees and suppliers. In a world guided by the fight against racism, and the defence of equal rights between men and women and the LGBT+ cause, your brand cannot remain far from the debate. Consumers appreciate companies that position themselves; moreover, they identify with them far more easily.
On top of inclusion and diversity, the purpose is becoming more important than ever. Do not forget your company’s mission and vision and keep reinforcing them with your employees: commitment to the brand should begin from the inside out.
6. The power of data
Data can give you information about your customers that you fail to see at first glance. All of this data is valuable if you are to be able to offer bespoke customer experiences - and the time when “personal service” was synonymous with knowing your customer’s name is long gone.
According to a survey carried out by Accenture, 33% of customers have ended their relationship with a company that has zero or insufficient customisation.
To avoid this, it is vital to create marketing and sales strategies based on data (data driven): by analysing information that comes from demographic data, navigation behaviour, purchase history and other data relating to the purchase journey, you can understand your customer more deeply.
One of the most easily recognisable examples is, after the first purchase, recommending similar products to the customer via email marketing or actions on social media.
With Zendesk Sell, your reps and business agents can access integrated tools that provide the full context of a customer’s account, so that they can stay up-to-date and capitalise on opportunities.
Moreover, follow-up is easy because the data capture is automated, so reps and agents stay in synch. Find out about this Zendesk tool and get ready for the future!