2020 has been a really complicated year for everyone on an economic level, and if there is something we can make clear at the moment, it is that it will be a turning point in retail, specifically in its digital version, e-commerce or online sales.
And everything indicates that 2021 will be when the ecommerce trends started during the first months of the pandemic settle and become widespread, so it is more than convenient to know them as soon as possible to implement those that interest our business and put ourselves ahead of the competition.
At PaynoPain, as experts in online payment technologies, we have made a selection of those challenges and opportunities that ecommerce or online sales will have to face in 2021. Let’s see them!
1. The border between physical and online sales is blurred
The excuse that a small store does not need an online presence because of its limited geographic reach has ceased to make sense during lockdown. Local businesses have had to reinvent themselves by force in order to still be in business, and having an online presence has been one of the most necessary changes, although in some cases it only implied a small web page or opening some profiles on social networks.
But the thing is that customers have acquired new habits that they are unlikely to abandon in the future, so returning to 100% face-to-face sales will no longer be possible. And the truth is that combining the online world with the physical one has enormous advantages for companies, since it allows you to take advantage of the benefits of both and create sales combinations according to your needs: buy online and pick up in store, check the stock online and buy in store, direct an in-person customer to ecommerce when there is not enough stock in store … The options are unlimited and each business must configure its own multi-channel strategy.
2. Social selling has come to stay, but…!
We have already spoken other times about the boom that social selling is experiencing in social networks. The truth is that this type of online sale has been a patch solution for those businesses that have not been able or wanted to digitize their sales through their own e-commerce platform, although we know that one thing does not replace the other and will never be able to do so.
The ideal, without a doubt, is to use social selling as a reinforcement to web sales and take advantage of its characteristics to offer close and personalized attention to potential customers, always with the support and confidence that gives being able to access the company’s site where find more information and products. And this is precisely the biggest barrier that social selling has: the lack of trust on the part of the user. Breaking that barrier through a social media strategy that is based on transparency and communication will be another challenge for companies that have not yet done so.
3. It is time to take the international leap
Although not all businesses will have the need or desire to sell internationally and, many times, not even nationally, the truth is that the unstoppable trend is towards globalization. Especially by those companies that have created original and unique products or services and want to export them to other countries so that other markets can get to know and enjoy them.
And the truth is that technology makes it easier and easier, choosing the right suppliers for online sales and logistics, today it is easy to start selling in other countries, especially within the European Union itself. With common laws such as PSD2 and tools like our Paylands payment gateway, any Spanish company that wishes can start exporting their products to our neighboring countries.
4. Buyers choose sustainability
Of course, another trend that cannot and should not be denied is the progressive preference on the part of consumers for sustainable and local products. Many buyers have begun to base their purchases on responsibility over price or variety, and the market has undoubtedly reacted quickly by expanding the number of products that meet the requested requirements.
Selling products with recycled materials or, at least, easily recyclable, reducing the use of plastic, ensuring fair treatment of workers throughout the manufacturing process or carrying out corporate responsibility actions are efforts that the customer values more and more every day, and cannot be set aside. And if selling only to nearby regions is not within the plans of our company, it is highly recommended to start a carbon footprint compensation plan so the international client has the peace of mind that they are buying in a responsible and sustainable way.
5. Secure payments become the only option
With the entry into force of the famous European PSD2 payment directive in early 2021, skipping two-stage customer identification will no longer be a possibility (except for low amount payments) and secure payments will become the only option to sell both physically and online. And the truth is that it is the best for everyone, because the customer will have the peace of mind of being buying safely, but the seller will significantly reduce the number of chargebacks or payment setbacks based on alleged fraudulent purchases.
Betting on a payment technology that facilitates compliance with PSD2 is already essential, but it is no less important to ensure that said technology allows both physical and online payments, both on the web and in social networks, facilitates internationalization and that it is implemented by a trusted company with a long history and experience such as PaynoPain.
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