4 steps to boost sales by embracing digital

The Covid pandemic saw online retail revenue grow at a blistering 66% in 2020, with sales for 2021 expected to show at least a 30% increase. That means the value of online retail sales has effectively doubled in the past 2 years.

But even though consumers have gladly taken to the online arena, the same can’t be said for many businesses that haven’t yet grasped the digital opportunity. That’s a luxury they won’t be able to afford for much longer. Nowadays, the question is no longer whether you need to be online, but how quickly you can digitise sales.

Tools that previously had been available only to large enterprises are now available to all for an affordable monthly subscription. This means the playing fields are more level than ever before, presenting ripe opportunities for companies nimble enough to grab them.

Here are 4 key steps that every business needs to take to ensure e-commerce success in 2023.

1. Client-centred service must remain your focus

The first rule to embrace is that adding a digital element to your offering must never come at the cost of the human touch. The golden guideline is to see e-commerce as augmenting your strategy, not as a strategy in itself.

Stay focused on what your customers want but assess how their buying behaviours have changed as a result of the shift to online buying. Once you understand this, you can build a customer value proposition designed to appeal.

But don’t forget to look at the big picture to understand how digitising part of your sales process impacts the rest of your business. Few parts of your operational processes will remain unaffected by these changes, so be prepared for that to avoid any reputation-damaging crises.

2. Dream big, start small

Make sure that you apply the appropriate tools in your digital transformation. You might feel an enterprise-grade solution is just the tool you need, when in fact an entry-level or off-the-shelf solution would be easier to implement.

Take your time to decipher how you’re going to offer online services and what to offer

Accepting digital payments, for instance, is now expected by customers, whether paying in person or online. Fortunately, the number of ways customers can pay digitally has grown exponentially in the past few years.

These include Nedbank tools that allow you to adopt the latest payment technologies easily, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Masterpass. The PocketPOS app truly allows the smallest business to compete with the biggest brands in terms of payment safety and convenience.

3. Big data is key

In a world driven by data, you're missing a key growth opportunity if you're unable to optimise and analyse business-critical information.

Data analytics is an exciting new field that is emerging to help organisations deal with the flood of data they gather in the course of their operations. The ability to spot trends or patterns is vital if you want to stay ahead of your competitors, especially in the increasingly competitive online space.

You can get this edge over your competitors if you’re a Nedbank Merchant by subscribing to our Market Edge big-data service. This draws volumes of rich data from card transactions and offers a user-friendly display to help you make more informed business decisions.

4. The power of platforms

The path that your digitisation journey follows will be determined by your business goals and your business readiness to embrace e-commerce. This journey is not the same for all businesses, so take your time to decipher how you’re going to offer online services and what to offer.

One popular way that sometimes works for companies, or is a stepping-stone to bigger things for others, is the rise of aggregated services in a single online setting. Sometimes referred to as super apps, they offer digital services by a multitude of providers to a captive audience in a familiar setting. The Avo SuperShop is a great example of how a platform brings buyers and sellers together seamlessly, with more than 1 million users and 50,000 merchants.

An online component to your business should be central to your strategy. Speak to one of our digital specialists today to find out how we can help you realise your digital business dreams.