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There is No Room for Technophobia When It Comes to Direct Selling
Direct selling works on the idea that you sell directly to your customer base without any additional steps in a retail environment. It’s intrinsic to know where your customers are and foster a strong relationship with your base. This type of business has been built on the foundation of pure physical, face-to-face interaction, which is why it comes off as a bit counterintuitive to embrace any digital solutions to get the job done.
However, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not embracing technology. Industry trends are on a gradual shift towards incorporating digital solutions. This has not been in small part because the customer base has moved online as well. More importantly the industry has seen fresh blood come in. These would be younger people who have grown up with Internet and smartphones, and are clearly at home on social media and other online forums where people congregate.
This heralds a natural transition from the pure face-to-pace method of sales to incorporating online sales methods. What we’re witnessing at the moment is a sort of changing of the guard as a new tech-assertive generation is fully coming into its own, bringing in its own specific needs and own ways to be reached to make sales effectively.
Technology doesn’t need to be feared at all as it is in alignment with the spirit of direct selling. It gives power to the customer to know what they’re buying and to do it on their own terms. Current consumer behaviour puts an accent on actually knowing what is in the makeup of their product as well as how it’s made. Consumers want to make educated purchases and value information above everything else. Transparency is valued and by removing all obstacles to getting this information, you give agency in the hands of the consumer.
Another way technology enhances the direct selling experience is by adding extra convenience – a customer can know order and pay for any product they want. Online platforms and apps give the customer the option to buy a product whenever they want and however they want. Convenience is the way to reduce the purchasing process, which in turn increase sales numbers. The fewer steps a customer has to make to conclude a purchase, the higher conversion rates you enjoy.
It’s an inevitable shift to move even towards a digital-only mode of sales. This is in no small part due to technologies ushering Industry 4.0 concepts in all sectors, which rely on digitalization and automation. Environmental concerns also play a critical role in the push towards an end-to-end digital way of being for a lot of markets.
Being digital also has its perks, when it comes to responding to changes in your sector. There’s a hub of online resources that allows you to monitor new trends as they arise and old ones as they’re phased out. It’s crucial to be in step with the shifting landscape and the digital landscape is always changing. Websites like Quora and LinkedIn are also platforms where certain individuals can step into the role of experts and we recommend you find the people that matter most to your sector as they will often fit into the role of thought leader.
Promotional materials and strategies will migrate from paper, billboards and cardboard cutouts to graphics, video and animation full. The advent of tech innovations pertaining your augmented reality and virtual reality are also poised to create brand new frontiers for direct sales to experiment with customer engagement. There’s no definite prognosis on when this is going to happen, but the technology is becoming more affordable with each passing year.
Where does this leave direct selling at the moment? What are the new guiding principles and the channels that are open to direct sellers?
You won’t be surprised to find out that you should have a website to make sales now. For certain chains, apps make even more sense as they’re easily accessible and on mobile. Research has shown that mobile use for product research and purchase has risen significantly and if there’s something to learn from Uber and food delivery services, it’s that customers want to place orders instantly.
Another trends that we see is that social media makes all the difference in generating leads and sales. Remember when we said that you have to follow where the customers go. Well, they’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and it’s through these channels that you’re able to draw in more customers.
Do you want to make your Facebook store or page even more profitable? Employ chat bots that manage to automate customer assistance and product orders. Automation of this kind improves the quality of your customer support and increase sales numbers without having to invest in staff to deliver the promise of 24/7 service.
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