Sigurður Svansson, Co-Founder, Owner
Where should we start? The past months have been special to say the least. The challenges for companies are unique, unpredictable and in part vastly challenging. Just over a year ago, when I was looking at trends and making a forecast for 2020, I never could have imagined this situation. One thing is clear, that the situation has had an impact, both on what we are doing now and also how we will tackle the challenges of the future.
In a situation like this, one has to look forward, be positive and find the opportunities in all this, because even though it has been challenging in part, it is clear that new opportunities are emerging.
Online sales have skyrocketed, since 2014 they have increased from 1.3 trillion dollars worldwide to 4.2 trillion dollars in 2020. The pandemic has resulted in more companies selling their goods and services online and according to Statista, online sales are expected to go up to 6.5 trillion dollars in 2023. Therefore, it is obvious that everything regarding selling and servicing customers online will be in the spotlight in 2021. Not only will online sales continue to grow, but the pandemic has resulted in consumers expecting more from companies when it comes to user experience, as evident from a survey by Salesforce (Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report), where 68% said that COVID-19 increased their expectations to companies regarding digital capabilities.
So it is not enough just to offer a product online, the experience also has to be spot on, 79% of consumers say they will stop having business with companies after only one bad experience, which is understandable in the competitive landscape we live in today. Why accept a bad service when it has become so easy to look elsewhere? We will therefore see more companies work on improving their customer experience online and researching more how they can use all the data they have, to service their customers better than they currently do.
The interplay between marketing, sales and service will therefore be in focus this year and how we let these pillars work together. Companies will need to think about how they handle all the data gathered and how they can use it for good; both to improve service and to increase their sales. Implementation of systems offering this integration, such as Hubspot, Salesforce and comparable systems will therefore be apparent in digital transformation.
Why are we doing all this? Because we want to ensure that the user experience is so positive that the users start talking about it. According to a survey made by Hubspot in 2017, 74% of SMB owners thought “word of mouth” was most significant for the growth of their companies in addition to improving customer loyalty by 5%, the companies could increase their profitability by up to 75%. Therefore, it is clear that it is important to close the marketing funnel and focus on good experience instead of always finding new users to go down the funnel.
So regardless of whether it is technical solutions, value-increasing marketing content production, service processes or something else, the consumer has to be in the first place in 2021 because the consumer is the king.