With the shrinking of the traditional retail business model, more and more business owners are turning their focus to the digital space with high hopes of success.

In this article we dive into the things you need to know if you want to be successful online in 2020.

WillBy WillIn ArticlesJanuary 13, 202018 Minutes
What online skills should I learn in 2020

What online skills should I know?

As with any technology felid you want to have a basic skillset under your belt. When you went to school as a child you learn’t to read and write. Well the internet and online business is no different.
You don’t need to be a master in coding, ecommerce, online strategies etc but you should try to have a basic level of understanding of the most used skills when it comes to online business.

It’s amazing to me that in this day and age there are still people who don’t have the most basic understanding of computer systems. I shouldn’t complain really because our ideal customer demographic here at ADM is the customer who wants to outsource all their digital needs to an agency like ours. In the past our average customers is in the 50-60 year old age bracket. These customers typically didn’t grow up with computers and aren’t interested in learning digital systems and strategies at this time of their life.


The number 1 skill you need to learn to succeed online in 2020 is video.

Video is widely regarded in the marketing industry as the fastest growing and most powerful form of message communication. Consider how much video has moved in on your life over the last few years. Largely because internet data plans are no longer so expensive and we dont worry so much about blowing our monthly data limit with face to face video calls.

Look at the phonomenal growth of the YouTube platform over the last couple of years. Now anyone with a digital camera and a laptop can call themselves “A Creator” and publish content to the world.

In particular the section of marketing known as content marketing has been proven to be a successful strategy for turning views into sales.

Short form video offering value to targeted audiences will be the number 1 marketing strategy in 2020

Google's Digital Garage Course

Online course learning

A great online course that anyone can do is Google’s Digital Garage course. “The fundamentals of digital marketing”. This is a comprehensive video module course that teaches you the basics of SEO, SEM, and online marketing. Google also offers other valuable courses in data and tech and career development. These courses are designed for beginner level students so anyone can get started with improving your online skillset.

Another skill you should consider learning are basic copywrighting. This will come in handy when writing blog posts and sending out your direct marketing campaigns. You dont need to develop a comprehensive expert level skillset in copywriting but you do need to know how to string a story together, just like you are reading here.

It’s not difficult once you know how. And having the ability to quickly type up a blog post on your website is one of the most empowering digital skills you can have in 2020.
If you would like to read more on how to write a great looking blog post see our article here.

5 ways to maximise your MailChimp List


Then there’s Mailchimp. This quiet little program often sists in the back of people’s minds as an afterthought that they never take seriously. But I’m here to tell you that Mailchimp is like having a staff member on board in charge of marketing. And this staff member doesn’t cost you a cent on the basic plan.

Once you learn and set up Mailchimps automated email campaigns you can leverage the power of having an automated email campaign go out to anyone who joins your mailing list. You only have to design the campaign once and it will deliver a series of emails to your user every time a new member of your tribe signs up.
If you would like to learn more then see our online course on creating an automated sales funnel here.

What are the top software platforms to do business online in 2020?

Things haven’t changed that much in the last year. We still find that WordPress is the most versatile and robust software platform for selling products and services online. Saying that sometimes more of a turnkey solution like Shopify is better for clients without the time to learn how Wordpress works.

Personally speaking I just love the almost infinite possibilities that Wordpress provides. Myself and my team have been creating websites with Wordpress for years now, well before it’s currnet popularity. This system in combination with the one Wordpress theme that we use across all our sites means that we have gradually built up a framework software package that we can stretch and pull to look like anthing we want it to and to acheive any backend strategy we need it to perform.
Some of the biggest websites in the world now are using Wordpress to host thier content. Checkout some of our work here.


What online strategies should you have installed?

Online startegies are crutial for success in the digital age. And yet I would say that the majority of websites I interact with do not have strategies installed. What do I mean by strategies?

It’s not enough to just have a website with a great design. The website is a digital storefront. And as such this storefront need to perform strategic tasks if your business is to succeed. I could go into multiple different website strategies here but it’s a topic for another article. You can read the basic layout of a digital marketing funnel here.

At the very least you should be collecting emails through your site, storing the emials in a Direct Mail program like Mailchimp then sending out your content marketing content to your tribe.

Let’s just take one case study from one of our clients websites. Botanica Medicines is a great example. They have a blog on their website with written articles. These articles contain content that their target audience wants to read. When a blog is written it talks about products and services for sale on the website. As the user is reading the article the user is gently prompted to click on links to see the product or service. 

A direct mail campaign is then sent out to their large Mailchimp list prompting their audience to come back to the site to read the new article on the website.

So you can see that the strategy here is to create digital content on the website that can be leveraged into sales. Otherwise known as Content Marketing.

What are the best products or services to sell online?

In todays digital world there is a tendancy to sell through affiliation. This means selling a product or service that is owned by someone else, you receive an affiliate commision for selling the products. This is particualry huge in the Unisted States with the Amazon platform and it’s lucrative affiliate program.


But anyone in the digital space will tell you the best products or services to sell on line are those that are your own creation. This means that you keep 100% of the profit and no one can replicate your exact product. Ideally you want to sell digital downloads if possible. This is the ideal product because you design it once and it sells forever. There is no shipping, no handling time, nothing, just money in your bank while you sleep.
See some examples of our digital download products here.

Other items that are popular in online sales at this point in time are;

  • Fashion – Up 20.4% this year

  • Health and Beauty – Up 29.4% this year

  • Media – Up 10.5% this year

Is it to late to start selling online?

With the collapse of more and more traditional retail shopping strips in suburban neighbourhoods it’s quit obvious that the internet shopping trend is here to stay and it is only getting stronger and stronger. Lets take a look below at a very interesting report from Australia Post.

Australia Post's findings

“In 2018 alone, the number of online purchases grew by more than 13% year on year in every State and Territory, with the national average growing over 20%”

“The surge in eCommerce was largely driven by the popularity of sales events, Marketplaces and innovative buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment options”

“Australians spent $27.5 billion buying goods online, an increase of 24.4% year on year”

“Direct marketing triggers sales As more and more retailers participate in sales events, capturing consumer attention has never been more important. According to our consumer research , the most effective marketing channel was email, with 39% of shoppers reporting that they heard about a promotion via this channel”

“The global online goods market is forecast to reach USD $3.43 trillion by 2023, taking the share to 17% of total retail7 “

“Two thirds of Australian respondents spent on average under $70, with 46% spending under $35 per transaction”

Online shoppers have no time for clunky websites and lacking customer support

With the majority of online shopping being done by users under 35 YO you need to be aware of the expectations of these users. They have grown up with the internet their entire lives and are used to websites working perfectly.

If todays users stumbles across a website that is clunky and hard to use they will leave the site in an instant because they know that the online marketplace will always offer an alternative for their needs.


What marketplace should I be selling in?

When it comes to marketplaces to be doing business in you have many options. Ultimately you need to do some research and make an informed decision.
Here’s the basic rundown.

  • You can start small and just do business with specific postcodes in you locality through some simple programming on a Wordpress site.
  • You can do business Statewide or Nationwide through the same technique.
  • You can skip the whole website idea and do business through Ebay and Amazon who both offer you the options of shipping to certain lacalities.
  • You have international trading through platforms like Taobao in China

Taobao has a buy in fee and a high subscription fee. Australia post has a store on Taobao and says that they welcome traders but I have tried doing business through the Australia Post store on Taobao and found the process difficult with no support offered at all.

A success story

We built a website for a company in New South Wales. Envirocom. As per our recommendations in this pdf, we advised the client that they should have a live chat system installed on every page of the site. This live chat system is attached to the Messenger app, the Messenger app then triggers an audible notification on the clients mobile phone that a live chat conversation has started. This system enables instant engagement between the business owner and the user.

Now for the story. Shortly after the website went live a user arrived at the website and had a question. Now this user was older in age and was not tech savy at all. But this user was easily able to type a message into the Messenger chat system.
Instantly our client was able to immediatly answer the users questions, which then led to an inspection of the job needs then a quote then the job being completed for our client. This quick process took place within a coouple of months of the website going live.

Obviously our client was happy with the almost immediate ROI on his new website. The strategy installed on this website is an important one. It is the strategy of providing a clean and simple UX {User Experience}.

The key to doing business online in 2020 is pay attention to the small details.

The small detail of having a chat system on the website and then having notifications turned on on the clients phone was enough to secure engagement with the user before the user had a chance to leave the website and look elsewhere for his needs.

I recently advised one of our other website clients that they should let us put this chat system on their website. The client said that they did not have time to deal with a live chat service. My argument is that you must make time. Are you doing business online or aren’t you?

If you are not pivoting and changing direction when you are shown proven systems then you are not keeping up with the pace of doing business online.