5 basic steps for a successful e-commerce strategy

Forced to close overnight due to incarcerations, some non -web companies have found their revenues reduced to nothing. Faced with the urgency of the situation, entrepreneurs and traders decided to start this popular digital shift. “In France, we experienced an almost +40% increase in e-commerce sites in PrestaShop in the first incarceration, equivalent to +4,500 new stores ” announced Alexandre Eruimy, CEO of PrestaShop.Concerned all types of companies, SMEs, ETI, even large groups, such as Carrefour. “The health crisis has allowed companies to take a step of several years in terms of digitalization”Said the CEO.

The government itself became aware of the delay of French companies in this area and they launched an awareness and support campaign. From the first incarceration, the Ministry of Economy posted a list of partners offers lucrative offers to launch its e-commerce site and now offers a financial assistance of 500 euros under certain conditions. PrestaShop, referenced in this list, has developed a Starter Pack with ” a dozen essential modules for designing an online store: view (payment), carrier management module, legal notices, GDPR, click and collect… ” , explains Alexandre Eruimy. Other offers complete this pack to improve the experience offered to customers.

Far from being a simple bandage in the event of the closing of physical stores, e-commerce is a “a real relay for growth and post-crisis rebound ” , emphasizes Alexandre Eruimy. If you choose the right ingredients and avoid some mistakes.

1/ Don’t start unprepared

You can’t start building a house without first drawing plans. It’s the same with your online presence. It’s important to build the offer, that is, define your target, both in size and experience. To find answers to this question, it’s important to conduct an analysis of your market, to assess competition and think about the link you want to tie between your physical stores and your digital presence. “You shouldn’t think of your site as an additional store, but understand that the two channels are linked and feed each other. “ , insisted the CEO of PrestaShop. Your online integration can also be an opportunity to try out new projects such as dropshipping (consisting of being an intermediary between a wholesaler and your customer). Alexandre Eruimy also warned about considering the factor of internationalization. This dimension is important because the solution chosen should make it possible to create sites in several languages ​​and offer an appropriate payment method.

These reflections will allow you to set your ambitions and thus determine the tools, support, internal mobilization and budget needed to carry out your project. You can choose to use a service provider or start this business on your own. If you call a professional, pay attention to the services offered, specifically regarding support, cost and maintenance. In both cases, Alexandre Eruimy advised to follow a training course because “the merchant will run his website and he must master its operation. »

2/ Set up the structure of your website

You are now ready to start building your site. After understanding the software, it is time to “define the digital identity of your brand, i.e. the design (the theme or template of the store), the inclusion of the logo, the colors, the typographies, without forgetting the “about” page”. Once these foundations have been laid, it’s time to build your catalog. You need to define the categories and ship your products to each of them before making the product sheets. Pay attention to their clarity and attractiveness. Then comes the choice of payment method and delivery methods that depend on each country. During the incarceration, the “companies favor click and collection and aggregation of new transportation providers ” to meet the needs of their customers, says Alexandre Eruimy. While the French prefer payment by credit card or PayPal, the Germans prefer to pay for their purchases by bank transfer or by invoice. To comply with the law, you must also add legal notices, the GCS, the management of cookies to your site. The list of these bonds is available on the government website.

To manage the influx of orders and your customer service, CRM and inventory management modules are also available. Your own solutions can also be integrated into your e-commerce software. Your site is finally ready to receive its first orders.

3/ Ensure your traffic

Having a good site is good, having customers is even better! To attract shoppers, stores decorate themselves with beautiful windows that highlight their products. The approach is identical on the web. Many levers can be operated to give you visibility. You will first need to work on your definition (SEO) by analyzing keywords, titles and content. This operation should be integrated into a paid marketing strategy including advertising on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest depending on your sector of activity) and on the Google search engine as well as on Google Shopping. Don’t neglect the emailing part while making sure not to spam your prospects.

To increase conversions, bet on ratings, reviews, and set up chat to support your future customers in their buying process. Regularly update the content you offer on your site. Many companies have opted for a blog format including articles on topics related to their products, such as beard care, autumn clothing trends, furniture for small rooms, etc.

4/ Implement a global marketing strategy

To animate your site and your online presence, you can train yourself or decide to assign this task to an internal team that specializes in the topic. Even if you have a service provider with you, Alexandre Eruimy advises that “assign someone, internally, to be their privileged contact to facilitate exchanges “.

The website should not be considered as a second store that is completely disconnected from your physical points of sale. On the contrary, it is a supplement that can bring you physical traffic. On your site, feel free to include the location of your physical stores, their opening hours, to indicate if in-store delivery is possible, if you offer click and collect or in-store returns. This information reduces barriers for consumers.

You can also highlight your physical network through promotional logic, gift vouchers or a loyalty space. “For this type of offer, you should not make a distinction between digital and physical because the customer wants a seamless experience, with no distinction between sales channels ” , warns Alexandre Eruimy. Therefore, your site should be a guide to direct and inform your customers. The indication of stock directly available at each store is even more important at important times like Christmas when everyone wants to make sure there is a gift to put under the tree. This brings us back to the problem of inventory management.

5/ Ensure inventory management

As with stores, stock shortages are often synonymous with failed sales. There are several ways to efficiently manage your inventory. You can decide to automatically trigger orders with your suppliers when your stock reaches the minimum number or once a customer orders. You can also choose to take regular inventory or analyze trends and seasonality to predict demand.

E-commerce platforms like PrestaShop also offer solutions to help you manage your inventory. Choosing an omnichannel that combines physical stocks and e-commerce allows you to offer better visibility to your customers. You can tell them if a product is available or not in the store, but also offer them to be alerted once you restock.

6/ Mistakes should be avoided

Before you let go of the web, Alexandre Eruimy warns about some mistakes that can be costly. The first is to underestimate the investment in time, personnel and financial terms that can cost you this way. For a “basic” site, count a few thousand euros and up to a few tens or even hundreds of thousands for more comprehensive services and more advanced or complex needs.

Don’t consider your website as an independent store but think of it as one of the pieces of a global puzzle to offer your customers a unified journey. Consider the different channels through which they will land on your site, especially their computer but also their smartphone. The interface should be optimized for each portal.

Last advice from the CEO of PrestaShop: think about your progress in France but also around the world. Once the borders are closed, at least make your products travel!

Maddyness media partner of PrestaShop

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