If there is one sector that has not suffered from a pandemic and successive closures, it is e-commerce. In online sales, business creations grew by 57% reports National Institute of Statistics (Insee), recalling that the rise of e-commerce does not date from the health crisis. It has already recorded an average annual increase of 35% between 2017 and 2019. However, its development “Accelerated in 2020 by closing irrelevant companies due to health crisis”notes INSEE in a note devoted to this subject. This growth was particularly felt between May and December 2020, with 70% more e-commerce creation compared to the same period in 2019. And with good reason: forced to stay at home, the French – like the rest of the world – had to change your habits and ways of consuming (online orders, home delivery, etc.).
Despite its unprecedented dynamics, e-commerce is not an unprepared sector. To avoid disappointment, it is better to follow certain tips to the end.
1. Customize your e-commerce image with your brand
Before you head out into building your e-commerce, it’s important to structure your offering and think about the connection you’ll weave between your physical stores (if any) and your digital presence. . As Pierre Bougeard, Professional Marketing Director at La Poste, points out, “Before the competition, it is important to stand out. Visibility is one of the keys to success in e-commerce. »
When this is clear, the idea is to know where you will sell your products: markets, resale locations, store concept … “Everything will depend on his business model and brand positioning. We will benefit from a certain turnover on the market, but there is a risk that the brand image will be diluted. On the contrary, selling on your own website is the best way to create a connection with your customers and build an identity »analyzes Margaux Mercadier, e-commerce and digital director at Oh My Cream.
Jean-Baptiste Gauche, be-commerce and digital manager for Refiners and Psmall refineries, is of the same opinion. For him, the e-commerce strategy must be based on the brand image being claimed. “For example, at Les Raffineurs and Les Petits Raffineurs, we offer a selection of great inventions that will improve everyday life and add a little more to the ordinary. Therefore, it was logical to develop the page in accordance with this positioning. » To achieve this, the brand regularly offers inspiring content on its website and displays its products through a range of visual lifestyle displays.
Problem: When you decide to go online, you need to increase your traffic. “We certainly do not benefit from the visibility that markets can offer. But it’s all a matter of choice and long-term strategy. “insists Margaux Mercadier.
2. Increase traffic
There are techniques to attract the first clientele to your e-commerce. At Oh My Cream, the development of brand and product content has led to better SEO on Google, and thus to generating traffic. “In addition to selling our products, we wanted the brand to exist, to demonstrate our knowledge in the field of cosmetics.”, explains Margaux Mercadier. The beauty concept store created by Juliette Lévy-Cohen has also activated so-called “natural” levers (newsletters, CRM, social networks, etc.) and other “paying” ones (Google ads, Facebook ads, display, etc.). “The game is finding a balance that works for your business. Knowing that tools are constantly evolving, especially in digital »adds e-commerce manager Oh My Cream.
Pierre Bougeard, professional director of marketing at La Poste, offers, for example, bet on sending an email to introduce yourself or find your first customers. “Sending email remains very efficient if it is not aggressive. He has to tell a story, pass on company values with the goal of building community loyalty. Sending mail (mail) can also be used in addition to sending email to achieve a goal both online and offline. »
In particular, it allows it to take care of its customer base, which is essential for Jean-Baptiste Gauche. “Today, it is almost more important to have a real customer base and keep it than to develop it. This can go through the animation of social networks or the implementation of SMS or email campaigns. Because when customers are satisfied with their purchase, they become the best ambassadors. »
3. Choose the right delivery method
A key success factor for an online store, delivery closes the shopping experience. And it can do better than it can ruin it. Therefore, this step should not be taken lightly. “Every client is unique and, in that sense, everyone has their own needs and expectations. Therefore, in order to improve the satisfaction of your customers, it is interesting to offer several possible delivery methods, says Pierre Bougeard, professional director of marketing at La Poste. By offering pick-up at the store, home delivery (with or without signature) and pick-up location, you will surely answer all the doubts of your customers. This approach ensures that you limit the cart abandonment when ordering due to the lack of flexibility of the solutions offered. » In addition, the possibility of using the return offer is highly appreciated by customers. Especially in the field of clothing, the possibility of returning items because we do not like them or because they are not the right size has become the standard and key advantage of many actors.
Once you have determined the delivery methods to set up for your e-commerce, you need to choose a service provider. Here again, the criteria must be taken into account. It is best to ask yourself the following questions in advance:
- What types of products will my store deliver?
- Are these fragile products? Food?
- What are the sizes and weights of your shipping products?
- Do you need to keep some confidentiality?
- Are you planning to send abroad or not?
It will then be a matter of checking the delivery times that each service provider offers. They are, indeed, of the utmost importance for ensuring customer satisfaction. “When looking for a carrier, you will have to pay attention to the deadlines promised by each service provider. On the other hand, keep in mind that an incident can always happen. It is therefore important that you can inform your customers. And above all, check with your service provider about the means of communication available to him »recommended by Pierre Bougeard. Before I point out that there are turnkey solutions such as Colissimo property contract : a non-binding offer that offers a full range of online shipping management services Your shipments (postage and online tracking, access to takeover bids, customization with the Colissimo logo notification, refund solution, etc.).
Another thing to keep in mind: the commitment and responsibility of your delivery partner. The health crisis has certainly caused the growth of online shopping, but at the same time it has intensified the desire for more responsible and caring for the environment. “It is possible to reconcile successful deliveries with an environmentally responsible approach,” confirmed Pierre Bourgard. You need to choose a partner dedicated to the environment: the use of environmentally friendly vehicles, cargo optimization. Also remember to choose and use package packaging made from recycled or carbon neutral material. »
4. Take care of the user experience
Whether it’s a physical or online store, the recipe is the same: make the shopping experience smooth and unique. “To check if a page is effective, you need to look at the status of your homepage, product collections, whether product sheets are filled in correctly, whether there are no technical errors …”advises Margaux Mercadier. “At Oh My Cream, the bias was to ensure the digital experience was the same as the one offered in the store. And above all, make it as easy as possible for the customer. For this we have implemented a chat function. We also took care to detail the product sheets: text, visual images, explanatory videos… ”
And there is no need to create a gas plant! “A Web page it doesn’t have to be complex, continues Pierre Bougeard of La Poste. Above all, it must meet your needs and the needs of your customers. When starting your business, you can concentrate on key pages and important functionalities: presentation of the company, products and services it offers, contact form, payment tool, etc. You can then expand your website during your development. »
At Les Raffineurs, attention is also paid to the online user experience. “Usually the goal of the site is to optimize the conversion and thus reduce the time between the arrival of users on the site and the purchase. In Les Raffineurs and Les Petits Raffineurs it is quite the opposite, notes Jean-Baptiste Gauche. What we want is for people to spend time on our site, to indulge from one part to another and according to inspiration. Hence the importance of offering fluid navigation, consistent categories and catalogs of premium products. » Then, to conclude: “The e-commerce market is constantly evolving. Today’s answers will not necessarily be tomorrow’s answers. And above all, there are as many e-commerce strategies as there are business models, so it’s up to everyone to find the right balance. »
Maddyness, media partner of La Poste Pro