fundamental keys and instruments for a profitable e-commerce technique

Can you tell us in a few words about your origins?

Hi, my name is Nicolas J. Chevalier and I am the founder of E-Commerce Nation. I like to define myself as an e-commerce researcher on a daily basis, as this area is evolving on a daily basis and you need to be constantly on the lookout to understand new challenges.

Since the beginning of my career, I have been immersed in digital business and I am passionate about the development of e-commerce. Since I was 20, I have loved creating web projects. In 2012, I decided to join Rocket Internet in Germany (Zalando, eDarling, Groupon) and developed a startup promotional code in the French market: Global Saving Group. In 2015, I embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure with E-Commerce Nation, to found the first e-commerce community in Europe.

Today, E-Commerce Nation generates more than one million euros, is present in the 5 largest European markets and has 20 employees. As an e-commerce coach, I follow many professionals within the E-Commerce Nation Academy program. Our mission is to lead companies towards more sustainable e-commerce: more respect for the environment and current issues.

What impact has the health crisis had on e-commerce? And what are the new challenges for retailer websites?

The health crisis has changed many attitudes toward the digital world. Whether it is the growing activity of launching online orders for pure player players, e-commerce today is no longer an additional channel for companies, but in fact a strategic axis of development. The challenge for the most mature structures is to specifically balance their share of traffic between physical and digital in order to reduce their economic risks over time.

E-commerce today is an activity that is doing very well in the context of health crises. For smaller companies, the possibility of e-commerce is emphasized by access to numerous online platforms (markets, social networks, CMS SaaS, among others). Coming out of this crisis, I also think that the challenge of developing greener, more sustainable e-commerce has become a reality in order to find meaning in business models.

What are the keys to a successful e-commerce strategy?

In one year, we followed more than 250 e-retailers as part of our training and we clearly follow success models. There are two axes: the operational axis and the cultural axis.

On the operating axis: The first step we see is that you have clear goals for your business. These targets are generally at 6 months and 1 year well defined in terms of turnover or turnover. Following these elements, we can define behind us the key indicators for achieving the goals, such as the conversion rate, the cost of procurement and strategic leverage. At the same time, understanding your market is also an element of success. Understanding your goal (his personality) and strong trends in your sector means that the company is able to anticipate opportunities for growth.

On the cultural axis: we note that the agility of structures is necessary to understand new skills. Regular training, testing new tools, meeting peers, regular monitoring, are part of the habits that need to be integrated into its structure, to stay on the move to face future challenges.

Ultimately, successful e-marketers are those who manage to formulate a clear action plan for the year with skills needs ahead of their goals.

Which social platforms have become key today when launching an online store and why?

In the BtoC markets, platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are powerful levers for many companies. However, it is important to give priority to its development on certain axes so as not to scatter across all the levers of communication. I usually recommend analyzing your competition to identify the most popular platforms among your competitors. Get inspired by these best practices and take advantage of your competitors ’learning curve. Today, all consumers want to get in touch and develop stronger connections than just a commercial connection.

What are the basic tools for managing your business and online sales?

I recommend 5 basic tools for understanding your online activities. These tools have free functionality to access samples of strategic data for implementing e-commerce strategies:

  • Facebook Audience Insightto understand their market and its personality,
  • Similarwebfor competitive analysis of web channels,
  • SEMrushto analyze traffic and understand its references and advertisements,
  • HubSpotto understand your audience and personalize your user experience,
  • AMZ Scoutto analyze the prices of many products on Amazon (this allows for an express price study even if you are not selling on the platform).

Discover platforms for creating and managing an e-commerce site

Doesn’t the proliferation of tools on the market pose a risk of counterproductiveness in developing an e-commerce strategy? What would you advise e-merchants?

First you need to know how to choose the key indicators for your activity. Quality, not quantity in your choice. It is better to have 5 relevant data than 20 data. Regarding these indicators, then I will be able to review the reports and operational tools to achieve my goals. For example, I aim to reach 10,000 visits via SEO: so I will track my traffic through Google Analytics and study with SEMrush to see what opportunities exist for content on other keywords to earn more traffic.

I really recommend that you choose 5 quantified goals: 1 in terms of sales, 1 second in terms of conversion, traffic, email acquisition, and finally 1 shopping cart goal, for example.

What do you think are the e-commerce trends to follow?

I think many companies will focus on e-commerce, so the level of expertise will increase significantly in the next few years. The issue of skills and training will therefore be crucial. Today, the aspect of code-free platforms and SaaS platforms also allow for an increasing democratization of access to online sales: this will have repercussions on website creation and the brilliant growth of new players. I am really looking forward to seeing how e-commerce will develop and I hope that the trend of sustainable e-commerce will be an integral part of the next few years. This is our belief, at least within the e-commerce nation.

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