Forced to close overnight due to closure, some companies that are absent from the internet have experienced that their revenues have been reduced to nothing. Faced with the urgency of the situation, entrepreneurs and retailers decided to launch this famous digital change. “In France, we saw an increase of almost + 40% on the PrestaShop e-commerce site during the first closure, corresponding to + 4,500 new stores. ” reveals Alexandre Eruimy, CEO PrestaShopIt is about all kinds of companies, small and medium enterprises, ETI, even large groups, such as Carrefour. “The health crisis has allowed companies to make a breakthrough of several years in terms of digitalization“, Notes the executive director.
The government itself became aware of the delays of French companies in this area and launched a campaign to raise awareness and support. Since the first closure, it has been announced by the Ministry of Economy list of partners offers great deals to launch your ecommerce site and now offers a financial aid of 500 euros under certain conditions. PrestaShop, which is mentioned on this list, has developed an initial package that includes ” ten basic modules for designing an online store: billing (payment), operator management module, legal notices, GDPR, click and billing… ” , explains Alexandre Eruimy. Other offers complement this package to enhance the customer experience.
Far from being a simple twist in the case of closing physical shops, e-commerce is “a real relay for growth and recovery after the crisis ” , emphasizes Alexandre Eruimy. Provided you choose the right ingredients and avoid a few mistakes.
1 / Do not start without preparation
You don’t start building a house without first making plans. It’s the same with your online presence. It is necessary to structure the offer, ie. identify your target, both in terms of size and experience. To find the answers to this question, it is important to study your market, evaluate the competition and think about the connection you want to weave 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 connected and give to each other. ” , insists the CEO of PrestaShop. Your online integration can also be an opportunity to test new projects such as dropshipping (which consists of becoming an intermediary between the wholesaler and your customer). Alexandre Eruimy also warns against taking into account the factors of internationalization. This dimension is important because the chosen solution must enable the creation of sites in multiple languages and offer appropriate means of payment.
These considerations will allow you to set your ambitions and thus determine the tools, support, internal mobilization and budget necessary to carry out your project. You can then choose to use a service provider or start this business yourself. If you call a professional, pay attention to the services offered, especially in terms of support, costs and maintenance. In both cases, Alexandre Eruimy advises you to follow a training course because “it is the merchant who will manage his site and he must master its operation. »
2 / Set the structure of your website
Now you are ready to start creating your site. Once you tackle the software, it’s time to “define the digital identity of your brand, ie design (theme or store template), integration of logos, colors, typography, not forgetting the page “o””. Once these foundations are laid, it’s time to make your own catalog. You will need to specify categories and upload your products in each of them before creating product sheets. Pay attention to their clarity and attractiveness. This is followed by a choice of payment methods and delivery methods that depend on each country. During the captivity, “companies favor clicking and collecting and integrating new transport suppliers ” to meet the needs of its customers, notes Alexandre Eruimy. While the French prefer to pay by credit card or PayPal, the Germans prefer to pay for their purchases by bank transfer or invoice. To comply with the law, you must also add legal notices, GCS, cookie management on your website. List of these bonds is available on the government website.
CRM and inventory management modules are also available to manage the flow of orders and your customer service. Your own solutions can also be integrated into your e-commerce software. Your site is finally ready to receive your first orders.
3 / Secure your traffic
Having a nice site is good, having clients is better! In order to attract consumers, stores are decorated with beautiful shop windows where their products stand out. The strategy is identical on the web. Several levers can be operated to gain visibility. You will first need to work on your referencing (SEO) through keyword, title and content analysis. This operation should be linked to a paid marketing strategy that includes advertising on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest depending on your sector of activity) and on Google search as well as Google Shopping. Don’t neglect any part of sending emails, taking care not to send spam to your potential customers.
To increase conversions, bet on ratings, reviews and chat to support your future customers in their buying process. Update the content you offer on your website regularly. Several companies are opting for a blog format that includes articles on topics related to their products, such as beard care, autumn clothing trends, small room furniture, etc.
4 / Implement a global marketing strategy
To animate your site and your online presence, you can train or choose to delegate this task to an internal team specializing in that topic. Even if you are accompanied by a service provider, Alexandre Eruimy advises that “designate internally the person who will be their privileged contact in order to facilitate exchanges ”.
A website should not be considered another store that is completely separate from your physical outlets. On the contrary, it is a supplement that can bring you physical traffic. On your website, do not hesitate to integrate the location of your physical stores, their opening hours, to indicate whether delivery is possible in the store, if you offer a click and download or refund in the store. This information reduces barriers for consumers.
You can also highlight your physical network through promotional logic, gift vouchers or loyalty spaces. “You should not differentiate between digital and physical for this type of offer because the customer wants a flawless experience, no matter the sales channel. ” , warns Alexandre Eruimy. Therefore, your site must be a guide for guiding and informing your customers. Indication of stocks available directly in each store is even more important in key periods such as Christmas when everyone wants to be sure they have a gift to put under the Christmas tree. This brings us back to the problem of inventory management.
5 / Ensure inventory management
Just like in stores, lack of inventory is often synonymous with failed sales. There are several ways to effectively manage your inventory. You can choose to automatically place orders with your suppliers when your inventory reaches a minimum number or as soon as 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 inventory and e-commerce allows you to offer better visibility to your customers. You will be able to tell them whether the product is available in the store or not, but also offer them to be warned as soon as you replenish your stock.
6 / Mistakes to avoid
Before allowing you to deal with the internet, Alexandre Eruimy warns of a few mistakes that can be costly. The first would be to underestimate the investment in time, staff and financial conditions that such an approach can cost you. For the “basic” site, count from a few thousand euros to several tens or even hundreds of thousands for more comprehensive services and more advanced or complex needs.
Don’t consider your website an independent store, but think of it as one of the pieces of the global puzzle to offer your customers a unique journey. Consider the different channels through which they will reach your site, ie their computer, but also your smartphone. The interface must be optimized for each portal.
Last piece of advice from the CEO of PrestaShop: think about your development in France, but also internationally. At a time when borders are closed, at least let your products travel!
Maddyness media partner of PrestaShop