The Emergency in Rethinking eCommerce

The launch of an ecommerce platform comes with challenges that go far beyond ensuring the integration of images, prices and descriptions of each product sold online. Indeed, this shift has a direct impact on the company’s operations, distribution, even accounting. There is no surprise in seeing many companies linger on that big jump. On the other hand, online spending increases every year, mainly profiting Amazon and Walmart. We’re strongly convinced that there is an emergency for companies to leap forward and go online. We want to help in their transition to the online market. Here is an overview of strategies recommended by our team for the creation and implementation of ecommerce platforms.

Leverage Distributors

Companies distributing through a network of outlets often find it touchy to start selling online and compete with that network by selling directly to consumers. In many cases however, this network can be used wisely. The manufacturer can sell online and delegate order management to its distributors. This way, he doesn’t have to take charge of the shipping logistic, and increases his partners’ sales rather than compete with them. The commission taken on every sale allows him to increase its revenues as well. The sales division can be automated on the ecommerce platform by the use of geolocation or tailored business rules.

Learn to Walk Before Signing Up for the Marathon

If Amazon is the obvious benchmark in ecommerce, there is no need for a wide selection of products, personalized offers and an affiliate program at the very launch of your platform. On the contrary, starting with a lesser offer can help you in the management of your new model as long as you make enough revenues to ensure a profitable platform. Thus, you can limit your platform offer to a certain number of products and a payment solution. Your platform can grow with your gain of knowledge and experience in ecommerce management.

Manage Expectations

This has to be the most important tip. Indeed, you can start doing ecommerce with a simplified model to facilitate its implementation, but you need to be transparent with your clients. It’s okay to limit shipping to two days a week, but you need to make it clear on your website. This way, you manage expectations and avoid fostering frustration towards shipment delays. The same thing applies if you think you need to charge customers with shipping fees.

The important thing is to be honest and clear about every detail or limit of your offer.

Use Your Customer Service to Offset Shortfalls

Nothing beats a good customer service when it comes to managing expectations. An employee who is dedicated to the customers’ satisfaction will ensure those facing a disappointment in regards to a functionality that you may not have included on your platform end up with an alternative solution. This employee may as well manage potential frustration coming from the absence of real-time inventory or from an item being out of stock.

Once more, the idea is to work hand in hand with your clients.

And Then, What’s Next?

Several methods and tips exist to facilitate your migration to an ecommerce platform. If the acquisition strategy and the choice of the technological platform are major milestones, we go way beyond this with the platforms we develop. Indeed, we also accompany our clients with the integration of their present management system and with the revision of their operational processes. So, why wait to jump in?

 

Author

Max Trudel, Digital Business Strategy Director