Some People Excel At E-COMMERCE And Some Don't - Which One Are You?
Are you thinking of developing an e-commerce? It does not matter if your digital business is born from a "traditional" activity (like a clothing store, an alimentary shop etc.) or it is an entirely new company, in both cases, you will need to rethink and redesign the structure from scratch.
You will have to take into account:
- the resources that you will need in the different moments of the project development (financial, equipment, offices, suppliers, communication, internationalisation, logistics, technology, alliances etc.);
- the operations (who will you sell to, how are you going to do it, your cost structure, prices etc.);
- the scalability (it plans the growth from different angles, necessary technology, advice, objective markets, management and enrichment of the database etc.);
- the objectives and the metrics (KPIs). Benefits, cash flows, sales target, clients captured, converted clients, etc.
But let’s start from the beginning: a digital business and more specifically an e-commerce, is usually more productive than a traditional one (offline).
Why? Because when a company is digitalised, it gains productivity, since the speed of development and of the management is much higher. Plus, the required investments are usually lower than in a traditional business.
So, one of the essential requirements when starting an e-commerce and any other business is to conduct a market investigation to identify:
- what the competition is doing
- who does it better
- the tendencies in the market
- The points of strength and of weakness
A proper market investigation can help us differentiate our business with advantages not yet exploited and, if we achieve a crucial competitive difference, the launch, communication and promotion campaigns will be more successful and also cheaper.
A digital business can also count on the transparency of Internet: the Internet is like a book that tells the details of each of your competitors; everything is in the net.
The most important of an e-commerce is the communication with customers and therefore all channels must be open and running. Telephone lines (widely advertised especially in mobile commerce websites), chats, video conferences (case of telephones smart), email, WhatsApp or any of the alternatives of instant messaging must be always running. And, of course, the social media profiles of companies are gaining more and more relevance also regarding the customer service.
As you may know, there already are automated robots that perform customer service functions, and that learn to improve their function in order to save you time to invest in more productive activities.
In any case, whatever the business you own or you have in mind, the communication will be the key asset for you. Getting virality from your customers, suppliers, media and opinion leaders could save you significant investments in marketing.
Think about these examples: the iPhone, Whatsapp, Instagram and, more recently, Tesla Motors. They all took advantage of the virality coming from the public because their innovation was so unique that it disrupted the market!