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General information on eCommerce

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Inhaltsverzeichnis

eCommerce, a second pillar alongside the point of sale!

COVID has made eCommerce and online marketing even more important. Whether in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer sector. Anyone who has not yet ventured into the digital world or is still cautious is offered help with simple, effective measures and tools.

The first important steps in eCommerce are always

Defining the target group and goals

The most important question – whether online or offline: “Who is my target group?” Specifically with regard to eCommerce, this means: Can the target group even be reached online? Are they even interested in an eShop? Can you reach different target groups online with your products and services than before?

Other important questions are:

a)What are suitable products and/or services?

b)How can these be successfully marketed (incl. search engine optimization)?

c)Which tools are best suited for this?

d)And of course: test, test, test (again and again)

Product and/or service

Which products or services are suitable for digital presentation? How must the product range or service be adapted so that it can be used digitally? How do you present which goods/services online? Which internal and external processes are necessary for this?

Assortment and products

How large is the online range? In the beginning, you can start with just one part. For example, start with 20 products or a handful of services – and then gradually expand or increase. Think big, start small!

All important offer and product details must be available online. Customers expect all questions about the product to be answered. Complete product information also makes it easier for customers to find the right product. And the most important questions about the product or service are covered by the FAQ function (FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions).

Online pure or multichannel?

A strategic question is: Do you make an online-only store without a comparable offer in-store? Or are you supplementing or extending your in-store offering with online offerings?

Depending on your future goals, business model and target group, this decision is easy to make and implement.

Payment

Offering the right payment methods is also very important. The buyer must feel secure. It is therefore important to display one of several “trust badges”, for example, in order to convey seriousness and maintain the customer’s trust.

There are many options for online payment: PayPal, credit card, invoice and a few more. Here too, different procedures or methods should be selected depending on the target group. It rarely has to be all the methods available on the market.

Logistics and shipping

The topic of shipping and logistics is unfortunately often underestimated. Which suppliers do you work with? How do you keep the products in stock? How do you manage your warehouses? To put it simply, there are 3 classic solutions:

a)100% own warehouse

b)X% own warehouse +y% supplier’s warehouse

c)0% own warehouse + 100% supplier’s warehouse

All variants make sense depending on the circumstances. It is important that there are few dependencies and that you are not faced with a wave of costs in the long term.

When shipping the goods, it must be clarified which packaging, postage, delivery costs etc. are calculated. Are these charged separately to the customer? Or are they included in the product price?

Are there minimum order values? What are the general terms of payment and delivery? How are promotions deviated from in order to achieve a higher response?

“The American Dream”

Another question needs to be clarified in the context of the advertising budget: Do you want to offer and ship worldwide, nationally or regionally (example: Click& Collect, delivery service). If “only” digital services are offered, worldwide is not a problem. If goods have to be shipped or services are carried out by staff at the customer’s premises, the situation is different.

In general, the tip is: It is better to start regionally, because the advertising budget for global and national advertising is usually used up quickly and the company has no air to breathe.

Everyone should therefore ask themselves the general question: Does the corner store also have to send its tea to New York and pay high shipping costs for it?

Key figures and controlling

Key figures are absolutely essential for managing development and growth. In addition to newsletter registrations and visitors, conversion to purchasing customers is also an important key figure in eCommerce.

Of course, classic CRM key figures (RFMR) are elementary: How often does the customer buy in a year? How long does the customer relationship last? How many one-time buyers are there who have not ordered for 6 months? And so we are

Good things take time: it takes time for an online store to be successful.

Many companies are now considering taking the necessary step towards digitalization. However, this does not change the fact that your (potential) customers must first learn and understand that you now have an online store. Communicate with your customers and use every channel to make them aware that you can now be found in the digital world.

This means testing as much and as often as possible! And don’t blow your advertising budget too quickly. Instead, advertise again and again, then serve the reactions, make sales and then start all over again. The learning loop, an important tip at the end.

Conclusion:

In consulting and in our lectures, we notice this time and again. Too little is invested in the definition of target groups. The goals are vague and the customer is confronted with an unfinished store too soon. Better to build up small and fine, slowly. The organization, i.e. your employees, must be capable of working in this new field. To do this, you should set up an experimental laboratory model, including a culture of error.

We have over 30 years of eCommerce experience. We know the levers and adjusting screws for the above parameters.

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