It is important to understand that eCommerce is not simply having a web page. An eCommerce involves many efforts for your company and very valuable resources such as time and money. First of all, let’s understand that not every business needs to be an eCommerce.
There are different ways to sell online, if your business is not ready to have an online store yet, I suggest you look for an alternative such as a marketplace, digital trade marketing, or digital distributors.
If you want to create your virtual store, you should know that it is a circular process that, as Álvaro Ramírez (Country manager of Vtex Chile) shows, involves: Digital Merchandising, Sales, delivery, and Service.
For this, we must begin by analyzing the environment.
First Steps of an eCommerce
It is important to understand very well the strengths and weaknesses that your company has, in terms of its financial situation, the delivery of its logistics capacity, the human talent that will build the eCommerce, the digital assets that will serve as content for the page, and the service that you must provide customers (this, starting from the point that there is a successful product or service).
«It is important to understand very well the strengths and weaknesses that your company has» Similarly, it is important to understand the external context, that is, how my competitors are doing. If after doing this analysis, we conclude that we want to build an eCommerce, we move on to the next step.
Define the profile of your eCommerce consumer:
There are several types of sales through eCommerce.
These are B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to consumer), C2B (Consumer to business), and C2C (Consumer to consumer).
In addition to defining this, we must know that the profile of your traditional consumer is not necessarily the same as that of your online consumer. For example, it is possible that due to logistics costs, an additional fee is charged for the address.
If this is the case, your online consumer should have a slightly higher purchasing power.
Choose a Hosting service :
Kristen Higgs indicates that normally when we talk about the web, eCommerce, and the internet, we do not think about physical space, however, if necessary.
All web pages need to store data. This storage occurs on a server and serves, among other things, so that the performance in terms of data capacity, reaction time, quality, and quantity of content is optimal.
That is why it is important to know what will be the hosting service or servers that you hire to ensure the operation of your eCommerce while spending only what is necessary for this service.
Adopt a technology platform:
The concept of a technology platform is quite broad. In this case, we refer to a technology service that allows optimizing a set of simple or complex functions within an eCommerce.
Depending on the platform used, functionalities such as menus, the type of navigation, advertising spaces, and the ability to perform different actions such as offer settings, combos, types of product views will change.
There are currently a wide variety of platforms with different characteristics.
To make a decision you must take into account the level of service (24-hour service), administration cost, the complexity of use, implementation time, among others. We could even skip step 4 and adopt a platform that includes extensive cloud storage.
Some recognized platforms in Latin America are Vtex, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Prestashop. »To make the decision it is important that the provider adjusts to your needs.»
Select a Payment Gateway:
According to Ecommerce Platforms, a payment gateway is:
“The software that facilitates a transaction by communicating transaction information and in this sense of the word is applied to the equivalent of a physical point of sale found in points of sale ”.
In short, it is an intermediary that allows a user to pay within an online store.
When choosing a payment gateway it is important to take into account its security and its support, the cost of integration of the gateway, which allows making payments through a mobile device, the cost per transaction that is represented in a sales fee, anti-fraud system, and good support that is 24/7. The most recognized payment gateways in Latin America are PayU, MercadoPago, Paypal, 2Checkout, Redsys, among others.
Another form of payment is through credit or debit cards using systems such as PSE (Secure Online Payments).
According to Ayrton Boldt, a good delivery experience is the backbone of the success of an eCommerce business.
This makes a lot of sense since this is an extremely sensitive part for the consumer as it demonstrates the level of service of the business.
The factors that we must take into account are:
- How are we going to deliver the product? It is important to be able to recreate a traditional shopping experience, that is, that the user can receive the product the same as they would buy it in a physical store. For example, if it is a cold perishable product, we must know how to preserve the cold chain so that the product arrives in optimal conditions.
- How long will the product or service arrive? The most important thing about this element is that you always fulfill your delivery promise and that it is logical. If you are going to sell a plumbing service, it does not make sense for the delivery to be in 30 days because the user probably needs it urgently.
- Tracking: The customer needs to know where their product is so they can feel peace of mind about delivery.
- Customer service: This is crucial, if something happens with the order, there must be a team trained to resolve this type of recurrence and it must do so with a proactive, friendly, and above all, decisive attitude.
Pre, during, and after-sales services:
For the customer to be satisfied, they must feel an accompaniment throughout the sale.
It is good that you can get advice on the part before your purchase, this can be done through human resources that attend virtual lines or telephone, it could also be done through a bot.
The accompaniment during the sale is also relevant to guide the consumer towards the purchase and be attentive to any inconvenience that may arise.
Finally, contact with the customer is a very powerful tool to build loyalty. We can do this through satisfaction surveys, communications thanking you for your purchase, offering advice, or simply offering complimentary articles.
“Remember to always measure this type of effort to understand how your business is doing in the eyes of your customers.”
Creating an eCommerce is not an easy task, but it is not impossible either. Like any business, you must strive for the results to be positive. Perform the necessary diagnostics and you will be ready to embark on this great adventure in the world of electronic sales.