The possibility of offering and selling one’s products and services online has become extremely pressing in the year of the Coronavirus. Between lockdowns and limitations, traders in transversal sectors and industries found themselves in the position of having to recalibrate their business in compliance with new logics that, in many cases, had never really been taken into consideration until that moment.
If, on the one hand, the advent of digital has revolutionized the world for over two decades, changing our human relationships and in many cases also the business, a shock as strong as that of 2020 has never been seen before . To date, with the COVID-19 pandemic not yet under control, maintaining traditional commercial methods, which focus everything on the in-store and the one-to-one relationship between merchant and customer, is extremely problematic at best and almost impossible at worst.
That’s why getting your store online and maintaining a good digital presence can make a real difference. Digitizing your business can, in fact, help it not disappear – as tragically has happened to many companies over the past twelve months – if not even increase its earnings.
However, it is important to move in the correct way , possibly relying on marketers and expert consultants in order to create a strategy tailored to each business , which knows how to identify both the most effective online tools to maximize performance and the budget to be allocated, and the actions . operational to be undertaken that the messages to communicate.
Transporting your business into the digital world is not easy and, of course, requires the investment of time and resources. But what you can start doing is take a look at what in our experience are the key points of a successful digital transformation .
Digital transformation: first of all, companies are held back by the fear of change
What tends to hold back many of the companies that decide to embark on a digital transformation process is, in most cases, a deep fear of change . In fact, Digital Transformation means a complex project that not only involves the inclusion of digital technologies in one’s business, but also a set of organizational, cultural, social, creative and managerial changes : this is precisely why we speak of ” revolution “.
The difficulty in acquiring the right mindset to face these changes is what, before the COVID-19 pandemic, pushed many businesses to procrastinate and postpone the work of Digital Transformation.
Until change became synonymous with keeping your business afloat .
Now that this process can no longer be postponed in any way , let’s see together how best to proceed to acquire the right “set-up”, especially from a strategic point of view .
Define a path and take it
The first step in getting your shop online is to have a very clear idea of what you want to do: what do you want to sell? How do you want to do it? How do you intend to generate business? Does your business also include services? How do you intend to deliver them?
Asking specific questions and identifying the answers will allow you to define a direction to follow , calibrating your subsequent actions accordingly.
In the preliminary phase, you will also need to carefully define some variables that are crucial to the success of the project:
- The initial investment
- The time available
- The real feasibility of the project
- The value that differentiates you from your competitors
- The possible and concrete profitability
Plan each action through a business plan
From the name of the domain to be purchased up to that, if any, of the business (in case you want to start a new activity), the drafting of a strategic business plan will be the bible to use as a reference for defining operational protocols, models and processes to be implemented . once the business has started.
Not only that: the business plan will also allow you to translate your ideas into numbers , based on the different discriminants that will influence your potential profit. These include:
- Your target audience : i.e. the type of audience (consumer) your product or service is intended for, its average purchasing power (i.e. how much it is willing to spend).
- The potential market : that is, your goals in terms of turnover and performance, defining which ones will be synonymous with success according to the audience and the market niche of your interest.
- The marketing plan : since the digital marketplace is now extremely populated with companies, and therefore the demand is lower than the demand, your online store must necessarily be promoted through advertising campaigns and effective communication tools. The marketing plan can be exclusively online or multi-channel, also taking into consideration offline tools.
- Technological resources : from hosting to server, from CRM to CMS, from website to e-commerce, defining from the beginning which tools will be crucial for the success of your online store will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises in the course of Opera.
- The work team : will you be alone in managing your business or will you have collaborators available to help you? What will they do? What tasks will they take on and how will these operations work in synergy to make your online business fluid and functional? These are also fundamental parameters to be taken into account.
- The financial plan : carefully define not only the starting budget but also the investment plan in the short, medium and long term, so as not to be caught unprepared during the first, crucial months of activity, when the earnings could be less than what was budgeted.
Once you have strategically defined and built your online store , your business can start its business on the web .
However, the project does not end there and, indeed, it is only at the beginning . Even putting aside the natural and physiological period of adaptation that you will experience in the first months of business, it is good that you are ready to deal effectively with customer management .
Keep in mind that most online businesses don’t fail because of poor product quality or because people don’t buy, but because they can’t manage themselves properly from a logistics and customer care point of view .
Especially in digital commerce , users require not only good products and services, but also timely delivery, fast shipping, technical and consultancy support, speed in replying and solving problems . In practice, they have become accustomed to a purchasing system that does not harm them but instead always favors their requests .
If you can tackle this important phase of your business as well, then there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be successful.