28.06.2019

How to face the e-commerce challenge (and win it)

This article is dedicated to:

  • Those who are interested in starting up an e-commerce business.

  • Those who already have an e-commerce business up and running, but are unsatisfied with it or see the competition obtaining better results.

First, we have a bit to learn.

Today, e-commerce is not a temporary phenomenon or a fad. It has become a real strategic market where every day multiple players are in competition with one another and sometimes where they concentrate their sale target completely.

The report “Rapporto E-commerce in Italia” [Report on E-Commerce in Italy], which can be downloaded free of charge at this link entire document, is issued by Casaleggio Associati every year with very interesting facts and figures on the subject.

Last year, 40% of the world population bought online at least once.
The value of e-commerce retail around the world in 2018 was estimated at 2,875 billion dollars, up 12% from the previous year and equal to 11% of the total value of retail sales.

The value of e-commerce turnover in Italy in 2018 was estimated at 41.5 billion euros with a growth of 18% over 2017.
There are an estimated 38 million online consumers, accounting for 62% of the population, and by 2023, this number should rise to 41 million. In Italy, the smartphone is used a lot more by online shoppers than in the rest of Europe.

Among platforms, marketplaces, crowdfunding and communities, it is increasingly difficult to create your own market segment or more importantly become a point of reference in the sector.

To survive in the jungle of e-commerce, at least two important factors must be put into play: a good strategy and a platform capable of properly supporting it.

Given the great number of players and the extensive range of commodity sectors involved in e-commerce, it is impossible to create general and effective rules that can be applied to everyone.
Every business must be analyzed separately, in accordance with its products, target, logistics, competitors, territory and, of course, budget 😊

So, entering the e-commerce world is not as simple as preparing a website or adding your profile to some marketplace (like Amazon).
It is necessary to enroll the support and advice of a specialist, who can guide you in the choice of the best tools and solutions needed to maximize your investment.

Software, of course, plays a very important role.

Online platforms like Shopify, open source systems like PrestaShop, plugins like WooCommerce of WordPress, and portals like Amazon and eBay, are all popular solutions, because they allow for the rapid creation of an e-commerce site, where it is possible to start immediately selling without any particular skillset.
Each one of these solutions could be appropriate for your own business, but only at the very beginning.

The poor performance in terms of speed will contribute, over time, to penalizing your presence on SERP.
As the catalogue expands and becomes bigger, the website becomes less efficient, while new updates on the theme or of the plugins of these platforms might damage the customization done on the website, ecc.

Therefore, in order to stand out from your competitors and avoid the “fight to undersell the competition”, it is necessary to develop an original, effective and performing product through:

  • A customised CMS.

  • Well-designed and advantageous functions created for the specific product type.

  • Choice of marketing channels suitable for your business strategy.

  • Ability to independently monitor your own performance and accordingly change your sales strategy.

This allows complex catalogues to be realised, the e-commerce site to be linked to existing managerial software, or the catalogue and the clientele to be diversified in accordance with specific parameters.
In other words, it allows you to come the boss of your very own e-commerce business.

Does it seem little to you?

Riccardo Piccioni

 

 

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