Over the past seven years, the number of e-Commerce stores in Poland has grown by 50%. PwC’s analyses predict a further annual average growth of 12% until 2026. The dynamic development of competition made it necessary for companies to enter the world of e-Commerce. Not every business is prepared for the upcoming changes. Alicja Słoma talks about how to best implement an online store for B2C and B2B brands in the context of the automotive industry.
The dominance of e-Commerce over traditional trade is deepening year by year. For all industries, including automotive, combining online sales with offline sales is becoming the standard. This article describes five points that are worth paying attention to when implementing an e-Commerce platform in your company.
At Hicron, we begin every e-Commerce project by taking a good look at your current business models and how your company operates. At this stage, our experts analyze business processes, on the basis of which the project concept will be developed and the recommended technology will be selected.
The key factor here is the logic of business processes and mechanisms inside the company, but also checking and evaluating data from the market and competitors. This approach leads to the definition of specific goals and development of an effective advantage. Combining the company strategy with a well-thought-out e-Commerce implementation project allows you to avoid mistakes that could prove costly and cause delays at a later stage.
During the initial stage, apart from focusing on business analysis, it is important to carefully analyze user behavior. Take a closer look at both the employees and customers, so that the implemented changes are tailored to their needs and the transition to the new platform runs smoothly.
Once we know exactly what the company needs and work out the business goals, we can choose the e-Commerce platform. Especially in the case of B2B sales, we are dealing with very specific and extensive purchasing processes. It then becomes important to be able to take into account the unique conditions for individual business partners.
The modifiability of the system is no less important for B2C dealing with direct sales to target customers. Varying prices for specific customer groups or introducing different payment options can lead, for example, to increased convenience and thus higher conversion rates.
Therefore, when implementing an online store, we can rarely afford to use a ready-made, boxed solution. Even if the product has specific native functions, they will not always be tailored to the company’s needs. In this case it becomes necessary to customize the software and modify it for a unique business process. Sometimes there are so many necessary changes that it is better to opt for development from scratch, the so-called full custom.
In the context of system flexibility, it is important not only to be able to modify its functions, but also to enable users to make changes themselves. In the case of e-Commerce, this will include content management and updating offers without the need to involve developers, but also dynamic responses to consumer behavior.
E-Commerce around the world
If you are thinking about bringing your business to the global market, when choosing a platform it is important to take into account its adaptability to different languages, but also to varying tax conditions and legal requirements.
The translation itself may cause additional difficulties, so it is worth paying a lot of attention to this process. You have to take into account the customs and culture of the given countries, which is sometimes associated with remodeling the entire interface, e.g. in the case of Arab countries, where you read from right to left.
Reliability of the online store
When choosing an e-Commerce platform, special attention should be paid to its reliability. The system should be stable and the ordering process should be as secure as possible. The platform should run smoothly even during periods of increased traffic and higher number of transactions e.g. during sales.
During an online store implementation, it may be a good idea to use separate databases for e.g. product data and checkouts. This will isolate functions and give us the ability to use them optimally and respond more effectively and quickly when problems arise. Modular stores also enable adding new functionalities at a later stage of store development without any major difficulties.
Omnichannel is a sales strategy that uses all available channels to present an offer to the customer and persuade them to make a purchase. When using it, it is critical to maintain a consistent shopping experience for customers, so when choosing an e-Commerce solution, it is important that it supports conversion using every channel. In this way, regardless of the chosen form, location, or store, we build a consistent experience and a distinct brand image for the customer.
We observe the ever-growing share of the mobile channel, which in 2021 was already responsible for 60-80% of traffic in e-Commerce. Hence the term “mobile first” in the context of creating online stores. It assumes that the design of a platform should start with its version for mobile devices. Such an assumption is to lead to the best possible adaptation of the functionality of the solution to the needs of mobile users.
It is important to choose a platform that allows you to optimize the store for any device using fully scalable templates.
User Experience – customers and employees
The concept of User Experience has become a permanent fixture in design and business. When implementing an online store, it is important to consider both the comfort of the customers and the people working in the system.
A well-designed online store allows you to include a variety of content formats, e.g. banners, videos. Attractive visuals improve the shopping experience for customers, and a good category structure makes products easier to find. The interface should be programmed to be easy to use for employees and consumers. The persons managing product descriptions should be able to update them quickly and plan content for the future.
The effectiveness of an online store can be increased by designing it according to the preferences of its users.
Additional benefits of implementing e-Commerce for B2B and B2C
There are a number of benefits resulting from the implementation of e-Commerce for business:
- increased reach and access to a wider group of customers
- higher efficiency thanks to the automation of e.g. payments, invoicing systems
- sales from anywhere and anytime
- saved time and money, e.g. by shipping from multiple locations
- effective inventory management, e.g. thanks to automatic notification of low stock levels
- easier management of drop shipping
- greater efficiency by tailoring the shopping experience to individual customer needs
- integrations with other systems (CRM, ERP) in the company centralize the flow of information and thus improve data flow.