Society is changing its consumption habits and how it acquires goods and services. In parallel, companies adapt their marketing and distribution processes to new market dynamics. Having teams trained to manage eCommerce platforms and applications is a differential added value for companies. JD Duarte, a lifelong entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, breaks down how businesses can make this possible.
93.5% of regular Internet users – approximately 60% of the world's population – have already made online purchases. This highlights that one of the main reasons for this behavior lies in being able to do it at any time of the day and from the tranquility of their homes.
Since the pandemic, the possibility of maintaining social distancing is another reason that led people to lean towards eCommerce platforms when making their purchases. Although we must also take into account the aggressive promotions and discounts offered by many brands to those who acquire products and services in this way.
Explains Duarte, “The present nature of eCommerce is promising, especially in Argentina, where the highest growth in penetration was registered during 2020 globally, with an annual increase of 79% and an average daily turnover of $89.2 million.”
Looking ahead, the prospect of online sales growth is anticipated to be exponential. According to Nasdaq, by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be made on the Internet.
At a professional level, digital marketing and the development of customer experiences stand out among the five jobs with the highest demand linked to the digital field. While online customer service and the implementation of eCommerce platforms are among the 12 professions and trades that are most adapted to work in home office mode.
The first fundamental step is to have a deep knowledge of the context in which you are operating. This allows businesses to determine whether the products or services being offered are in actual demand online, see how competitors are operating, update knowledge about the sector, observe the consumption habits of potential customers and know what the objective reality of the market is.
These analyses improve a company's flexibility and transformation capacity, allowing it to adapt more quickly to changes. They also give them the opportunity to improve the company's ability to react to competitive actions, shield its market share and detect new business opportunities.
Taking into account the real investment possibilities, the type of business and the products or services that will be offered online, the characteristics of potential customers and their consumption habits, and the commercial prospects in the short and medium term, a decision must be made related to the way in which the online sales processes of a brand will be developed.
eCommerce platforms should also choose a hosting company that guarantees a good connection speed to achieve a good positioning in search engines, and that offers enough space to promote products or services. This is an indispensable aspect in this type of project, at least to have the company's website online, beyond the fact that eventually, the eCommerce platform used is hosted on the provider's servers.
When entering an online store, the customer should get a great experience, which starts with an easy and comfortable site to navigate. Users should be able to easily access a product catalog that is well presented and with detailed information. It is also important that they can find what they are looking for in a simple way, and incorporate images and videos to increase conversion.
Customer service, meanwhile, is one of the fundamental aspects linked to a positive shopping experience. Its proper management will allow solving problems in a faster and more consistent way, preventing them from growing in magnitude, and generate satisfaction in the consumer, loyalty.
Personalization is another aspect of maximum relevance. Adds Duarte, “The incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine learning to eCommerce platforms allows to anticipate the needs of consumers and know their tastes, preferences and needs, in real time.”
Inventory management means that the products offered must be ready and in stock for distribution, as soon as a purchase order is received, with a contingency plan in place in case problems arise during the process.
In this regard, the specialist recommends having a centralized inventory, with guaranteed minimum stock levels and a strategy that focuses on getting the oldest products (first to enter) to have sales priority (be the first to leave).
It should also have demand and contingency plans, and establish a prioritization of products to keep costs down, by identifying which should be requested more frequently due to the level of sales they generate.
Finally, consider implementing dropshipping. Instead of carrying the inventory to the retail company that markets certain products, the manufacturer retains and delivers said inventory to the end customer, eliminating costs to the retailer.
About Jose Daniel Duarte
JD Duarte is originally from Heredia, Costa Rica. He has been an entrepreneur and business owner for more than 20 years, and divides his time between his existing operations and researching new possibilities in which to invest. When he's not dedicating time to his businesses, he spends time with his supporting wife and two children.
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