1/ Create your site yourself
“The Internet offers an enormous toolbox for companies looking to build a
e-commerce activity. There are a range of solutions that can be implemented. The advantage is that many of them are accessible, including for companies without
good investment capacity. This is the case, for example, in markets that
allow a VSE to offer itself a terrific showcase on the internet »recalls Marc Lolivier, Fevad delegate.
Whatever your project, it’s a safe bet that you don’t need to spend a fortune paying a development agency. Many powerful tools exist online and will allow you to get your hands dirty: “It’s important to understand how your site works before you launch it, and there’s nothing better than building it yourself,” said David Flak, founder of Start The F Up. He added: “The main thing is to have the right products that meet the right people”.
Amazon also recently launched its Digital Accelerator, a completely free and comprehensive training for entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online. Benjamin Duvauchel, who successfully runs a business creating things thanks to his 3D printers, remarkably followed this training program. He learned how to build his online store, but also the basics of online marketing, thanks to training sessions, webinars and testimonials from entrepreneurs.
2/ Appreciate your first customers
“In e-commerce, there is tradeDavid Flak recalls, so we must make sure that we are as close as possible to our customers, especially in the launch ». Once you’ve placed your first orders, call your “early adopters” to get initial feedback. “There’s nothing better at launch than calling customers to find out what worked and what didn’t”explains the founder of Start The F Up before adding: “You have to understand what your customers want”.
“I often see entrepreneurs tell me that customers don’t understand such and such about their product yet, and that I bet they will later. Spoiler: It doesn’t work that way », David Flak smiled. If they feel listened to, your customers will be your best ambassadors, and for that, a saying: “A customer should never be happy. He must be very happy.”
“Digital technology has become an important lever for development because it meets the new expectations of consumers. Our large trading companies have understood this. They have invested heavily, and successfully, in the digitalization of their offer. No reason to leave VSEs and SMEs by the wayside”recalls Marc Lolivier.
3/ All for traffic
“These are the roots of the war, summarizes David Flak, in every possible way, you have to generate traffic to your store and to your products”. It’s a virtuous circle: the more visits your website has, the more credible it will be considered by search engines, and the more customers you’ll have later.
To do this, you have a choice between different methods. The classic way: generate traffic by paying for advertising (Google, Instagram, Facebook, etc.), or by partnering with influencers in your sector of activity, for example. This method is very effective for quickly generating traffic, but it remains very expensive and, above all, very short-lived.
By choosing to sell your products on Amazon, you are choosing a very broad and above all solid exposure. Companies that have made this choice are successful: there are now more than 13,000 French VSEs and SMEs on Amazon. In 2021, they sold more than 85 million products and achieved more than 600 million euros in export sales.
To boost your sales, you can also bet on an “organic” acquisition. Creating content for your site can boost your SEO and gradually improve your search engine rankings. Especially since you can present your content on your social networks, and build a loyal and engaged community. Don’t neglect the importance of mobilizing around you a community of customers who share your values: “Great stories often start with men and women who already have their community and use it to launch their brand”explained David Flak.
4/ The brand, the brand, the brand
“I often hear entrepreneurs tell me that what differentiates them is that they get a smaller margin than their competitors, but that’s not a difference”, David regretted. To distinguish yourself, it is important to create your brand, with its values, its history and its vision. Your success therefore depends on a solid marketing plan. “Why do people buy Nike sneakers for 120 euros? To have a shoelace », recalls David Flak. Recently, shoe manufacturers such as Veja or Fago have been able to demonstrate the strength of their brand, by communicating their ecological values and their environmental production methods.
Same logic for your products: find your “little something extra”, and introduce it by all means!
5/ Don’t wait any longer!
“If you’re not ashamed of your product, it’s because you launched it late”, David Flak joked. Explanation: many entrepreneurs wait for their product to be perfect before jumping in at the deep end. Laudable intentions, but mistrust: “During the launch, we are still in the learning phase, you won’t know everything from the beginning, but the faster you launch, the faster you learn”he recalled.
Marc Lolivier also emphasized the importance of visibility and the implementation of a digital strategy. “Overnight, its offer will be visible to millions of Internet users. All this at a lower cost and with a very limited financial risk because the value of this exposure depends on the number of sales made in the market. Of course, marketplaces aren’t just for internet start-ups. They are also often used in addition to an e-commerce site and/or other digital marketing actions undertaken by the company”.
So don’t wait too long to start, and trust yourself: if your idea is good, it will succeed.