The complete guide of e-commerce

To launch yourself serenely and without pitfalls

Shopping from the comfort of your living room on your computer, on your cell phone in transit or on an airplane on an application, is now part of our daily lives. For some people, buying online is more instinctive than going to a store.

That's why, in this article, we present you its online businesses, also called e-commerce.

First of all, you have to realize something. It may seem very simple to start and sell products online. But, in the end, this online business must make money! When you add up the costs of having an online business, the margins on the products must be higher. In the first months of activity, the initial investment must be amortized.

A business plan is required to quantify the inflow and outflow of money.
chapter 1

What is an e-commerce?

Definition of an e-commerce

e-commerce definition

An e-commerce is simply the fact of doing business online. That is to say to have a website allowing to put products or services to sell on the internet. In other words, it is to have customers who will buy products or services that a brand has posted on its website.

Here is a brief diagram where we can see the cycle of an e-commerce. A user goes to the website and consults the product catalog. He buys a product online which will then be packed and delivered.

A little history

homer sur l'ordinateur

The principle of e-commerce, or online shopping, was born in the 90s and it was in the United States, in 1994, that the first online financial transaction was made. And you know what this man bought? A Sting album for the modest sum of $12.48.

In France, the first e-commerce players were La Redoute and 3suisses. Two brands that are still going strong and that, for La Redoute, are among the most profitable e-commerce in France.

What is m-commerce?

m-commerce

Have you ever purchased a product from your smartphone? If yes, then congratulations! You have done m-commerce. This term simply indicates that you are doing e-commerce but on a mobile.

You should know that 41.4% of buyers place their order from their cell phones. So we must realize that when we create an e-commerce, we must not forget the mobile version! It must be :

  • Very simple
  • Even more intuitive than on a computer
  • Inspire confidence because for some people, buying from a cell phone seems less secure, when in fact it is just as secure as on a computer.

All this to say that having a mobile version to your e-commerce allows you to reach more potential customers and therefore increase sales.

Note that today, voice search is very trendy! It is strongly used on mobiles but also on connected objects such as HomePod or Alexa.

Last point about m-commerce. Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. You're on public transport and you see an advertisement on a billboard for a product you need. What do you do? Do you wait until you get home and look at the website on your computer? Or do you pull out your cell phone and go within seconds to discover the site?

➡️ You see, that first impression the buyer has on the site is very important! If the page takes a long time to load or if the site is not adapted for mobile browsing, you lose a sale.

Some key figures

objectif site application

Today, the number of e-commerce is constantly increasing and this, in all fields! We can now buy everything on the internet, from a box of matches to a boat!

Nevertheless, the sectors of activity which work best are :

  • Fashion
  • Books and culture
  • Games
  • Tourism

In France, in 2021, online sales brought in over 129 billion euros. That is +15% compared to previous years.

Source Fevad

chapter 2

What are the advantages of an e-commerce compared to a physical store?

Why is it better to create an online store?

  • Attract more customers

    With an online store you don't just reach the people who see your store.

  • Diversify

    You are not restricted by the number of products you want to sell, the walls of your store will not stop you.

  • Use a booming market

    Buying online has become a real habit for many consumers.

  • Be able to sell 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

    Sell products at night, on weekends and anywhere in the world. No need for opening hours.

  • Show your catalog differently

    Present your products differently! Use video, 3D or virtual assistants.

  • Reduce your expenses

    With an online store, you don't pay rent, you don't have an employee and you don't have to pay any charges on the premises.

  • Automate the sale of its products

    Make selling your items easy. Work with a delivery partner, they will take care of everything.

  • Collecting data

    Create a customer contact book. Follow up by email or sms and increase your sales.

  • Gathering opinions

    After each order, automate the sending of an email to your customer to collect a customer review.

chapter 3

Questions to ask yourself before launching an e-commerce

In addition to the financial aspect, to launch its e-commerce, it is also necessary to think of the technical aspect. And ask yourself if you have the technical skills to create, feed, maintain and promote your e-commerce.

Here are some questions that it is interesting to ask yourself before launching an e-commerce.

What do I sell?

To make a market study to know which are the research intentions of the users but also in which sector of activity, the e-commerce is more favourable.

Who are my main competitors?

It is always interesting to know who our competitors are. This allows us to judge their work and to do better, more qualitative and more attractive!

Do I sell my products in France or internationally?

It is necessary to ask this question early in the project because if there are international sales, this implies having an e-commerce management tool capable of managing several languages, several currencies and several delivery methods.

What features do I need to sell my products?

Here you have to ask yourself if you just need to present a product or if you need some little extra features. Maybe add a zoom on the product pictures or a small marketing banner on some pictures of the catalog. It could also be, for example, an unusual delivery or payment method.

What payment methods do I want to have on e-commerce?

To help you, here is a small list of some of the payment methods:

  • Credit card
  • Paypal
  • Gpay
  • Apple Pay
  • Payment in several times

How to manage the delivery?

To define the modes of delivery of an e-commerce, it is necessary beforehand, to inquire about the various costs of transport. According to the weight, the fragility and the size of your products, certain carriers will be more adapted than others. Also, if you deliver internationally, think about the prices.

For the delivery, you can think about :

  • The Post Office
  • Parcel relays
  • Private carriers such as UPS, DPD or GLS
If you have a shop, think about click and collect! Your customers will be able to come and pick up their order for free in your premises.

What merchandising should be applied to my products?

The idea here is to know how you are going to retain your customer when he is on your e-commerce.

  • Promotional code following a subscription to the newsletter
  • Free shipping on orders over a certain amount
  • Create private sales for customers
  • Make a discovery or launch offer

How will the after-sales service be set up?

The customer service must be of quality! Whether it is for a customer lost on the site, for a customer who has questions about the products or for a customer unhappy with his order.

It is therefore necessary to know how to set up this customer service. Is it through an instant messenger or a number to call?

Which tool is best suited to my project?

Depending on the skills of each person, one tool will be more appropriate than another. Moreover, this question is related to the previous ones, the tool must be compatible with the project as a whole.

What do I want as a logo?

This question will be answered by the graphic designer who will make your logo and the whole identity of your e-commerce. But, it is always interesting to have a small idea of what you want.

You can then discuss it with the designer before he starts his research.

What providers do I need?

After answering all his questions, you will be able to establish a list with the various points to be worked. According to that, you can then contact the right providers.

How will e-commerce evolve in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

Having a long term vision and planning allows you to establish a solid foundation for e-commerce.

If you don't plan ahead, you may build a site that will allow little or no evolution, and then you will have to redo everything.

chapter 4

How to make an e-commerce ?

Think of an e-commerce as a website?

e-commerce

Today, when we think of e-commerce, we think of Amazon, Ebay or Rakuten. Indeed, they are the oldest and the biggest online sales sites of the moment. But they are not the only ones!

As mentioned above, we must not forget that an e-commerce is above all a website. It has a product catalog and a product sheet for each product put on sale. It can also have a homepage, a blog or a history page.

Unlike a website, on the customer side, the e-commerce has a button to add to the cart and a purchase process. Also, on the administrator's side, the e-commerce has a stock and order management system, a shipping management system and finally an automation of the sending of customer emails. To confirm the order or indicate the shipment of the package, for example.

With which tool or platform to create its e-commerce?

a quoi sert un cms

Finding a solution to create an e-commerce, today it's simple! On the other hand, finding the right one, it is a little less.

Because there are many platforms and software to launch an online store, it is not easy to choose the right one. I'm not going to present them all to you!

I have selected 3 that, for me, are the most suitable for a large number of e-commerce. And, as usual, I reveal you the favorite solution at Snoweb! Psst, little hint: it's open source and uses a CMS 🤫

objectif site application

Wix

Easy to use, Wix is a practical solution for people who have no computer knowledge and want to manage by themselves. From a single dashboard, you can manage your e-commerce. This includes the content and layout of the pages, the stocks and the deliveries. And this, in several languages and around the world.

Wix remains the simplest and least expensive. But, when creating the e-commerce, you will be alone behind your screen to move the elements and make everything work.

You can spend many hours with no results.

ce que recherche la cible

Shopify

Choose a theme, add your products, add your information, choose your payment and delivery methods and that's it, your e-commerce is online!

Oh yes, I almost forgot, with Shopify, don't forget that for each sale, a commission of 0.5% to 2% is taken by the platform. In addition to the monthly subscription.

Today Shopify is used a lot to create e-commerce because the tool is simple and it has a lot of templates ready to use. But, it is still a tool that requires technical knowledge for the site to be optimized and well referenced.

apporter une réponse rapidement

Oscar + Snoweb CMS

The third and last solution that I present to you is the one we use at Snoweb. As you may know at Snoweb we created our own CMS with Wagtail. Well, this CMS linked to the Oscar framework, it gives e-commerce space! Let me explain.

On the one hand, we have Snoweb CMS that allows you to create efficient, optimized and very fast websites. And, on the other hand, we have the Oscar framework that allows you to make a 100% customized and ultra-optimized e-commerce. Do you see what happens? This results in e-commerce sites that are quickly referenced in Google, that inspire confidence in consumers and that please Google.

chapter 5

12 tips to launch your e-commerce

Find out what to sell

Be in a niche or in a field that you know and master.

Find your target

Know her needs, what she is looking for and what will make her buy the product.

Outstanding product sheets

Use quality photos, clear and detailed descriptions and product features.

Merchandising

Set up promotions, private sales, launch offers...

Communication

Set up a newsletter and post products on social networks.

Natural referencing

Make an SEO strategy and write blog posts related to the products.

Ergonomics

Create a fluid navigation on the product catalog and have a short and simple purchase tunnel.

Logistics

Find trusted suppliers, manage inventory and track deliveries.

Technical

Use a powerful tool and a CRM to automate the sending of order or newsletter emails.

Evaluate the costs

Quantify the purchase of products, delivery, accommodation, taxes and commissions.

Create a visual identity

Have a recognizable, readable and striking logo with significant colors.

Reinsurance elements

Reassure a customer with a free return, a free delivery and an attentive after-sales service.
chapter 6

How to optimize my e-commerce ?

Technical optimizations

Page loading speed
Image optimization
Recovery and display of customer reviews
Proper naming of pages and urls
Have a good site architecture
Create an efficient internal linkage
Use a powerful tool to manage your e-commerce
Propose various payment and delivery methods

Visual optimizations

Display customer reviews on the product page and on the e-commerce homepage
Work on a home page to present the entire e-commerce and products
Make a modern and clear product sheet
Display elements of reassurance to reassure customers before they buy
Clearly display that payments are secure
ergonomie

SEO Optimizations

Analysis of keyword search volume
Creation of a blog to target keywords related to the e-commerce one
Regular content updates
Retargeting to remind site visitors or to show them their forgotten cart
chapter 7

What are the jobs in e-commerce?

Just like in a physical store, an online store requires certain actions like :

  • Find suppliers
  • Manage inventory
  • Create a communication around the product catalog
  • Satisfy customers on a daily basis

In order to answer all this, several actors are in play. Here is an exhaustive list of some e-commerce jobs. In this list, you will see only the jobs related to e-commerce. However, we must not forget that an e-commerce is a website. It is therefore necessary to have in its team :

  • A web designer to design all the graphic aspect of the e-commerce
  • A web developer to design and develop the e-commerce. But also to bring to life the web designer's models.
  • An SEO manager to follow and develop the natural referencing of the e-commerce.
  • A community manager to develop the notoriety of the site and create a social coverage of the e-commerce. The goal is to display it on the various social networks.

E-commerce Manager

Real conductor, the e-commerce manager is the person who knows best the products sold on the e-commerce, the target and the whole e-commerce itself! Thanks to his extensive knowledge in the fields of web, marketing, communication and sales, the e-commerce manager is able to direct the entire marketing and sales strategy of e-commerce.

See the job description

Logistics Manager

As its name indicates, the logistics manager deals with all the logistics aspect of e-commerce. He will manage the stocks, follow the different purchases but also the deliveries. The logistics manager must know all the national and international regulations for sending orders.

See the job description

Purchasing Manager

The negotiator of the bunch! The purchasing manager works with suppliers and the product manager. His/her role is to find and negotiate prices with suppliers to find the right products defined by the product manager's research.

Customer Service Manager

To build loyalty. This is the goal of the customer manager. He is in charge of the after sales service and makes sure that all customers are satisfied with their experience on the e-commerce. He works for only one goal: to offer an impeccable brand image to consumers.

chapter 8

The lexicon of e-commerce

Looking for a definition?

Indeed, some terms used in e-commerce are not simple to understand, here are some.

Cart abandonment
It is the fact that a customer adds products to the cart and then leaves the site without having placed an order. This is called abandoned cart. To avoid this phenomenon as much as possible, the e-commerce can offer delivery or give a discount code.
Click and collect
A very common term nowadays, click and collect is a delivery method. It allows the customer to buy a product online and then come and pick it up in store. This avoids him having to queue up at the checkout or to look for his product on the shelf. Moreover, it allows him not to pay for delivery.
Cross-selling
This term means additional sale and it consists in proposing to the customer to buy complementary products to the one he is going to buy. For example, for the purchase of a camera, we will propose a cover or a memory card.
Drop shipping
Drop shipping is a form of e-commerce. Indeed, the seller does not have stock as such. When a customer is going to make a purchase, it is the supplier who will manage the stock and send the order.
Fevad
It is the Federation of E-commerce and Distance Selling.
Product sheet
It is a page that will present the product with its price, photos, description, technical information. It is thanks to the product sheet that the customer is seduced and buys a product.
Buying tunnel
It is the path that the customer will follow on the e-commerce to arrive at the purchase.

I wish to be accompaniedto create my online store

Don't think about it anymore, go for it with us. Let's discuss together your project and always the best solution to launch you serenely.

e-commerce

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