As mentioned in our first blog, the way to success is not a walk in the park. Success is the result of hard work, sincerity, dedication, passion, and sweat. The case is not different in E-Commerce too. In the beginning, it will sour but as you work hard then success follows. You must have got an idea by going through Introduction to Plan and Start an eCommerce Business in South Africa. This blog is about the specifications and phases which are essential to start and grow an eCommerce business.
Specifications & Milestones for eCommerce Business in South Africa
Product Catalog Management Solutions: For a business to become successful, the quality of the product they distribute is a must. Yes, profit is also a very crucial factor. But before buying any product, the customers will give the main priority to the quality of the product. Then only they will even care for the cost of that respective product. So for a business to be a success, the product should be of high quality. Product Catalog Management is the process of planning, forecasting, production, and marketing of a product by an organization.
Marketing and Content Management Solution: Marketing and Content Management are two crucial criteria for any E-Commerce business. If your business needs to acquire profit, then you have to do marketing in all the possible ways. Marketing helps companies in reaching their products to the public. In simple words, marketing is the process of promotion of a product by a company in order to impress the customers to buy that product. Advertising is the core of marketing. If you create standard advertisements based on your product, and if you publish it in every platform that you got, surely a positive result awaits you. The written content you create about your product also matters. The content should be short, precise and should convey the message to the customers. If you succeed in that, then customers will be surely impressed and will give a call for your product. If the content is large and tough to understand, people will not even care about your content. So Marketing and Content Management are very important factors in an eCommerce business.
Easy Order Management and Processing Solution: In any business, you should be smart, bold and should have the ability to manage and control. Only people with such characteristics can taste success in this field. Easy Order Management involves the tracking of orders and managing customers. What is the past of the customer? Will the customer pay in time? You should take care of all these things to succeed. A business will surely struggle if you fail to do the order management process on a consistent basis.
Customer Management Solution: Customer is the heart of any business. Therefore for a business to succeed, the management of customers should be handled well. The relationship with the customer should be maintained throughout without any failure. In some cases provide offers and discounts to the customers so that they will access your company again and will become a regular customer. Hence treat customers well. Without having a proper customer management solution, a business cannot succeed.
Payment Gateway Integration: Imagine that you visited an online shopping site and selected the product you want. Now the only process remaining is the payment. You selected the payment option and done the required formalities. But unfortunately, the server is down or due to any other technical issues you can’t make the payment. The result- The product you dreamt about went in vain. Yes, such cases had occurred a lot. So for an E-Commerce business in South Africa, a standard payment method is necessary. The failure in payment can even lead to the unfollowing of the customers towards your business. Pay Fast and Pay Gate is the main payment gateways widely used in South Africa.
Shipping Management and Integration with a third-party Service provider: The process of E-Commerce will be only completed when the product is received by the customer at the correct place and correct time. So that the shipping management should be punctual and accurate. The customers should feel comfortable in you and you should earn their trust and belief. The third-party service provider is the key here. If the third-party service provider makes any mistake, even if it is a tiny one, that is more than enough for the customers to lose the belief in you. So shipping management should be done with superior responsibility
Integration with CRM and ERP Solutions: CRM and ERP are crucial factors in E-Commerce business. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM is the process of managing and retaining a company’s present customers using several methods. Yes, customers are the core of any business. Without customers, a business will always be a sinking ship. So you have to maintain the relationship with your customers in all the possible ways. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP includes the collection of data and information required for the working of a business through computer software. CRM and ERP play a crucial role in eCommerce business so that the integration of both should be done with great care.
POS Solutions: POS stands for Point of Sale. POS is the time and place where a retail transaction is completed. Any type of payment can be used (Cash, debit cards, credit cards, mobile payments, etc.). In an E-Commerce business, POS is a key factor. So you have to provide POS facilities that will be more comfortable for the customers. If something goes wrong with POS, customers can even lose interest in your business.
Omnichannel Integration: Just imagine if customers can shop online through multiple facilities such as desktops, telephone, mobile devices, bricks and mortar stores, etc. This process is called Omnichanneling. When you provide omnichannelling, due to multiple resources, the shopping process will be more effective and customer satisfaction can easily be achieved.
Multichannel Integration: Multichannel Integration is an approach by which companies communicate with customers through multiple channels in order to sell goods and services. It may be direct or indirect. All omnichannel processes are multichannel but all multichannel processes are not omnichannel.
This includes 3 phases,
- Fully Functional Website
- Omnichannel Integration
- Multichannel Integration
Phase 1- Fully Functional Website
A website is a must for an E-Commerce business as almost all the processes in E-Commerce is done through the company’s website. So that the website should be apt and perfect in all aspects. It should satisfy the customers and they should feel comfortable using your website. For a website to be zen percent perfect and successful, the following factors are necessary.
Multi-Vendor Features: Multi-Vendoring can provide a terrific run to your E-Commerce website. In multi vendoring, different sellers are added into your e-Commerce website, so that the customers will have an abundant amount of selection and can finally choose the apt one for them. E-Commerce sites can gain an excellent profit through this process.
Cash On Delivery: It is also called “collect on delivery”. This is a mode of payment in which payment is made after the product is attained by the customer instead of paying in advance.
Payment Gateway Integration: Payment Gateway aka Online Payment is very crucial for any E-Commerce business. Sometimes customers may suffer from problems in payment. The payment gateway of the website will be down or will have any other issues. This can irritate the customers and can even lead to the downfall of your business. So you have to select and install a standard gateway which completely satisfies the customers in all aspects.
Shipping Integration based on Customer Delivery and Pickup Location: Shipping is yet another crucial part of an E-Commerce business. Shipping should be done according to the comfortability of customers. An online shopping process will not be completed until the product is received by the customer. So you should complete the shipping process with punctuality and care. If there occurs any delay or any other issues in the shipping process, it can really affect your business negatively. So the shipping process should be done perfectly according to the customer’s comfortability and pickup location.
SEO, Digital and Social Media Marketing: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays an important role in making the website of an E-Commerce company a success. The main duty of SEO is to create more keywords that people use to search on the internet. So that the website can get a wide acceptance among people and can create website traffic. Hence, if your website needs to get wide acceptance, the sweat of an SEO is essential.
Digital and social media marketing are also mandatory. Social media have got a mammoth following at the present. So performing marketing in these platforms can really help your website to reach many and eventually lead to success.
Phase 2- Omnichannel Integration
Omnichannel is a cross channel approach that provides an integrated customer experience. Here, the customers can shop online through mobile devices, desktops, telephones or in bricks and mortar stores. It provides customers with a seamless shopping experience. Omnichannel is an asset for any business to reach the path of success. Omnichannel includes the integration of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and POS (Point of Sale) systems.
In simple words, omnichannel is the process of unifying accessibility and data across all channels. For example, imagine that a person receives an e-mail from a store regarding any of his/her favorite products. If he/she registers that product, the remaining details will arrive in his/her mobile phone as SMS and ultimately he/she can purchase that product. In short, Omnichannel enabled the person to start his/her customer journey through one platform and end that journey through another platform. Hence Omnichannel Integration is a crucial factor in the success of an E-Commerce business.
The following are the benefits of Omnichannel approach:
- Integrated communication and analytics
- Meet customers where they are
- Obtain data from every transaction
- Target specific audiences
- Integrate your business
- Channel communication management
- Experience and service focussed shopping
Phase 3- Multichannel Integration
Multichannel is another crucial factor in the E-Commerce business. If you use the Multichannel approach on a consistent basis, then you can gain a huge customer base. Multichannel is the process by which companies interact with customers through multiple channels in order to sell goods and services.
For example, imagine that a person receives an e-mail from a store regarding a mega sale. He receives this news on his Facebook and Instagram too. Hence, multichannel marketing helped the company to reach the person through multiple platforms. Therefore the multichannel approach is very very important for an E-Commerce business. Remember all omnichannel processes are multichannel but all multichannel processes are not omnichannel.
The following are the benefits of multichannel approach:
- Drives increase in sales
- Enhances support to target customer
- Quick response to customer demands
- Better data collection and analysis
- More engagement with audiences
- Cost-effective in the long term
The one-touch platform we use with ease is having this much operations behind it. You cannot achieve anything without hard work and dedication or in case if you achieve anything barring these two, it will not exist that long. If you think the process is over, its wrong. Now, Do you wish to start an eCommerce store? As a leading eCommerce Web Designing Company in South Africa, we can help you. To start an eCommerce business and to achieve the success you have to do some more procedures too and those factors will be continued in our next blog, which is also the last and final one.
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