“Digital is now primarily recognized as a sales channel“and the need to support traders”blew up for a few monthssummarized Cyril Grira, member of the board of directors of Acsel and director of the industry, retail and omnichannel division of Google France, during the presentation of the results of the 6and edition of the “Growth and Digital” barometer, the 1ster last June in Paris. A survey carried out by the Ipsos Institute for the Association of Commerce and Online Services (Acsel) to which 700 commercial entrepreneurs of all sizes responded this year.
Digital contributes to the turnover of one in two merchants
After a year of crisis in 2020 and a year of recovery in 2021, 39% of traders surveyed expect their turnover to grow in 2022, i.e. forecasts “quite optimistic“, estimated Cyril Grira. And if the digital represents “an opportunity“for 65% of them, it remains”an obligation» for 31% and «ignoredby 4%. Above all, digital technology already contributes to sales of one in two merchants (51%) for all companies surveyed, and one in three merchants (69%) for companies with less than 20 employees.
For the development of omnichannel strategies
Today, “digital is seen as a way to develop e-commerce, but also local commerce“, by generating traffic in physical stores, “especially in smaller companies“. Thus, the development of an omnichannel strategy, which consists of using all communication and sales channels, physical and digital, simultaneously and interconnected, is a goal for 51% of surveyed tenants (+16 points compared to the June barometer). 2021) . Developing a physical and digital commercial activity together makes it possible to maintain (83%) and improve (72%) the relationship with the customer, but also to safeguard the activity when stores cannot be opened (82%) – teaching about the health crisis.
Social networks increasingly used as a sales vector
73% of merchants surveyed‘a storefront website and 72% of a professional page on social networks – rates that rise to 90 and 92% for companies with fewer than 20 employees. “Social networks are used for visibility and communication “, but also ” as a transaction tool, marketing vector“, noted Fabienne Simon, Deputy General Manager of Ipsos Marketing.
Thus, 45% of surveyed merchants use social networks to market their goods and services, an increase of four points compared to the previous edition of the barometer. 37% have their own business website and 11% use business websites from other companies. Finally, 40% of them use analytics tools to get to know their customers better (57% in companies with less than 20 employees).
a need for support
While the majority of companies surveyed (55%) say they have in-house skills to support their digital transformation (up four points from 2020), “there is a need for support from companies to build expertise“, continued Fabienne Simon. In fact, a quarter of marketers (24%) say they need support in their digital transformation,”many of which are already reasonably well digitized“.
These needs relate in particular to employees’ mastery of digital tools (84%), the design of a roadmap to know where to start (80%) or the development of an online sales channel (66%). It should be noted that interns, work-study apprentices and young graduates are now more sought after for their digital mastery than for their low cost.
CSR appropriation through eco-responsible offers
As part of this survey, Acsel this year wanted to shed special light on practices related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). It shows that only a quarter of merchants surveyed have implemented a comprehensive CSR policy, but that nearly one in two (49%) is offering or is preparing to offer an eco-responsible offering very soon. This commitment to the development of these offers aims both to give meaning to consumption (75%) and to meet customer expectations (70%). In terms of CSR,there is still a long way to go, but it is a subject that traders take ownership of in relation to the offer.“, concluded Fabienne Simon.