1/ Create your website yourself
“The Internet offers a tremendous toolbox for companies that want to develop a
e-commerce activity. There is a range of solutions that can be implemented. The advantage is that many of them are accessible, even for companies that do not have
great investment capacity. This is the case, for example, of marketplaces that
allow a VSE to offer itself a formidable showcase on the internet »recalls Marc Lolivier, delegate of Fevad.
Whatever your project, it’s a safe bet that you won’t have to spend a fortune paying a development agency. Many very powerful tools exist online that 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.” says David Flak, founder of Start The F Up. It adds : “The main thing is to have the right products that meet the right person”.
Amazon also recently launched its Digital Accelerator, a completely free and comprehensive training for entrepreneurs looking to sell their products online. Benjamin Duvauchel, who successfully runs an object creation business thanks to his 3D printers, notably followed this training program. He learned how to build his online store, but also the fundamentals of online marketing, thanks to training sessions, webinars and entrepreneur testimonials.
2/ Value your first customers
“In e-commerce, there is commerceremember David Flak, we must therefore ensure that we are as close to our customers as possible, especially at launch »🇧🇷 As soon as you place 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 who tell me that their customers still don’t understand such and such a thing in their product, and that they bet they will understand later. Spoiler: It doesn’t work like that », smiles David Flak. If they feel they have been heard, their customers will later become their best ambassadors, and for that, a maxim: “A customer must not be happy. He must be extremely happy.”
“Digital technology has become an essential lever for development because it meets new consumer expectations. Our big trading companies understood this well. They have invested heavily and successfully in digitizing their offering. There is no reason to leave VSEs and SMEs on the side of the road”remember Marc Lolivier.
3/ Everything for transit
“It’s the sinew of the war, sums up David Flak, by any means possible, you have to generate traffic to your store and your products.” It’s a virtuous circle: the more visits your site has, the more it will be considered credible by search engines and the more customers it will have later on.
To do this, you can choose between different methods. The classic method: generate traffic by paying for advertising (Google, Instagram, Facebook, etc.), or by partnering with influencers in your industry, for example. This method is extremely effective for generating traffic quickly, 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 website can boost your SEO and make you progress little by little in search engines. Especially since you can showcase your content on your social media and build a loyal and committed community. Don’t overlook the importance of mobilizing around you a community of customers who share your values: “great stories often start with men and women who already had their community and used it to launch their brand”explains David Flak.
4/ The brand, the brand, the brand
“I often hear entrepreneurs tell me that what sets them apart is that they have a lower margin than their competitors, but that’s not a differentiator”, laments David. To differentiate yourself, it is essential to create your brand, with your values, your history and your vision. Your success will therefore depend on a solid marketing plan. “Why do people buy Nike shoes for 120 euros? To have the comma in the shoe », recalls David Flak. More recently, shoe manufacturers such as Veja or Fago have managed to stand out thanks to the sheer power of their brand, communicating their ecological values and their eco-friendly manufacturing methods.
Same logic for your products: find your “little extra thing” and spread the word!
5/ Don’t wait any longer!
“If you’re not ashamed of your product, it’s because you launched it too late”, jokes David Flak. Explanation: Many entrepreneurs wait for their product to be perfect before they hit rock bottom. Commendable intentions, but mistrust: “During launch, we are still in the learning phase, you may not know everything from the start, but the faster you launch, the faster you learn”he remembers.
Marc Lolivier also insists on the importance of visibility and the implementation of a digital strategy. “Overnight, your offer becomes visible to millions of Internet users. All this at a lower cost and with a very limited financial risk, as the cost of this exposure depends on the number of sales made on the marketplace. Of course, marketplaces aren’t just for internet startups. They are also very often used in conjunction with an e-commerce website and/or other digital marketing actions carried out by the company”.
So don’t wait too long before starting and trust yourself: if your idea is good, it will succeed.