“Stop digital!… To Internet supremacy!… To the reign of clicks and e-commerce!” “. It is no longer possible to count how many companies are throwing themselves headlong into a digitization project. Some with the objective of doing like the competition. Others, to respond to the injunctions of our society that now swears only by the virtual. Others, again, for simple personal vanity. Because it’s always rewarding to be able to display a beautiful showcase that praises someone’s activity. Even if it were dematerialized.
Of course, an online presence is useful for developing a commercial activity (providing services, hotels and restaurants, selling products, etc.). However, it is not always necessary and can even be dangerous. In the absence of strategic support on the subject, some companies get bogged down in a poorly designed, poorly thought out and poorly conducted digitization project. The waste of time (and money) that often ensues is not inconsiderable. Especially for small businesses.
Real life and common sense
Digital ayatollahs often forget one element. A detail that is still important: reality, real life… and common sense! No, digital is not always the best solution to promote and develop your business. In e-commerce, places are expensive. Only a handful of establishments “go up” to the first page of Google. How can we expect to have visibility, to have “e-clients”, when the company only appears on the third or fourth page of the search engine?
Let’s take the example of a wine producer who wants to develop his activity. On the web, he will come across industry giants. Giants like Nicolas, Cash Vin, Dock du Vin, etc. It is therefore difficult, if not impossible, for this producer to succeed in the online game. If he wants to publicize his brand and his product, it is better to establish with him and for him a strategy on his scale. Why not around small physical and local events (stand in markets, presence at fairs…). And, if you manage to develop your business volume and retain your customers, you can calmly consider an e-commerce strategy. A strategy adapted to your activity and your target. Indeed, loyal customers in markets will be the first to browse the producer’s website and therefore the first to buy online.
The logic is the same for small traders. Especially in the ready-to-wear world. How can neighborhood stores stand out on the Internet in relation to brands such as H&M, Promod, Ba&sh, but also platforms such as Amazon, Shein, Veepee…? Seeking very high online visibility is, in this case, of little interest. The main customer of this type of business is a local consumer. It is also because it is ultralocal that it tends to be very loyal. For such a local business, the clientele doesn’t come online, but on the street. Before looking for an online presence, it is therefore essential to think about the visibility of the store. Is it sufficiently lit? Is it located in a busy area? Are opening hours clearly displayed? Questions that may seem innocuous, but that are often left aside. However, they are essential before considering any digital project.
Trust the power of famous platforms
And what about self-employed professionals, self-entrepreneurs and other actors who don’t have a showcase or materializable object to sell? These players must, in one way or another, implement their online visibility (unless they have a solid reputation and have the possibility to develop only through “word of mouth”. It is rare, but it exists). These professions do not necessarily need to have their own website and be able to rely on the power of famous platforms.
Physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists… can thus count on the influence of doctolib. They have the opportunity to introduce themselves, to indicate their activity, their way of exercising, their prices… and even distribute photos of themselves and their practice. The same goes for restaurants, hotels or inns, which can be widely featured on specialized sites like Booking or TheFork.
Many establishments choose not to have their own website and to be visible only on these platforms. Other businesses opt for an even simpler solution and stick to a Facebook page or a Google referral via a business listing (formerly known as “Google my business”). A minimal presence on the web but which, in some cases, is enough to achieve your ultimate goal: increasing your business volume.
digitization and damnation
Therefore, it is better for a large number of players to have a simple and effective web presence than a complex, time-consuming and expensive strategy. Because yes, digitizing your activity is not an easy task. It means having a global vision of the sector, the activity, the geographic area, the commercial objectives… It means determining the best possible strategy. This strategy takes into account the creation of a website, but also its referencing in search engines. A complete and, in some aspects, complex project, which presupposes both financial means and surrounding yourself with the right people. Experienced and enlightened service providers, capable of not only having a technical eye, but also a strategic and global vision. Otherwise, digitization could very well rhyme with damnation.