I am researching the topics that small company CEOs must learn to have an eCommerce strategy. I have noticed some companies struggled with their projects when they did not have a clear roadmap to overcome issues. Thanks in advance for your comments.
It depends by your company size and structure, but i think a CEO of a small company must understand what is pertinent to strategic decisions for his company. If you are thinking of changing the way you sell, it is better you understand why, which are the cost involved, benchmark your competition and see what they do. You need to have the situation in your hand in order to guide the decision process in the best way.
If you're entering the world of eCommerce for the first time, I would pay careful attention to the security of your website. If you plan to build on WordPress, make sure your developer is up to date on security protocols, such as making sure the hosting company has the latest version of PHP. WordPress is built in the PHP language, and some hosting companies are behind on updating, which makes it much easier for hackers to take control.
You'll also want to make sure you're up to date on tax considerations. For example, if you have customers in Europe, you'll want to educate yourself on the VAT rules that came into play at the start of the year and ensure your web developer knows how to handle them.
You'll also want to educate yourself on social selling, such as Pinterest buy buttons.
There are other considerations, of course, but those are the first ones that spring to mind.
I would recommend looking into case studies (some were just recently published) into Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
Walmart did not act quickly in the ecommerce game, they believed Amazon would be a flash in the pan. Target was faster to respond, but still sluggish.
Any company, regardless of size, must understand that consumers are now *expecting* an online and mobile experience. A CEO must prioritize this.
1) Mobile-optimized online storefronts
2) Transparent shipping/taxes/fees (no surprise upcharges. Ever)
3) Dead simple return policies
4) Customer service that beats physical stores
5) On-site optimization for higher search engine results
6) On-site searching for customers to quickly find what they want
Those sound simple, but they are overlooked time and time again.
A CEO needs to take their online storefront seriously if they want any chance of standing out.
I've consulted and built a number of successful online businesses. I'm happy to help more, if you want to book a call.
All the best,
1) You need a multi-channel strategy. Selling on your website is not the only way to sell your product online.
2) Focus more on top of the funnel initiatives (inbound marketing). Amazon rules the bottom of the funnel which is when the customer knows exactly what she's looking for and price is what matters to her.
3) Focus on Conversion Optimization across all channels since it is one of the best ways to have an impact on your bottom line without increasing marketing budgets.
4) Training & Network. Things change fast, keep up to date. Attend conferences and network.
5) Constantly monitor your eCommerce eco-system. Technology changes & new suppliers join the market. Evaluating established processes can help tremendously.
The key to an eCommerce strategy if you are a smaller company is simplicity. If you sell a product I would strongly recommend limiting the number of sales channels and just stick with the major ones. Depending if you currently sell through distribution or if you sell directly this may change. However, a lot of new companies like Nest thermostats stick with Amazon, Home Depot's site and BestBuy.com. Now there are only 3 eCommerce channels to monitor and manage. However, you still have enough reach to make the product available to almost anybody who would want to buy it. If you have questions about selling on or to Amazon, please contact me.