the essential keys and tools for a successful e-commerce strategy

the essential keys and tools for a successful e-commerce strategy

Can you tell us about your background in a few words?

Hello, my name is Nicolas J. Chevalier and I am the founder of E-Commerce Nation. I like to define myself as an explorer of e-commerce on a daily basis, since this field is constantly evolving every day and you have to remain on constant watch to understand new challenges.

Since the beginning of my career, I have been immersed in digital and I have been passionate about developments in e-commerce. Since I was 20 years old, I like to create web projects. In 2012, I decided to join Rocket Internet in Germany (Zalando, eDarling, Groupon) and developed a promo code startup in the French market: Global Saving Group. In 2015, I embarked on the entrepreneurial adventure with E-Commerce Nation, in order to found the first e-commerce community in Europe.

Today, E-Commerce Nation generates more than 1 million euros, is present on the 5 top European markets and has 20 employees. As an e-commerce trainer, I accompany many professionals within the E-Commerce Nation Academy program. Our mission is to guide companies towards more sustainable e-commerce: more respectful of the environment and current issues.

What impact has the health crisis had on e-commerce? And what are the new challenges for merchant sites?

The health crisis has changed many behaviors towards the digital world. Whether it is the growing activity of drives to online orders on pure-player players, e-commerce is no longer today an additional channel for companies, but really a strategic axis of development. The challenge for the most mature structures is in particular to balance their share of turnover between physical and digital in order to reduce their economic risks over time.

E-commerce is today an activity that is holding up very well in the context of health crises. For smaller companies, the opportunity of e-commerce is accentuated by access to numerous online platforms (marketplaces, social networks, CMS SaaS among others). Coming out of this crisis, I also think that the challenge of developing greener, more sustainable e-commerce has become a reality in order to find meaning in business models.

What are the keys to a successful e-commerce strategy?

For 1 year, we have accompanied more than 250 e-merchants within our training and we clearly observe models of success. There are two axes: an operational axis and a cultural axis.

On the operational axis: the first step that we see is to have clear objectives for your business. These objectives are generally at 6 months and 1 year well defined in terms of traffic or turnover. Following these elements, we can behind define its key indicators to achieve its objectives such as its conversion rate, its acquisition cost and its strategic levers. At the same time, understanding your market is also an element of success. Understanding its target (its persona) and the strong trends in its sector means that the company is able to anticipate growth opportunities.

On the cultural axis: we observe that an agility of the structures is necessary to apprehend new skills. Regular training, testing new tools, meeting peers, regular monitoring, are part of the habits to be integrated into its structure, in order to stay in motion to meet future challenges.

In the end, successful e-merchants are those who manage to formulate a clear action plan over 1 year with the needs in terms of skills in front of their objectives.

Which social platforms have become essential today when launching an online store, and why?

In BtoC markets, platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are powerful levers for many businesses. However, it is important to prioritize its development on specific axes so as not to scatter over all the levers of communication. I usually recommend analyzing your competition, in order to identify the most popular platforms among your competitors. Take inspiration from these best practices and benefit from the learning curve of your competitors. Today, all consumers want to get in touch and develop stronger links than just a commercial link.

What are the essential tools to manage your business and manage your online sales?

I recommend 5 essential tools to understand your online activity. These tools have free functionalities to be able to access samples of strategic data for the implementation of e-commerce strategies:

  • Facebook Audience Insightto understand its market and its persona,
  • Similarwebfor competitive analysis of web channels,
  • SEMrushfor traffic analysis and understanding of its referencing and advertisements,
  • HubSpotto understand your audience and personalize the user experience,
  • AMZ Scoutto analyze the pricing on many products on Amazon (this allows an express price study even if you do not sell on the platform).

Discover platforms to create and manage an e-commerce site

Doesn’t the proliferation of tools offered on the market represent a risk of counter-productivity in the development of its e-commerce strategy? What advice would you give to e-merchants?

You must first know how to select key indicators for your activity. Quality rather than quantity in its selection. It is better to have 5 relevant data than 20 data. In relation to these indicators, I will then be able to question the reporting and operational tools to achieve my objectives. For example, I have an objective of reaching 10,000 visits via SEO: I will therefore follow my traffic through Google Analytics and study with SEMrush to see what opportunities there are for content on other keywords in order to earn more. of traffic.

I really recommend selecting 5 quantified objectives: 1 in terms of sales, 1 other in conversion, traffic, email acquisition and finally 1 shopping cart objective, for example.

What are the e-commerce trends to follow in your opinion?

I think many companies are going to focus on e-commerce, so the level of expertise will increase significantly over the next few years. The issue of skills and training will therefore be crucial. Today, the aspect of no-code and SaaS platforms also make it possible to increasingly democratize access to online sales: this will have repercussions on the creation of sites and the dazzling growth of new players. I’m really looking forward to seeing how e-commerce will evolve and I hope that the trend of sustainable e-commerce will be an integral part of the next few years. This is our belief at least within the nation of e-commerce.



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