Over the years, we at NuWorks have gotten a lot of questions from our eCommerce consulting work.
“Should I join the bandwagon of shops in high-traffic marketplaces? Or just build my own online store?”
“Build from scratch? Or update my existing website with retail functions?”
“Which products should I offer? Should my online prices be different from my current prices?”
“Who will handle sales, order management, and after sales? Should I upskill my current workforce or outsource these tasks?”
“What management tools do I need to measure performance?”
The truth is, there’s no one size fits all answer.
Every challenge is different. But what we do know is that the pandemic has become the greatest catalyst of brands and companies “going digital”. And we believe that the enterprise of the future will survive and thrive through digital transformation.
To get you started, here are 3 considerations.
1. Decide on your source of business – Who will buy? And why should they?
Businesses and brands come in all shapes and sizes – each at different stages in their respective markets. Are you after market penetration or market development? Are you recruiting new buyers or increasing frequency or weight of purchase among existing ones?
Whether you’re a long-standing business or a small new player, understanding your target market will always take center stage.
Think about your plans for engaging with customers. Take into account the unique sets of mindsets, personas and behavior in the context of e-Commerce. Think about how your business model translates in an online platform.
Understanding these nuances will help you identify the online spaces your maket occupies, and where and how you can meet them.
2. What is the role of the eCommerce platform in the purchase journey – are you after Generating or Converting Demand?
Regardless of whether you are offering a product or service, how do you envision your brand in the online experience?
Are you trying to create an aspirational and global brand? If that’s the case then a bespoke design for your website/social media that communicates your brand’s products and lifestyle might be the ideal marketing strategy. Or, are your priorities more focused towards converting demand? Then maybe all you need is a straightforward online retail store with an easy and functional user interface.
Identifying the role of the digital/online channel in your brand’s overall strategy is a crucial step that allows you to be thoughtful and intentional in your eCommerce experience design.
3. Will you invest in a tech development plan – Are you planning for a Quick Launch or a Long Term Build?
Ideally, you’re doing both. In the short-term, the main factors that need to revolve around practical considerations and key resources.
To help you prioritize, a commonly used principle in the Tech industry is the concept of the minimum viable product (MVP). The idea is to build out and develop an initial version of the product (usually software) and then release it. It becomes quite cyclic from thereon wherein you iterate, rerelease, reiterate, rinse, repeat.
A more agile approach for your eCommerce would be to think of the minimum needed to launch a pilot run of your operations– ironing out the must-haves versus the nice-to-haves. Prioritizing is key.
For the long-term, focusing on efforts to optimize and upgrade for more seamless processes, improved data collection and analytics can help deepen your understanding of the customer behavior, which in the long run, can affect your bottom line.
At the end of the day, eCommerce has become a crucial part of any business, especially in the Philippine landscape. It might seem daunting at first, but having the right objectives, the right tools, the right perspective, and the right partners in mind before undertaking this task will surely go a long way in helping your business thrive during this difficult time.