Why implement an online sales solution during a crisis?

by Guillaume client BEGHIN on May 05, 2020

Did you know that in Chinese, the word crisis is made up of two characters? The first represents danger, while the second represents opportunity. There is only one step that I allow myself to take to affirm that behind every crisis there are opportunities to transform and reinvent ourselves.

 

Despite the crisis, many must be able to continue to serve their customers

Many companies have had to fundamentally review their way of working. The reason is often economic: how can I keep my business open despite the announcement of an almost total shutdown of our economy? This is why many have made the choice to urgently turn to an online sales solution in order to be able to continue their activity. Previously possible only at the point of sale or by email and telephone, purchases can now be made online via a hastily developed e-commerce solution.

These B2C online sales solutions allow manufacturers , distributors and wholesalers to continue to sell their products despite the closure of their physical point of sale. But these e-commerce solutions also allow larger companies or B2B-oriented companies to be able to cope more simply and calmly with an influx of orders while most employees are partially unemployed, or teleworking with the limits that this can pose.

This “forced march” transformation makes it possible to make the start of digital transition in many sectors

Sometimes seen in a negative light, perceived as complicated to implement, or even sometimes as a waste of time and money, the digital transition carried out urgently by certain companies has brought about new business opportunities.

Some bookstores, butchers, delicatessens, or even greengrocers saw their activity continue normally and even progress significantly during confinement thanks to the implementation of an online sales solution. Contactless drive collection or delivery, these new sales methods have ensured business continuity and sometimes even growth. Who would have believed it in these times of crisis?

Suppliers and wholesalers who mainly target professional customers also have a lot to gain from digitalizing their order processes. B2B sales made online have increased by 50% over the last two years. Proof of this is that the train is moving and that it is certainly not ready to turn around. Time spent managing orders, handling purchasing errors, etc. is a consumer of resources and energy for these companies, who then see in a B2B E-Shop a solution to put aside the heavy administrative part of order management.

Be careful not to put customer contact in parentheses. The backlash would only be harsher. Digitizing to serve the customer, yes. Digitizing to no longer hear the customer is a no! It is very important to support our customers in this digital transition. If previously they were in the habit of ordering from you by email or by telephone, remember that the pivot you have taken is perhaps harder to take for them than for you. This is why at the slightest question or hesitation on their part, you must be there to respond by email or telephone in order to assist them in this new order-taking method. Customer acceptance will be much easier, and the digital transition will then be very beneficial to you.

An e-commerce solution allows you to develop and sustain your business

We have seen since the start of the crisis, many merchants who had no other ordering channels than their points of sale are in a very difficult financial situation. The total shutdown of their business is a real blow from which many will not recover.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the famous “ Stop and Go ”. Expression used to talk about the phenomenon of periods of confinement and deconfinement which could take place with each new peak of the Covid-19 epidemic. The prospect of a vaccine in the short term being by definition uncertain, the use of an online sales solution for a small merchant as well as for a supplier or wholesaler allows the future to be considered more calmly. Indeed, periods of confinement are then perceived as the closure of a sales channel and not all sales channels.

In both B2B and B2C, in addition to making things easier, simplifying processes and freeing up free time, the digital transition allows new sources of customers to emerge. 98% of French people search online. Having an e-shop is then an opportunity to reach more customers. Provided of course that you have a reliable, well-constructed and referenced solution. 

Customer cases: Bristrot RG and Gastronor

Since March 15, 2020, restaurateurs no longer have the right to open their establishment to the public except for takeaway or delivery. This is how the chef of Bistrot RG in Armentières found himself overnight with a loss of around 100% of his turnover. After a few weeks, he finally decided to move into take-out sales. It was a success with no less than 90 jars sold on the first day, then almost double that number on the second. Consequence: you have to quickly restock jars. This is where Gastronor comes in, having set up an online sales solution for equipment intended for professionals with the help of the company Huggii , specializing in B2B and B2C purchasing platforms. The speed and simplicity of the online ordering process allows both companies, Bistrot RG and Gastronor, to be able to concentrate on their core business while having an efficient and inexpensive purchasing and sales process in terms of human resources (resources which is rare during a period of confinement).

Support in setting up your e-commerce solution

As you will have understood, having an online sales solution today remains a real asset for companies that have anticipated their digital transition. It is undeniable that the creation of a B2B or B2C purchasing platform strongly contributes to the development and sustainability of a business. This is why you must carefully choose the service provider who will support you in implementing a solution. Several of the latter exist and solutions like Huggii for example which allow you to obtain your Saas (Software as a Service) e-commerce platform quickly, simply and in your image. For the more experienced among you, other more technical or do-it-yourself solutions exist such as Prestashop for example…