E-commerce for SMEs and freelancers: from the idea to online sales

02 Feb 2024. 12:08
5 min. of reading
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  • SME maturity
    1. Comercio electrónico
    Scope to digitize
    1. Commercialisation

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Digital transformation gives SMEs and freelancers the possibility of selling their products on the Internet through e-commerce. In this monographic, we show you all the steps you should follow to start your strategy and boost digitization in your online store.

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Executive summary

In today's world, companies that do not take advantage of e-commerce are missing a valuable opportunity to expand their market and increase their profitability. This monograph addresses the importance of selling products online and focuses on providing essential information for SMEs and freelancers looking to move into e-commerce. It highlights that a significant percentage (51%) of SMEs in Spain already operate online, and the pandemic has accelerated this trend.

An e-commerce is an online shop where products and services are bought and sold, while a marketplace is a platform that connects multiple sellers with buyers. Its main benefits include global reach, lower costs, greater customer convenience, operational flexibility, advanced data analytics and a reduced environmental footprint.

The use of the Business Model Canvas is proposed to create an e-commerce strategy. This visual business model comprises nine dimensions, which should be considered when developing an e-commerce strategy:

  • Customer segments: Identifying and understanding potential customers.
  • Customer relationships: Determine how customer service will be provided.
  • Channels: Define sales channels and customer communication channels.
  • Value proposition: Describe why customers will buy your products or services.
  • Key activities: List the key initiatives for the business.
  • Key resources: Identify necessary tools and systems, such as e-commerce platforms, ERPs and CRMs.
  • Key partners: Establish strategic alliances that add value to the business.
  • Cost structure: Analyse the fixed and variable costs associated with the business.
  • Revenue streams: Identify how customer segments will be monetised.

The monograph details the essential steps for starting an e-commerce business, including selecting the right platform, designing the website, setting up secure payment methods, customer service and implementing self-service strategies. The importance of developing a sound marketing strategy and effectively managing the logistics of the business is emphasised.

Data analysis plays a central role in e-commerce, providing valuable information for strategic decision-making. Data sources, such as website, social media and CRM systems, are described and key metrics (KPIs) for measuring performance are highlighted. Customer segmentation and personalisation of the customer experience are important elements. Product and category profitability analysis is mentioned as a key factor in maximising revenue.

In addition, a variety of essential tools for SMEs seeking e-commerce success are mentioned, including e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Prestashop, Wix and WooCommerce. In addition, business management software such as ERPs and CRMs are suggested, with examples such as Clickgest, Stel Order and Odoo. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems such as Bitrix24 and EspoCRM are also detailed.

It highlights the importance of e-commerce today and provides a comprehensive guide for SMEs and freelancers looking to take advantage of this opportunity. It is essential to emphasise that selling online is a necessity to stay relevant and competitive in the digital age. E-commerce offers a path to greater reach, efficiency and business success.

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