The boom in E-Commerce platforms and the success of online sales in these times of COVID emergency it’st an acceleration of processes that were already underway .
The forced stay at home of billions of people led to a 30% increase in online sales with an extraordinary growth in the whole sector, including logistics.
This widely tested “before COVID” model will be normal even after the emergency. There is no going back because the world has changed.
To adapt to the new reality, it will certainly be appropriate to review your business models and adapt investments to current scenarios.
If the world of E-Commerce and online sales are the way forward, what are the choices and investments that companies must face in order to structure themselves on this front ?
E-Commerce and physical store: analogies
- Lease of the business
- Amplitude of the premises and availability of parking spaces
- Preparation of the activity
- Publicizing the business
- Proximity to the customer
If we take this list of activities, we cannot fail to note that each one brings with it considerations resulting from a compromise between investment capacity and expected result . Exactly as a virtual world.
If we make a similarity, the strategies and investments to be faced with a traditional activity are in many cases superimposable to those of a virtual reality. Let’s analyze the points by making analogies.
- The location of the business is very important because it essentially concerns visibility . This, in virtual terms, is called positioning in search engines, what in technical terms falls on the acronym SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This means that by typing an article you want to buy on Google, Bing or other search engines, our shop will appear among the first results.Positioning on search engines obviously has a cost, just like for a physical location, a good site design and article display, aided by an advertising investment, makes the difference from not appearing to appear.
- The size of the premises and the availability of parking spaces is an equivalent of the investment that I will make on the Information Technology infrastructure . That is, the ability to simultaneously serve my customers and make them walk through the corridors of my display shelves with the greatest ease and speed possible.
In virtual terms it means the computing capacity, the speed of the network that is guaranteed to support the traffic and the basic software components to be prepared.
In this regard, just like in a traditional business, I will have to calibrate my investment capacity which can vary from joining the already available platforms, Amazon, ePrice, eBay, Immediately, AliExpress to creating your own e-commerce site using platforms already available as Aruba, Wix, Shopify, etc.
However, if my business is already highly evolved, I will have the need to adapt the online sales with a structured approach and therefore by equipping myself with adequate equipment and tools.
The basic infrastructure for an e-commerce site is composed of the following tools:
- Security tools
- Data traffic balancing and routing tools
- Web Application Server
- As in the real world, even in the virtual presentation of the goods and therefore the setting up of the shop, it is very important . The tools to create our shop, which in the traditional world are exhibitors, are called Content Management System (CMS) (Shopping Cart Software Comparison) and are the foundations where to build your own shop. To evaluate the CMS suitable for your needs, you can check it directly on the Internet on a search engine by searching for ‘cms ecommerce’ and you will discover a world. The best approach in choosing the CMS is to rely on a Web Agency and it will be itself to recommend the CMS based on the knowledge developed on one or the other CMS and on the basis of the needs and investment spending capacity.
- Advertise your business , is another important theme, such as illuminated signs, road signs, publications in newspapers and magazines in the traditional world, the virtual world has its channels, and there you will be amazed at how much more effective these are compared to what a luminous sign can do. Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and social media in general are the equivalent of illuminated signs. The job of social media is to catalog groups of people based on their preferences, propensities, hobbies and then be the target of marketing and information campaigns. The increasingly discussed topic of “Machine Learning ” is nothing more than the ability of the advertising platforms to collect data and predict the future behavior of users, providing them with a product or service just when they are. looking for.
- A fundamental point in the sale is proximity to the customer. We should remember that the life cycle of an object ends not at the time of sale but when the object ends its purpose. The pre-sale and post-sale services are very important both in the traditional world but especially in the virtual world. If in the real world the possibility of interacting directly with a person comforts us, in the virtual world this comfort cannot be missing. How to do? First of all, by describing the references, telephone, physical or tax addresses, email addresses to ask questions, and simple and traceable support request Web Forms on your site. So the speed in responding and the competence in responding or, in the event of problems, the ability to take charge of the customer’s problem. For this purpose, an extraordinary tool is the Chat Bot ! It is the equivalent of the clerk who, seeing you turn among the shelves, discreetly approaches and asks you if it can be useful in the choice or research you are carrying out (Chatbot). These tools are indispensable in an E-Commerce and create harmony with the customer who is scrolling the pages in search of the object or information.
Traditional world and virtual world, what are the differences then?
None, customer care must remain the first goal! The difference is only in the place where the sale takes place. Obviously in the online world we have a significant advantage: if before the shop could only be reached by the neighboring ones, with E-Commerce there are no borders.
What can we do together?
Simplifying has always been our mission. The LBL Application Delivery Controller system (LBL ADC) is able to condense the security system, the load balancer, a reverse proxy in a single object and simultaneously mitigate cyber attacks.
Super Oplon Cloud (Super Oplon Cloud) is a ready-made infrastructure to be able to install your e-commerce systems in absolute safety. In Super Oplon Cloud you find the maximum of the stack completely installed and ready to host and protect your CMS with the security of artificial intelligence that analyzes traffic, discovers and defends your customer data.
If you already have your infrastructure and want to optimize it by making it simpler and with more modern firewall tools, the LBL Application Delivery Controller solution, together with the LBL Web Application Firewall security suite (LBL WAF), it can be quickly installed also in your datacenter or in your cloud. In no time you can use your applications with service and security levels aligned to the top of the range without touching the existing one.
LBL Application Delivery Controller and LBL Web Application Firewall are enabled for PCI certification (www.pcisecuritystandards.org ) with the powerful LBL File Integrity Monitoring that safeguards your content.