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Small traders: how to digitize?

The recent pandemic that has affected our country has made us open our eyes to an important point of trade in 2020: the need to digitize and put in place its e-reputation. Today, the question of the digitization of companies, and in particular of shops, has become essential.

This digital transformation takes place in several stages in order to change the economic model of small businesses and sustain their activity. Several questions are thus raised. How to do ? Where to start? What is this change?

We answer them through this article in order to support small traders in their digitalization and define for you what is the challenge of the digital transformation of our companies.

Go digital: what does it mean?

The term "digitalization" has several facets depending on the sector of activity concerned by this transformation. It is a set of processes implementing technological developments and more specifically digital tools from IT and the web to digitize your business.

The implementation of this operation concerns all areas of activity and is now an essential development strategy.

However, this digitalization process is not new! It was born at the same time as the web. Our letters have gradually become emails, our stores have turned into e-commerce and our discussion spaces have migrated to social networks.

These are all factors that invite small merchants to keep pace with digital to evolve their stores.

What are the benefits of digitalization?

There are a multitude of advantages to digitizing your activity or your company. The most important of these is the “continuous service” that the web can offer. All information and sometimes even services, such as e-commerce, are accessible 24 hours a day, 24 days a week.

Any transmission of information is thus instantaneous. The dematerialization of your company allows you to continue your activity even when your store is physically closed. This allows you to expand your customer base and stay in constant contact with it. Know that an average of 55,5% of consumers tend to buy more often online and this figure has only increased in 2020 due to the two periods of confinement.

The second major benefit is the saving of time. Indeed, digital tools offer us the advantage of being programmed to respond to automation schemes. This allows us to save time and reduces the risk of errors or anomalies, such as in the often perilous inventory process.

How to digitize your business or business?

The digital transition takes place in 3 main phases. Customer relations, interaction with them and your company's database are the major axes of the transition. You must therefore work to facilitate contact with your customers, simplify communication and the transmission of information with them. You also need to digitize all your data to optimize the management of your business and support your marketing strategy.

Before jumping into the deep end, it is important to do an audit of your business. This consists of locating your company's current digitalization rate and defining your available acquisition levers in order to adapt your discourse on the web and use the right tools for your transition.

It is also necessary to define what are the real needs of your company. From one business to another, the needs are not necessarily the same. A digital transformation can be carried out in stages in order to amortize the costs. It is necessary to carry out this transition by test phase, in order to evolve your strategy according to the results.

Finally, it is necessary to check its economic model. This step highlights the digital tools implemented by your competitors. This makes it possible to identify the acquisition levers installed by them in order to optimize.

What are the tools for digitizing?

The essential element for any digitalization of business or commerce is the website!

Having a site allows you to have either a portfolio of your achievements or an online store without closing hours! Your customers can access all the information and all your products at any time of the day or week.

It is therefore necessary to build a quality website that causes a pleasant user experience, but also with a SEO referencing optimized to be visible!

You also have to think responsive. 52% of online purchases are made from a smartphone. It is therefore imperative that your website is adapted for mobiles and tablets.

You must of course think that your site is the showcase of your activity. Every written or visual communication should not be taken lightly.

The second essential tool to become a 2.0 company is communication on social networks. It is a tool often neglected by small businesses and yet it is the greatest conversion lever!

Whether it's Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, social networks have become an essential way to increase your notoriety. They allow you to stay in daily contact with your customers and offer you a platform dedicated to the communication of your services.

The digitization of your business or your business can be done in different forms. You can create a showcase website, an online store, increase your audience through social networks and grow your business remotely without neglecting the customer experience.

Digital is essential to preserve the link with all of its customers and to keep your business going without any closing time constraints. The health crisis that we have been facing for several months has led many entrepreneurs to embark on the digital adventure.

Know that it is necessary to be accompanied by a web agency in your digital transformation project in order to manage your budget effectively during this transition. In addition, several regional aids are gradually emerging to support you in financing this project.

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