Ecommerce helps enterprise to earn, however calls for its personal technique
When creating a website, an entrepreneur has to manage the platform, payment services and inventory
Small companies that adhere to online commerce gain competitiveness and increase their revenue composition. But, to achieve financial gains, they have to put in place a new structure – which includes contracting a platform, payment service and inventory management.
The ecommerce platform is the service behind the website accessed by the customer and responsible for storing sales and product data.
When hiring it, the entrepreneur should pay attention to scalability and the ability to connect to other tools (so-called integrations), such as payment methods and delivery systems.
The layout, or appearance of the site, should also be taken into consideration. There are platforms with designs that can be easily edited without needing developer help. Above all, it is important that the page is easy to navigate, to prevent the customer from giving up on the purchase.
Inventory management is another strategic point for online sales. Barbara Tonhela, senior manager of the Ecommerce na Practical school, recommends supplying the site with goods available in greater quantities, even if it is necessary to reduce the variety.
“Sales channels do not give an audience to stores that have two or three items of a product, because they sell out quickly. If you have 50 or 100 units, it already makes sense to give visibility”, he says.
Regina Camargo, 49, owner of Tiki Festas, an event items store in Campinas, in the interior of São Paulo, makes only 25% of her physical stock available on e-commerce. It prioritizes items that are less common in search channels like Google, which guarantee the site’s audience.
Adalberto Ribeiro, 41, partner at Livraria Simples, in São Paulo, invested BRL 3,600 to start online sales in March 2020. Today, 14% of revenue comes from the website.
Since the beginning of the e-commerce operation, the business has sold the products available in the physical store online, without separate stocks.
According to Fernando Moulin, professor of consumer experience management at ESPM, this is common among small companies, which have fewer resources to assemble specific inventories for each operation.
In these cases, Moulin says that the ideal is to adopt a management system that can be integrated into the sites, known by the acronym ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning or business resource planning).
The ERP registers all the company’s financial transactions and generates invoices. Thus, it allows accounting of entry and exit of products.
This control helps to avoid selling items that are not available online. But, to avoid failures, the ideal is to make periodic counts to check if the system and stock are aligned. Today, there are ERP plans aimed at small businesses, some linked to platforms.
Complete product information and well-produced photos also help the site to position itself in search engines. This content can be used in email marketing, networks and digital campaigns.
Regina, from Tiki Festas, invests in paid ads on social networks, which, she says, increased access to the virtual store by 20%. The site, launched in 2020, was responsible for a fifth of the company’s turnover last year.
Selling on marketplaces is an additional strategy used by Livraria Simples. Samuel Gonsales, director of relationship at the specialized site E-commerce Brasil, explains that these channels have sales power thanks to a strong customer base – which is usually a problem for those starting out online.
In addition to capturing consumers, other focuses of attention are delivery and service, including exchanges and returns. When an item is sold, it is necessary to remove it from stock, prepare a package containing the invoice and decide on the means of shipment, according to the destination and size of the product – carriers or Mail are the options.
The entrepreneur still needs to monitor service channels to solve problems such as lost packages or delay in delivery.
If demand is high, the ideal is to appoint a team that will exclusively take care of this set of tasks. There is an option to outsource the exchange operation.
Fernando Moulin recalls that special attention must be paid to financial services. The contracting of payment systems is generally negotiated without involving the ecommerce platform. Rates and technical specifications vary between providers.
Regina Camargo invested BRL 1,500 to open the Tiki Festas website, but at the time, she did not know that the anti-fraud feature (responsible for stopping suspicious purchases) was contracted separately. As a result, she lost R$10,000 worth of products that were shipped but not paid for. “For a small business that was starting to sell on the internet, it was an impact. But after hiring the anti-fraud system, it didn’t happen anymore.”
In the case of smaller companies, the recommendation is to purchase the security feature together with the means of payment, to avoid system integration errors, explains Barbara Tonhela, from the Ecommerce na Practical school.