As companies move towards more and more digitization, it’s only natural that they would begin looking for ways to bring sales into the future. Diving into E-commerce is a great way to get started, and having a road map to kick that transformation into high gear is priceless.
Yunis Eillyas is the Global Digital Sales Manager at Bostik, and his team had their work cut out for them when they started looking at creating an E-commerce platform. Bostik is a part of the Arkema Group, which had over 9.5 billion sales in 2021. They operate out of over 50 different countries, each with their own unique challenges when it comes to E-commerce.
With so many variables to consider, the team needed to create a formula that would jumpstart digitization for each organization. Having this plan in place allowed them to focus on the things that made each country’s needs unique.
Setting the Ground Work
When the team at Bostik saw that they had huge growth in online sales, they started on the journey to levelling up their E-commerce strategy. They needed to know what exactly they were after, so started with a list of important questions.
- What Are The Winning Horses? – In each country they operated in, what was driving online sales? Live streams? Direct shipping?
- What Type of Org Do We Need? – They had a digital team, but it was new and needed more growth.
- What Level of Investment? – How much were they willing to spend in money, time, and resources?
- Do We Have The Knowledge In-House? – They had a very knowledgeable team, but E-commerce was something new.
- When Is It an Online Sale? How Do We Track It Financially? – This gets more complicated when you have realtors that are mostly online but have two or three physical locations.
- Is Our Digital Architecture Ready? – Even if you have everything else in order, if your digitization isn’t up-to-date, you’ll be out of luck.
- Do We Have Any Analytics Today to Build Further On? – Having guidance on where to move towards is vital.
- For Which Markets is This Relevant? – This will help you prioritize and stay on track.
- What Is Our Priority Project? – Your organization likely has many projects on the go, so you need to know exactly what is important to get this off the ground.
Once they had answered these fundamental questions, they were able to develop the formula and adjust it to fit the project’s specific needs.
Breaking Down the Formula
Ultimately, with the sheer number of countries and markets that they were operating within, the team at Bostik knew they would need a fool-proof strategy in place that could drum up excitement and buy-in across the board.
They developed a plan that would help make the platform possible while attracting talent and resources from the rest of the company.
Step One: Evangelize
The team working on E-commerce needed to ensure that the entire company was on board and saw the value of working towards E-commerce. Once they showed how quickly the digital market was growing, they were able to get a lot more people excited about the project.
Step Two: Educate
Eillyas and the core group started compiling data and resources to train their team. They needed to understand the digital market, how to create and track digital campaigns, and how to use analytics tools to gain insights into customer behaviour.
This education also needed to extend to the entire corporation, as the e-commerce platform would eventually affect every team.
Step Three: Merchandise
The next goal on the horizon was to establish exactly how E-commerce would operate. This included knowing what form of E-commerce they would be pursuing.
There are lots of different channels that E-commerce can go through, including social media, quick commerce (such as Uber Eats), prepay (such as Amazon), and beyond. This amount grows exponentially when you factor in Bostik’s presence in multiple different countries.
Step Four: Grow
With a focus on organisational maturity, Eillyas and the team worked on developing a plan to grow the E-commerce team and its capabilities. This meant hiring new people, training existing staff, and working on creating processes that ensured that everyone was following the same set of standards.
They worked closely with upper management to ensure that they were able to get the resources they needed in order to succeed in their mission. Having the support of higher-ups allowed the team to get the resources they needed to continue developing the platform.
Step Five: Empower
With the complete backing of the company at large, the E-commerce team was able to build an excellent E-commerce platform. It included standardized product presentation, and cross-platform functionality, and was customized for each country they brought it into.
Once the platform was live, they worked on empowering the team to be able to make decisions that would add value and further their goals. They also had to ensure that their customers could navigate the platform with ease.
Step Six: Integrate
Once the bulk of the work was complete, the E-commerce team was, for the most part, split up to return to their previous positions. This meant that every team had an E-commerce expert that they could touch base with. A core group of passionate and knowledgeable individuals were kept to focus on innovation within E-commerce and be available to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Having this framework in place has allowed Bostik to continue growing its E-commerce platform, setting up specific teams and taskforces in each country, one by one.
Crafting the Customer Experience
Eillyas knew that if they were going to put this kind of effort into a project, they would need to have a clear vision of what the best-case scenario was. He breaks excellent customer experience into six categories and chose a company to emulate in each category.
- Personalisation – Using individualised attention to drive an emotional connection – Spotify
- Integrity – Being trustworthy and engendering trust – IBM
- Expectations – Managing, meeting, and exceeding customer expectations – Booking.com
- Resolution – Turning a poor experience into a great one – Amazon
- Time and Effort – Minimising customer effort and creating frictionless processes – Amazon
- Empathy – Achieving an understanding of the customer’s circumstances to drive deep rapport – Zalando
The E-commerce team at Bostik aimed to emulate even half of what each of these companies does, creating a balanced and overall exceptional customer experience. The time and attention to detail helped to get their partners as invested in this digitization initiative as the team was.
Every journey to digitization is going to be different. However, with a plan in place to get your organization excited about the project at hand, you’re far more likely to get the talent, resources, and time you need to make a real difference.
Continually going back to results will keep your team’s momentum going, and eventually lead to an innovative, integrated E-commerce solution.
Source: This article is based on takeaways from a keynote presentation by Bostik at the recent E-Connect Europe conference in Stockholm. To access a recording of this keynote, join our Manufacturing Business Community here.