Why Egypt and Egyptian should invest on e-commerce. Egypt has the highest traffic among most of the countries according to UTI report and UNCTAD study for Egypt 2020 e-commerce strategy. Egypt has the highest traffic specially on social media but the lowest conversion rate. Time spent over internet in Egypt is average 8 hours per day time spent on social media average 3 hours per day. Only about 5.3% of internet users shop online. Very few Egyptian enterprise currently selling online 17% of large firms and 3% of small firms.
So as if you have your customers wondering most of the day on a mall and you just need to build your store and attract them to have conversion rate and sales. Reports shows that customers for first time prefer to spend time on social media and internet over TV for in Egypt. Advertising on social media still much cheaper than airing an AD over TV, even after decreasing the free reach on FB and companies now need to promote posts for more engagement and views. Social and digital advertising will always have a great role so companies in the case of Egypt will transform the current awareness to real conversion to sales. What companies can work on is better content to attract their customers and have some leverage over all available content and stories online. Also online CRM and online PR in Egypt still not used well, need more attentions and practices.
Egypt young population also is factor will facilitate the entry of e-commerce and become the dominate channel over offline ones. According to last statistics, Egypt population is 98 million; 70% of the population are under the age of 30. Also, the Egyptian government is supporting online sales they are aiming to increase B2C and B2B e-commerce volume to GDP from 0.5% to 1.5-2%. Double the number of Egyptian business selling online.
So now we have the customers on internet ready to buy, government support, and media for advertising.
About the cost of establishing new e-commerce may be high on the first couple of years (12-15%) , after that you will have cost between 3-5% compared with any other channel it is very low cost. with the increase of the volume and value of sales this percentage may go lower.
To start E-commerce project in Egypt you have to consider 5 essentials: –
Study and research
Study and research
First you have to do some researches to determine what kind of e-commerce platform you are going to build revenue, commercial or marketplace, depends on your strategy. Study the market gap, what you are going to cover, what kind of products you are going to offer.
Study the 5p’s , products you are going to sell , determine your price, what promotion you are going to offer and on what time, the positioning of your company, the people you are going to target.
In Egypt the top selling products are fashion, electronics and home appliance. There are a gap in suppling some online products in Egypt such as fashion. Also, you have to study very well the consumer behavior of your customers, what kind of products they can easily accept to buy online what other they prefer to touch and see before buying and how you are going to solve that online. Think always about the whole experience you are providing to your customers and what are they expecting to receive from your business.
Choose your tools
It is very important to know where your customers are whether they are using mobile, tablet, or desktop and build a user-friendly website with maximum 3 steps to complete the purchasing process. Make the website very easy that a small child can complete the purchasing online.
Operation and handling
For any online business you have to digitalize the whole process not only having a wonderful web portal with all the pictures and content. You have to digitalize your inventory system, your logistics, your delivery process and your payment solutions. Although in middle east still COD the main payment solution ( about 80%) but the % of credit cards, and another digital solution are doubled on the last couple of years. Remember you are providing a whole buying experience not only selling online and you have to enhance all the tools and operation to achieve this objective. According to Barbra E. Khan in her book the shopping revaluation, there are 4 main parameters you have to consider in building your online business. They are :- eliminate pain points, compete by price , offer different user experience, or availability of your products or service anytime any where to your customers. According to Barbra you have to master 2 of them and have the minimum from the rest beside the digital operation and digitalization you have to consider the offline process that support your online business. Always keep on mind that the only real person your customer will see is your delivery man this is the only tangible experience. Training your delivery team on emotional intelligent is very essential to know how to deal with your customers on different situation and also building an emotional bond with them to empower their loyalty.
Your online e-commerce doesn’t stop by selling your products or services. An ignored part by most of e-commerce, is online CRM. What you do that makes your customers come back time after time.
Using an efficient social media listening tool make it easier to understand your customers what they want and how was their experience online about your business. Analyzing the word of mouth over the social media to understand the point of your strength and point of your improvement is a very essential to start improving your business. It is a free market research.
Online CRM, is to offer your customers an experience and long term bond with your brand.
To achieve good online CRM first you have to know your customers. Online segmentation and targeting are more specific than any other media and its very easy to reach your segmentation by their interest for example, and you can also build a whole profile about who you want to target and also build a specific persona for them. Social media made it easy for targeting by my parameters and criteria.
It is very important to personalize your messages and try to engage your customers upon the segmentation you build. Don’t deliver one message to all. Personalizing and customizing your message lead to higher conversation and longer loyal relationship.
Now a day social media tools such as Facebook make it easier to customize your message and make segment to see different messages upon their interest on your products or different area(geographic) or by certain ages ( demographics) even better you can build a whole profile to your target audience to see different messages.
For example if you want to deliver a message to last 10 person was interested on your watching machines living on certain area all women and also their age is 25 interested in classis music you can. If you want to announce new offer for target customers under age of 18 going to the beach and also interested in gym and sports you can. So building as much messages as you want for every customer you have on your store is also possible. On this bases you can also build your relationship with different customers upon personalization standers.
It is very important to study your tools very well and what tools will satisfy the company needs. Another important point many companies fail in to choose a tool that integrate with the other tools in the company not ever invest on a stand-alone software or tool that doesn’t integrate or see the rest of the company. start first with the free tools they are many of them available online free and will support the company needs ate the beginning then start investing some money if the company needs start to expand you must expand too with more professional tool like sales force for example.
There are many tools will help you to empower your online CRM the most important which one suits your company and easy to integrate.
- Analysis tools: – Google analytics – Social bakers
- Social media tools: – Engagor , Google alerts, hootsuite
- CRM tools: – Microsoft, sales force
Building a relationship with online customers in current competition and current exposure is not an easy thing. The new millennium and new generations (X,Z) are not loyal to a brand any more they are loyal to your products or services once what your offering don’t satisfy their needs or expectation (which become very high )they will start to search for alternatives. So continuous engaging is very important to keep yourself on the top of mind of these generations and start to meet their high expectations. You have to engage them with unusual ways and ongoing plan must be continuous.