Strategic planning is key to a successful online store

What is the role of marketplaces in Hungary, what do the multinational players think are the most important differences between each market? Why thorough planning and background systems supporting the operation are important, and finally, what role do all these play in the growth of Hungarian online shops? Our business development director participated as a moderator at 2020’s Ecommerce Expo on 30 January. Róbert Pintér led the roundtable discussion entitled ‘Do This After Us! - E-growth strategies’ with guests, Máté Papp (eMAG), Johanna Janositz (eCipő), Zsigmond Máriás (LogiNet) and Péter Kovács (Libri-Bookline).

One of the most significant domestic e-commerce developments of the past year was the merger of eMAG and eDigital. In connection with this, the representative of eMAG stated that they would like to keep as much of the online traffic generated from Hungary as possible for companies with domestic interests vis-à-vis foreign companies. Máté Papp feels that the two companies together can provide the best possible offers and the highest quality by keeping the interests of customers in mind. The marketplace type of sales that eMAG offers can be ideal for any company that aims to sell online. You can join without registration fees and hidden costs, a large team monitors the members and helps them with advice. They can also make it easier to expand into a foreign market if someone thinks about it. Because of these advantages, they can further expand their partner network month by month, which now counts thousands in Hungary alone.

ECipő arrived in Hungary as the Polish market leader and was able to take a similar position here in two years. Johanna Janositz sees the secret of their success in the extremely wide range of products and in considering the specific needs of the market. Adapting to the price sensitivity of Hungarian consumers, as well as getting to know customer habits and brand preferences, are both important parts of their success. At their company, the reduction in delivery time and the unique product return policy have greatly contributed to the growth. Regarding the main differences between the markets, Johanna Janositz highlighted consumer protection regulations. Among the countries supplied by eCipő, these conditions are the strictest in Hungary, to which a company from abroad finds it difficult to adapt at first, but at the same time, it is essential for its operation.


Without a conscious strategy, a web store cannot be successful

The merger of Libri and Bookline may seem like a strange decision at first, but with different positioning, both brands can perform well. Péter Kovács, the company's representative said Bookline emphasizes the youthful, modern, innovative line, while Libri builds on expertise, a stable background, and an extensive store network. Libri-Bookline is present in a market that is limited in size due to digitalization and declining population yet has managed to recover from the 2008 crisis and is now slowly able to grow. As a secret to their success, he highlighted conscious and thorough planning that permeates the entire company from top management to warehouses. All decisions are carefully considered and weighed before being put into practice.

LogiNet did not represent the web stores in the roundtable, but the IT companies that develop commercial software to enable them to operate. For web stores to grow successfully, you need a reliable back-end system. With the help of this, the degree of automation can be increased, so that human resources can also be managed more efficiently. Mobile applications are becoming more popular, so it is important to incorporate them into your business strategy as well. User experience (UX) also plays a significant role in the success of web stores. Zsigmond Máriás, the head of the company, said that this is not about what is beautiful or what is not, as that is a subjective characteristic. The user experience also includes how logically a page is structured, how effectively it performs the task for which it was designed. These characteristics can be measured and analyzed, based on which the given website can be developed.

At the end of the discussion, Róbert Pintér asked the participants to briefly summarize their own experiences that a small web store could successfully use for growth. The importance of mobiles has emerged among the advices as an increasing proportion of orders come from these devices. In addition, credit card payment is becoming more and more popular among customers, so it is worth providing the opportunity of this kind of payment in online stores. Finding market niches can also be an advantage, it is worth looking for a product that is not available elsewhere or only available in a different way. If you cannot find a new, unique product, you can gain a competitive edge with low prices. The importance of the available Hungarian-language telephone customer service was also emphasized by the participants of the roundtable, as experience has shown that Hungarians especially need this kind of contact between the buyer and the seller. Knowledge of the market and the determination of the market position of one's own business are essential for conscious planning. Even just a well-structured SWOT analysis can be a great help to the latter. However, it is not enough to assess the market and your performance once, it is also important that a company performs these analyzes regularly and is able to respond to changes. Creating a conscious value-based development roadmap can help you see processes more easily.

It can also be seen from the discussion that there can be several different paths to growth, a company can develop by focusing on different aspects. Reacty Digital can help you assess a (sub)market to support your decisions, but we also offer custom solutions in customer satisfaction measurement, so if someone became a customer may return next time.

As digitization increases, more and more data is available to companies about consumers and their behavior. Analyzing and incorporating these datasets into marketing activities is now essential for those who want to grow in the market, as in an increasingly fierce competition, small differences can decide which company is in a better position. Using existing information appropriately, data-driven decisions can be made on both day-to-day and strategic issues. With Reacty Digital's data-driven operations monitoring solutions, you can easily and quickly see the key metrics of your company's operations, making decisions more efficient.

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