Le Panier Bleu Report, Technological Capabilities Section: Issue # 4: Internal expertise

Le Panier Bleu Report, Technological Capabilities Section: Issue # 4: Internal expertise

Description of the issue and scope

The lack of in-house expertise can quickly become a hindrance to the growth of a business. Indeed, a merchant experiencing some success online must adapt and renew their technologies to continue their growth. However, a certain degree of inertia sets in: the accumulation of information and digital assets is a job of endurance for businesses. This therefore implies both new technologies, but also new procedures and expertise. Business owners find it difficult to see added value in modernizing their information systems, and the perception that they are more cost centers rather than means of value creation therefore makes them less likely to work on the implementation of connected tools. This situation exacerbates the effects of technological backwardness and leads to deficient knowledge, development and marketing of products.

Stakeholders concerned

This issue concerns several players. First, companies need to be able to identify their priorities and know where they stand to gain the most. They must also, as mentioned in the previous issue on external expertise, know who to contact and at least know what technologies are available.

On the human resources side, we need to know when it will be necessary to hire a person responsible for technology or a person with expertise in digital marketing and what real skills are required. In addition, it is important to ensure that employees have the necessary knowledge and training to understand new technologies. Finally, it is important to ensure that the desired technologies will be offered by the competent local suppliers. One of the consequences of this lack of internal expertise is the inertia within the organization which slows down the taking of initiatives by internal employees, who could on the contrary be champions of these new initiatives and continuously improve business processes.

Recommendation: Implementation of a training platform with easy integration

In order to overcome this problem, we propose to develop a simple platform, with easy integration, to limit the training time of the internal workforce while maximizing the results. This platform and its knowledge base will need to stand out from those of Shopify, Amazon Marketplace and Salesforce. Also, a reflection will have to be held in order to know who will contribute to the content and who will ensure its governance. Thus, we must manage to make the use of the chosen platform or site as multimedia, intuitive and efficient as possible.

For retailers, the goal is to minimize friction during use. We also want customers to come back on the site, not necessarily out of obligation, but more out of desire. The platforms of Uber, Simplify and Apple are prime examples of what to aim for in simplicity. We are talking about limiting any unnecessary clicks, making sure to be able to integrate the platform quickly, or by using a Google or Facebook account, to have an option to exit the site and make possible payments without an account and to retain and use the information appropriately.

Our experts recommend following industry best practices when developing the platform and involving potential customers or study groups to confirm their understanding and adoption of the platform. It would also be relevant to define clear success objectives that will allow the platform to measure its success, for example a minimum number of merchants and users, the time before obtaining the right search result, the time in seconds to finalize a transaction, etc. We also suggest using data from clicks and previous purchases to make concrete recommendations for the visitor and optimize their training path.



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