Nathalie Slight | Journalist
CEFRIO is a centre facilitating research and innovation in organizations with information and communication technology. Over the last 3 years, they've provided support to 15 small or medium enterprises (SME) in Quebec making the transition to digital. Guillaume Ducharme, Director of Communications & Partner Relations, shares 5 insights from PMO 2.0, a study on how SMEs can get the most out of the digital space*.
Do a complete diagnostic of your business before entering the digital space
How does your business use digital technology? What's your digital budget? What type of operating system are you running? Before you launch an online store, think about where you're starting from; it helps you plan where you're going. Creating a digital presence is usually more accessible than you think.
Delegate one person to lead your digital project and give them the resources they need to succeed
If you delegate an internal resource to lead the digital project, you need to free up their schedule. The project isn't going to go as well if your employee is supervising the launch of an online store while still handling all of their regular duties and responsibilities.
Get the entire business involved
Businesses with online stores need everyone in-house to be supportive and involved in order to achieve the expected benefits. A big project like that isn't departmental; it's organizational! When all the employees are involved, they understand the long-term benefits and contribute to make sure it's a success.
Hire an external consultant
An external consultant will bring a fresh and unbiased point of view to your move to the digital space. They aren't emotionally involved, so they'll be completely neutral and make sure every decision is made with the business' best interests in mind.
A digital presence isn't just for big companies
It's not the size of the company that dictates whether the move into the digital space will be successful. It's whether or not you have effective business practices in place that meet the business's needs. It makes sense for an SME like a dry-cleaning shop, a cafe or a small restaurant to have an online store, or at least to have their products or service up on the web. Online consumers are just a step--or a click--away from a purchase.
A few figures:
- 74% of adult Quebecers do research online before they start shopping.
- 86% of adult Quebecers are regular Internet users.
- In 2015 in Quebec, almost one adult in three made more than one online purchase a month. Online consumers spent an average of approximately $300 a month.
* currently available in French only