“Digital is now primarily recognized as a sales channel“and the need for support for traders”it exploded for a few monthssummarized Cyril Grira, member of the board of directors of Acsel and director of the industry, retail and omnichannel division of Google France, during the presentation of the results of the 6And edition of the “Growth and Digital” barometer, on 1uh last June, in Paris. A survey carried out by the Ipsos institute for the Association for Commerce and Online Services (Acsel) to which 700 business entrepreneurs of all sizes responded this year.
Digital contributes to the turnover of one in two merchants
After a year of crisis in 2020 and a year of recovery in 2021, 39% of the merchants interviewed expect a growth in their turnover in 2022, or the forecasts “rather optimistic“, Estimated Cyril Grira. And if digital represents “an opportunity“for 65% of them it remains”an absolute duty“For 31% and”ignoredby 4%. Above all, digital technology today contributes to the turnover of one in two merchants (51%) for all the companies interviewed and one in three (69%) for companies with fewer than 20 employees.
Towards the development of omnichannel strategies
Today, “digital is seen as a way to develop e-commerce, but also local commerce“, Generating traffic in physical stores,”especially in smaller companies“. Therefore, the development of an omnichannel strategy, which consists in using all communication and sales channels, physical and digital, simultaneously and interconnected, is a goal for 51% of the merchants questioned (+16 points compared to the barometer of June 2021). Developing a physical and digital commercial activity together allows both to maintain (83%) and improve (72%) the relationship with the customer, but also to safeguard the activity when the shops cannot be opened (82 %) – teaching about the health crisis.
Social networks increasingly used as sales vectors
73% of surveyed merchants did so‘a showcase site and 72% of a professional page on social networks, rates that rise to 90 and 92% for companies with less than 20 employees. “Social networks are used for visibility and communication “, but also ” as a transaction tool, marketing vector“Noted Fabienne Simon, deputy general manager of Ipsos Marketing.
Therefore, 45% of traders surveyed use social networks to market their goods and services, a four-point increase over the previous edition of the barometer. 37% have their own merchant site and 11% use the merchant sites of other companies. Finally, 40% use analysis tools to get to know their customers better (57% in companies with less than 20 employees).
A need for support
While the majority of companies surveyed (55%) say they have in-house skills to support their digital transformation (up four points from 2020), “the support of companies is needed to build skills“Continued Fabienne Simon. In fact, a quarter of merchants (24%) say they need support in their digital transformation, “many of which are already quite well digitized“.
These needs concern in particular the mastery of digital tools by employees (84%), the design of a roadmap to know where to start (80%) or the development of an online sales channel (66%). It should be noted that trainees, work-study apprentices and young graduates are now more sought after for their mastery of digital than for their low cost.
Appropriation of CSR through eco-responsible offers
As part of this survey, Acsel this year wanted to shed light in particular on practices related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). It shows that only a quarter of the merchants surveyed have implemented a global CSR policy, but that nearly one in two (49%) offer or are preparing to propose an eco-responsible offer very soon. This commitment to developing these offers aims both to make sense of consumption (75%) and to satisfy customer expectations (70%). In terms of CSR,there is still a long way to go but it is a topic that traders appropriate in relation to the offer“, Concluded Fabienne Simon.