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A digital boost for SME

Thanks to bpost group, over a thousand local entrepreneurs have built their own web shop since June 2020. Evi De Hauwere, the woman behind interior design business and lunchspot De Wereld van Alice in Merchtem, tells us about her experiences: “Even after the pandemic, we will continue to sell online.”

With touslesmagasinsenligne.be, bpost group is pouring its e-commerce logistics experience into an all-in-one solution. It is a unique low-threshold platform that allows SMEs to create a complete online store in less than 30 minutes. touslesmagasinsenligne.be is the result of a collaboration with Shopitag and contains all the e-commerce elements: the creation of a web shop, online payments, fast and reliable deliveries by bpost, social media advertising, technical assistance and one hour of free e-commerce advice.

How did touslesmagasinsenligne.be start?

Marinka Bollens (Go to Market Manager Parcels & Logistics at bpost group): “As a reaction to corona. During the first lockdown, our CEO wanted to do something concrete for the local sellers who had to close their business. But it turned out to be more than just an encouragement. The platform grew into a full-fledged sales channel for more than a thousand Belgian SMEs.”

What attracts you to that platform?

Evi De Hauwere (De Wereld van Alice co-founder and business manager): “Together with my sister, I run a coffee and lunch bar for six years now. The bar is integrated in our interior decorations’ store. Corona has hit us hard. During the first lockdown, all of our trading stopped from one day to the other. Thanks to a friend I learned about touslesmagasinsenligne.be. When I discovered how easy it is to set up and manage my own online store via that platform, I immediately signed up.”

“We had a fantastic end of the year period thanks to this online shop and boomed again for Valentine 2021.”

Evi De Hauwere co-founder of De Wereld van Alice

What are the benefits of this solution for your business?

Evi De Hauwere: “I knew nothing about e-commerce. Now, without any technical knowledge, I put products online with accompanying photos or I change the web shops’ cover to put items in the spotlight, via our digital display window. Another great asset is the link with bpost. I can have customer orders picked up via the web shop and sent to the correct address with just one click. The chat function too is very handy: I can immediately contact Shopitag or a bpost employee online and ask him all my questions.”

Was it easy to set up this platform during corona?

Marinka Bollens: “It was not evident. In order to market the platform quickly and accurately, we had to work fast. In addition, many of our employees worked from home during the first lockdown, which was an extra challenge. We also had to work remotely with our external partner Shopitag.”

Does this channel generate additional sales for your business?

Evi De Hauwere: “Absolutely. We now sell tea products, ginger drinks, homemade granola and kitchen and interior items online. As a result, many customers have continued to find their way to our business. We had a fantastic end of the year period thanks to this online shop and boomed again for Valentine 2021.”

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“By the end of 2021, we would like to have more than 2,500 Belgian SMEs on the platform.”

Marinka Bollens Go to Market Manager Parcels & Logistics at bpost group

What has touslesmagasinsenligne.be taught you in the meantime?

Evi De Hauwere: “That e-commerce is particularly easy in this way and that a web shop is necessary for local sellers. We will continue to sell online even after the pandemic. You do have to reserve some time for it every day. You generate sales by remaining visible with the store. This is also possible via the platform, using handy links to social media channels.”

How does bpost group see the future of touslesmagasinsenligne.be?

Marinka Bollens: “For us, this is not a temporary initiative, but a lasting value. By the end of 2021, we want to have more than 2,500 Belgian SMEs on the platform. We are currently investigating which support services we can add. We want to help sellers not only with starting up a web shop, but also with its successful expansion. We are thinking, for example, of additional marketing support or specific logistics services for growing stores.”

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