The practice goals are to provide competences and a virtual CMS platform enabling companies to utilize online marketplaces (E-export).
The practice is aimed primarily for helping Danish B2B companies that can potentially market their products in online marketplaces. The companies can be entrepreneurs as well as established companies, both with and without established e-commerce. The project consists mainly of three main activities: Mapping: The project will uncover corporate attitudes and knowledge about e-export and online marketplaces and their readiness to sell through digital channels in global online marketplaces. The project will investigate barriers and opportunities for e-export in the companies. In addition, a global survey of the potential online e-export marketplaces is undertaken to assess which marketplaces are relevant to each company. Model and tools: The project will develop a model, as well as tools to clarify the company's maturity for e-export through online marketplaces. The purpose is to assist companies in narrowing down the potential online marketplaces based on a match with the company's readiness and the company's existing business model. Platform for e-export: This activity focuses on designing and developing a prototype of a digital platform (Virtual CMS) for Danish companies who want to get online in one or more of the selected online marketplaces.
The resources needed in the project is 7 part-time persons in total from the two project partners and the one associated partner plus IT-platform development. The funding for the project is total 1.2 million Euro which is provided by www.industriensfond.dk/E-eksport under the program E-eksport.
Evidence of success
The goal in the project is by end 2020 to have moved 100 companies onto an online marketplace platform via the Virtual CMS platform. Currently the project goals are (almost) on track with 50 companies signed up for the Virtual CMS platform. It turns out the usage of a Virtual CMS platform are often considered second step when entering an online marketplace. The informational part of the project has been successful with close to 1000 companies receiving information and participating in workshops.
One challange encountered initially in the project was the willigness of companies to enter and use the Virtual CMS Platform, however this has improved throughout the project. During 2020 there is an (almost) exponential entry onto the platform and the target of 100 companies are within reach.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice is an excellent jump start for companies that want to enter the online market and want to achieve experiences in the online market. The companies can after a sudden period decide if they want to pursue their own online webshop or if they want to continue on one or more online marketplaces either national or international. The Virtual CMS platform enables companies to maintain their products information and stock availability in one place only. Information is pushed out to selected online marketplaces - this could for instance be Amazon UK, Amazon DE, Newegg US etc.
The good practice can be used as inspiration for public policy makers to focus on means and measures (similar to the one mentioned here) to support SME's through funded programs providing both knowledge and an easy access to enter online markets places like Amazon and Alibaba.
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