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Créer votre commerce en ligne pour le Black Friday et le Cyber Monday

Version anglaise / English Version

Statistics Mauritius’ Q1 2023 Quarterly Labour Force Survey showed that some 13,800 or 35% of the unemployed labour force is made up of youth aged 16-24 years. Almost half of these young people (6,800) are yet to get married and are on the lookout for their first job.

If you are one of them, starting a business from home is a great way to earn money, boost your confidence and develop skills. The eCommerce market in Mauritius is booming –  revenues are set to rise from an estimated US$213.20m in 2023 to a forecast US$352.30m by 2027, an annual growth rate of 13.38%. With the number of users expected to hit 526.9k by 2027, an online startup may just be your best bet.

Says Joshua Shimkin, Head of SME Growth & Marketing at Peach Payments,“If you set up your business ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ll have the opportunity to cash in on this lucrative shopping event. You’ll tap into the heightened consumer demand and benefit from the increased traffic and sales opportunities.”

Launching your online business a few months before the Black Friday shopping weekend  – which runs from 24 to 27 November this year – will let you test your systems, processes, and customer experience. You can then use these insights to identify and address any issues or bottlenecks, and ensure that your operations are streamlined and optimised.

“It can be challenging to start an online business without funding, but with the right approach and dedication, it’s possible to build a successful venture,” Shimkin says.

Here’s what you need to get you started:
1. A profitable niche: Competitor research is essential when starting an online business. There’s no point in trying to compete with the big players if you’re not going to be able to offer something unique. Use free tools such as Google Alerts, and search on social media platforms and online communities to gather information about your competitors. Analyse publicly available information in press releases, websites, and social media accounts to understand their offerings, pricing, target audience, and customer feedback. Focus on actionable insights that can inform your strategy and differentiate your startup. This approach will also tell you whether shoppers are interested in buying the product you intend selling, be it clothing, holiday tours or beauty treatments.
Pro tip: Subscribe to competitors’ email lists. You’ll see all the discounts and events they use to promote sales. You can factor that into your business plan. 
2. A solid business plan: To develop a business plan, first conduct market research, identify your target audience, and decide on a marketing and sales strategy. Think of a well-crafted business plan as a blueprint for you to run and grow your startup effectively. There are some good examples here.
Pro tip: Think through some scenarios. What happens if sourcing your products takes twice as long? What would you do?
3. Start lean: Work from home to minimise overhead costs, use the resources you have already, and spend money on only the essential tools and services you need to run your business. Prioritise tasks that directly impact revenue generation, like effective marketing and sales strategies, getting and keeping customers, optimising pricing, and forging strategic partnerships. Take advantage of online tutorials, webinars, and resources to develop your skills and knowledge.
Pro tip: There are a lot of local and national government programs that offer grants to start businesses.  You will have to apply and wait for a decision, but if you never start, you will never earn. 
4. A website: A website is the foundation of your online presence. It is a central hub where potential customers and partners can learn about your startup, its products or services, and its value proposition. Through your website, you can generate leads, make sales, and build your brand. It’s a powerful tool for growth, visibility, and success in the digital era. If you’re a novice, use a website builder like Wix or Shopify to create your site. 
Pro tip: If you want to start very lean, you can just use a hosted payment links page to accept card transactions and EFTs and rely on email and WhatsApp to send the links for payment from your customers. 
5. Optimised images: For websites to display correctly on any device, you’ll need optimised open graph images and site icons (images that show up in the right shape, size and format irrespective of the device that is used to access your website). Don’t make the mistake of thinking of them as an unnecessary time-sink or expense. They influence the performance of the content links you share on Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Twitter and create a professional look. Most website builders have the functionality to optimise images – look for it or ask for help in online forums dedicated to your website builder. There’s a useful summary of what needs to be done here. 
Pro tip: Starting with the stock photography is great. But at some point, you might want to differentiate with sharper or more evocative images. Find a specialist in product photography. 
6. Accepting payments: Secure and reliable payment methods build trust and credibility with your customers. To maximise sales opportunities, you need a comprehensive payment platform that accepts different forms of payment (credit and debit cards, buy now pay later options and vouchers, among others). Being able to pay effortlessly will improve customer satisfaction, and drive the success of your business. Check on your website builder’s site for a list of payment platforms that integrate with your website. Then investigate their functionality and costs to choose the best option for your business. 
Pro tip: Some payment platforms will complete administrative tasks like invoicing, issuing receipts, and bank reconciliations, which can come in handy if you’re a solopreneur. 
7. Email marketing: Email marketing is a great way to build customer loyalty and increase sales. It allows you to engage with your audience, and offer exclusive discounts. If you don’t have a way to capture your customers’ email addresses, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Klaviyo, Mailchimp and HubSpot are among the top email marketing tools available. Constant Contact is another option that’s popular among beginner businesses for its simple, easy-to-use interface and wide variety of fully designed templates.
Pro tip: Many website builders like Shopify, Wix and WordPress have their own email services or plugins from popular providers that integrate seamlessly with your website. 
8. Social media marketing: Social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Threads and X (previously called Twitter) will help you to promote your business and engage with potential customers. To ensure ongoing success, analyse and improve your marketing efforts where necessary. Stay adaptable, experiment with different tactics, and evaluate and adjust your strategies as needed. A simple tool to get you started is Friends+Me. Buffer and Hootsuite are popular and have reliable free versions. 

Pro tip: Pick only one or two social media platforms to focus on at first. Trying to do all of them at once will spread you too thin. 

“While Black Friday was not well known in Mauritius even a few years ago, COVID has levelled the playing field and ensured that this trend has spread to the island as well,” says Sandeep Chagger, Peach Payments COO. “Now, be it scoring weekend getaways in holiday hotspots, or getting that phone they’ve been saving up for in time for the end-of-year holidays, consumers in Mauritius are increasingly looking out for Black Friday deals. Gearing up your online business in time to leverage this growing market is a smart way to boost your earnings.”

“Starting a new venture is hard work, and it will take time to grow,” he says, “but if you stay committed to your goals and consistently deliver value, you can expect success beyond the biggest shopping weekend.”

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