SMEs, in a phase of accelerated adaptation to e-commerce

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Between the second and third week of the Covid-19 quarantine, SMEs that had their electronic sales in the background put it at the center of their activity, and those that did not have it in their sights began to make their first experiences.

The data is provided by advisers and specialists in electronic commerce, who from one week to the next saw the demand for medium-sized companies triple to micro-companies, concerned that the continuity of isolation threatens their businesses.

Mateo Navarra, director of Interior Commissions of the Argentine Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Cace), exemplified with his own consultancy Locus what the explosion of demand was.

“With some projects, we had been in conversation for six months and they did not close. Now everyone wants to speed up. In March we had three times as many contracts as in September last year, ”he says.

The growth of e-commerce It is not a new phenomenon. According to the latest study by Cace with the consulting firm Kantar, last year the sector billed 403,278 million pesos, 76 percent more than in 2018, with jumps of 12 percent in the number of purchase orders (about 89 million) and 22 percent in the number of products, which shows that the rise was also in real terms, beyond inflation.

Córdoba contributes 12 percent of consumption on line national, but it has a reduced participation in the virtual offer, of only four to five percent.

“There are two different realities. There are companies with more than 100 employees, who now have merchandise and idle staff and are putting it to meet demand from the Internet. And later, the smallest ones, which assume this as a way of survival to try to get through the situation, ”explains Navarra.

Neighborhood businesses

This demand is widespread. It ranges from businesses to academies and professionals (psychologists, therapists, etc.) and also reaches small neighborhood businesses, whose greatest potential was proximity and who now turn to tools such as WhatsApp to contact their clients.

Guillermo Montenegro, president of the Mediterranean Chamber of Electronic Commerce (Camece) and head of the consultancy Top Digital, agrees on this.

Both professionals agree that the key is multi-channel, that is, exploring all channels, from Mercado Libre (the market place reference) or the internet portal itself, up to WhatsApp and social networks.

“It all depends on what level of digitization you want to achieve. People are afraid to go out, so the key is to generate a communication channel with the customer and retain him. There are greengrocers and food houses in neighborhoods that use WhatsApp to send offers, bags and menus, “he said.

Official Boost: Buy Friend

They prepare a business geolocation system.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Mining of the Province is preparing a renewal of the Information System for the Strengthening of Commercial and Services Activity (Sifcos). Within this framework, it would present in the next few days a portal of “friendly shopping” on the internet, to give consumers higher levels of security and neighborhood businesses, an online geolocation system for their points of sale to facilitate their sales.

Adaptation. Many stores sell through WhatsApp, and then the purchase is withdrawn. (Pedro Castillo)

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