Creating an online profile and betting on electronic commerce are the keys for businesses to survive Covid-19.
Advertise and have a presence on the internet? Until before the Covid-19 pandemic began, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Mexico did not consider it. 2019 figures from Google indicate that five out of 10 small businesses in the country did not even have a website.
“The coronavirus did much more for the digital transformation than all the companies we had been working on so that small companies understood the importance of it,” says Carlos Oettel, commercial manager for Latin America at the software company Totvs.
In a time of confinement, the presence on the internet represented a lifeline for many businesses. Through this channel they reached their clients, captivated new ones and landed in international markets. It ceased to be an option to become a necessity, because as a result of the pandemic online shopping soared up to 300%, according to the eLeaders initiative, made up of 80 online commerce companies.
For Oettel, the biggest challenge has been for SMEs who had no way of selling online prior to the emergence of the new coronavirus and who, after this crisis, had to enter e-commerce without much knowledge and almost immediately.
To help business owners in this transition, organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) , Google, and Shopify launched virtual guides and trainings with clear strategies for SMEs to attract more customers through advertising, counteracting the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and stay alive in the country, where they generate 78% of employment, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
“People will always want and need to buy, but the way we are buying is changing. Especially now, since many governments are ordering companies in non-essential industries to close due to social distancing, ”Evelyn Marriaga, Sales Manager at software company Zendesk, explains in a statement.
The Globo’Magic balloon store, located in Querétaro, started using advertising in Google Ads nine years ago. This allowed him to take the sale of his products to different parts of Mexico, something that they had not achieved with their previous strategies, which ranged from working with event decorators and acquiring spaces in the Yellow Section directory, to distributing flyers .
The company, according to its founders, managed to turn the digital channel into a sales generator. 40% of its clientele came through this medium and diversified the range of potential customers by buying more space on Google Ads, reaching 69% of buyers. Currently, the business segments its ads by area and keywords.
The owners of Artesanal Shoes in Oaxaca have also had positive results by improving their internet presence. They started using Google My Business to bring their products to customers they had not had a chance to reach. The company went from manufacturing five pairs a week to 15 or 20 and 70% of its clientele comes through the technological tool.
In addition, the profile was uploaded to Google Maps just by sharing information such as phone, address and service hours. This gave him visibility locally and internationally. José Luis Martínez, owner of the business, assures that this action attracted the attention of clients from other parts of the world who visited Oaxaca and says that his first sale with this model was to German tourists who found it through the search engine.
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