How e-commerce will level the playing field for enterprises, according to LOCAD and DTI-PTTC

Staff ni Anjie
E-commerce helps firms, particularly MSMEs and start-ups, create direct-to-consumer platforms as an industry that connects the country and levels the playing field. As a result of this democratization, the e-commerce market doubled last year and is anticipated to rise to US$24 billion (PHP1.2 trillion), or 5.5 percent of GDP, by 2022.

How e-commerce will level the playing field for enterprises, according to LOCAD and DTI-PTTC
(CLOCKWISE) LOCAD’s CEO and co-founder Constantin Robertz, Manila Athletica’s CEO Aencille Santos, Etaily’s CEO, and co-founder Alexander Friedhoff, Department of Trade and Industry – Philippine Trade and Training Center Executive Director Nelly Dillera, Digital Pilipinas Convenor and GeiserMaclang Co-founder Amor Maclang, and Nuprene Brand Manager James Fernando

LOCAD CEO and co-founder Constantin Robertz revealed critical trends in their seminal whitepaper Key E-Commerce Trends of 2022, which was discussed in the digital event "E-Commerce Trends 2022: What Online Entrepreneurs Need to Know" on April 26 to help entrepreneurs get ahead of the curve and set themselves up for success.

Customer expectations, for example, are skyrocketing, with more money being spent online than ever before and direct-to-consumer (D2C) presence in ASEAN steadily increasing. Robertz outlined a few key elements that organizations considering e-commerce should consider to attract these customers.

"There are four things we're searching for." It all starts with a fantastic product at a fantastic price. Then there's the matter of getting the word out about your goods. Finally, there's the end-to-end customer experience. Then there's the back-end work, where you're responsible for all of this. "That is e-commerce," he explained.

"As a business, you always have to ask yourself what actually generates value to the core of my business?" he said, adding that e-commerce is critical to SMEs since it allows them to focus on their core services. Because, no matter how hard we work as entrepreneurs, the day is only 24 hours long, and the week is only seven days long. "How will you make the most of your limited time?"

As an e-commerce facilitator, LOCAD frees up time for entrepreneurs to focus on marketing and expanding their businesses.

"In this country, delivery can make or break a company. "Even if the product is excellent, poor delivery results in a one-star rating," explains Manila Athletica CEO Aencille Santos.

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Everyone has the chance to succeed.

Meanwhile, Nelly Dillera, Executive Director of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) - Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC), stressed the importance of teching up MSMEs in the country while developing a secure and reputable e-commerce ecosystem that they can rely on.

"Trading beyond traditional borders, outside of the ordinary realm, first locally, then moving nationally, regionally, and worldwide, is the holy goal of e-commerce." These moves are "the ultimate test of retail, digital, and internet," according to Dillera.

Any entrepreneur can become the next e-commerce celebrity, according to one idea that emerged from the event. It's the best environment for side hustlers creating large SME firms that produce jobs and considerable sales all the way up to their largest brand reach.

The government's assistance is undeniably essential in assisting the growth of MSMEs.

"In teaching small company owners, we've been fortunate to work with government entities such as the DTI-PTTC." We believe that by continuing to work with the private sector on collaborations, webinars, and capacity-building projects, MSMEs will be able to develop even faster. "At the end of the day, we can only grow individually if we grow together," Robertz added.

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Obtaining and keeping clients will be one of the most challenging issues for organizations in 2022. Consumers regard better product availability and faster delivery time and price as determining factors in their allegiance to a business, with 42% admitting they transfer between e-commerce websites.

Indeed, according to Robertz, among the six main e-commerce trends for 2022, providing excellent customer experience to acquire and retain customers is low-hanging fruit for many MSMEs looking to grow their businesses.

"An e-commerce business, no matter how tiny, may become a favored shopping location for customers by providing better product availability and speedier delivery," he added.

"It's all about meeting and exceeding customer expectations and honestly interacting with customers where they are," said Alexander Friedhoff, CEO and co-founder of e-commerce enabler Etaily.

Nuprene Brand Manager James Fernando stressed the significance of fulfillment in achieving client expectations to fuel growth. "If fulfillment isn't done correctly, it may be challenging for any firm - big or little." A positive online ordering experience leads to repeat sales for small businesses, and if you don't have repeat purchases, your client acquisition cost rises."

According to Santos, a business can stand out in this highly competitive field with demanding clients who want nothing less than the finest by portraying online buying as a "complete experience."

"From the time you log in to your app, through clicking, exploring the products, checking out and delivery, all the way up to the Kuya driver coming to your house and delivering the parcel," she said.

She cites the numerous customer evaluations on major online shopping sites that praise the courier or rider who delivered their purchases as an example.

The influx of new players, discriminating customers, and the widespread availability of online purchasing show that the Philippines is ready for an online financial revolution. SMEs may offer clients their distinctive services and goods, complimented with e-commerce skills that they do not have to establish on their own, to become a globally competitive economy.

"All of us entrepreneurs must focus our time and attention on what moves the needle for our business," Robertz added. And to find partners, platforms, and assistance for the areas where we don't need to concentrate."

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