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Small businesses make the leap from the bazaar to the web: what do they need to be successful? | The financial

Pulperías, bazaars or stores were normally limited to marketing, offering and selling the products in their surroundings. With the development of electronic commerce, the coverage area was expanded and today it is possible for a shoe workshop to sell to customers from another part of the country. Pequeños comercios dan el salto del bazar a la web: ¿que necesitan para tener éxito? | El Financiero Pequeños comercios dan el salto del bazar a la web: ¿que necesitan para tener éxito? | El Financiero

The expansion of delivery services with delivery, collaborative transporter services (which allow packages to be sent to a recipient) and logistics services (Yo Voy, Moovin, La Terminal Express and Pymexpress) makes this possible.

[ Beauty salons also dabble in online sales ]

Correos de Costa Rica indicates that currently the 13,500 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that use its Pymexpress services move an average of 120,000 packages per month and 5,000 per day throughout the national territory. Rosibel Rodríguez, business director of Correos de Costa Rica, stressed that this period of reinvention has allowed SMEs to expand the frontiers of their businesses.

A report published this September by the Latin American Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Celiem) reveals that, in the region, almost half of SMEs combine service at their premises with online sales and 21% only sell through of digital channels, especially social networks.

According to Correos, which complemented its service with the Yalo Marketplace online sales site, the virtual branch and home collection, 60% of packages travel from urban to rural areas and more and more SMEs in rural areas exchange goods with other remote regions throughout the country.

Does all this guarantee success in online sales? "The challenge is knowing how to differentiate yourself with different services and strategies," says Nicole Durán, commercial manager of Bunker DB for Costa Rica, a firm that offers services and tools for information analysis.

Pequeños comercios dan el salto del bazar a la web: ¿que necesitan para tener éxito? | El Financiero

People should always start by analyzing the information or data of the business and its current and potential market. The analysis and interpretation of data is vital to take information from the company, transform it into knowledge and increase the return on investment made in digital channels.

Data analysis tools, from sales to the behavior of customers and prospects, allow predicting and increasing e-commerce processes. For this reason, Durán highlighted that improving the collection of information in the company is key to improving the customer experience.

Data analysis should not be left for managerial decision making. It also serves to serve customers through the different channels: face-to-face and digital.

When a customer communicates by phone, email, WhatsApp or goes to the physical store, you should know what they have bought before, what was offered and other information that the buyer assumes that you already know and remember. That is omnichannel.

“The omnichannel strategy is the next step in the digital maturity of businesses. It is about investing all efforts in maintaining consistent communication on all platforms”, explained Durán. "The consumer is now more demanding and as a consequence, expects to have a unified service that flows between the different stages of the purchase process and provides solutions."

You have probably experienced it. It is when the client arrives and says the typical phrase: "remember that...". With so many new or current clients, remembering and having each one's information at hand requires technological tools and services, most of which can be used through the Internet and their cost depends on the volume required. Is not difficult. Bunker DB announced its Data Awakens campaign to demonstrate the simplicity and effectiveness of using the tools.

When the customer arrives at your store, he already knows that he must use tools to know his data and recognize him. What about shipments? Are they arriving alright?

The McKinsey firm warns that companies must understand the need for faster deliveries and that the requirement depends on the type of products. For example:

—In food and groceries: less than a day

—Beauty: less than a day

—Clothes: less than two days

—Home decoration: less than two days

—Electronics: less than two days

—General merchandise: two days or less

The demand (and, therefore, the level of satisfaction and the possibility of being repurchased from your business) depends on the age, the location (the urban customer is more demanding than the rural one), the expectations and the financial disposition of the customer. the consumers. Here you will need data to be clear about the response of your customers. And you will also need to analyze them.

Once you've identified pain points in the order delivery chain or process, you'll need to assess the delivery or shipping services you use. It's what McKinsey calls the last-mile challenge. Here you must know (with data) the level of satisfaction and complaints of your customers about the efficiency and quality of the order delivery service versus the costs. Do you know if they are giving you a good service for what you are paying?

An entrepreneur must know how many of the orders arrive correctly and well, whether through delivery or any other delivery service to request, negotiate and implement improvements. Again, data is key to making decisions.

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