Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across almost all business sectors have been strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis has rendered vulnerable over 90% of businesses in the country–all under the SME category. Many have been forced to close, while others are struggling to stay operational and profitable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the digital transformation of businesses to help stay afloat. Enterprises have tried to make themselves available and closer to consumers through increased use of social media and e-commerce platforms.
As the country navigates through the pandemic and its health and economic impacts, GoDaddy, the company empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world, suggests that business owners should consider adopting an e-commerce strategy to help their business stay active and continue to grow.
“Many businesses, especially SMEs, pivoted online when people were ordered to shelter in place. It’s clear by now, that in this new normal of changed consumer behaviors, businesses can continue operations with the help of digital solutions,” said Tina Shieh, Marketing Director for Asia of GoDaddy.
Beyond ease of doing business
Prior to the pandemic, e-commerce was often seen as an equalizer for SMEs to compete with larger businesses. Digital platforms have given smaller businesses the advantage to customize the customer experience and engage with them at a personal level. With the increasing need to stay indoors due to the pandemic’s second wave, “going digital and having an e-commerce store has become important beyond convenience and accessibility. It’s become an opportunity to help your business stay active during these challenging times,” said Shieh.
She added that a strong online presence can help businesses earn customer trust. “Having your own website can help boost your business credibility and serves as a unique one-on-one channel with your customer.” A digital portal also serves as a gateway for your customers to get more information about your products and services and to purchase your products.
Flexibility and agility are key in the time of COVID-19
A 2019 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies on e-commerce adoption found that engaging in e-commerce helps SMEs get better access to financial services like online and mobile payments, as well as smoother integration to value chains and markets.
Even as technology allows business owners to reach more customers in different locations around the world, many hold back in getting started by the seemingly complicated tools and processes to create their own digital presence. How then can business owners choose the right tools to use to enter the e-commerce marketplace?
Filipino SMEs and entrepreneurs ought to consider providers with online tools that integrate a website builder with e-commerce functionality, to help create, manage, and market their online business easily and affordably.
For example, GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing product allows customers to create a website with over 1,500 template suggestions for all types of businesses. It also works both on desktop and on mobile devices. It is also a tool that easily integrates e-commerce functionality with GoDaddy Online Store. A full website plan that offers tools to design your e-commerce portal and online marketing tools currently starts at P1,049.99 per month.
The past few months have reinforced the need for a more established digital strategy for SMEs to help survive the challenges brought on by the pandemic. GoDaddy’s easy-to-use and affordable online tools and solutions, along with expert customer care, can assist business owners on their digital journey to strengthen their online presence.
“E-commerce can be a path that SMEs can use as a lifeline during this time and into the future. Now is the time to consider if starting an e-commerce store is right for your business,” said Shieh.