E-Commerce Boom = Business Culture Changes

The transformation of purchasing habits caused by the boom in e-commerce at a regional level, forced companies to accelerate the process of implementing their plans, because now they must enhance their digital strategies and change their business culture.

Monday, September 7, 2020

The outbreak of covid-19 and the restrictions to the mobility of people, caused the ideal scenario for the first eight months of the year in the Central American markets to report a clear upturn in interest in e-commerce services, with Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama being the countries that registered the greatest increases in interactions associated with the topic.

In the specific case of Guatemala, the results of the "2nd National e-Commerce Study" prepared by the Chamber of Commerce, detail that currently 5 out of 10 consumers buy online at least once a month.

See "E-Commerce: What do Consumers Want to Buy?"

The data collected indicates that as of July there were 5,000 companies selling online in the Guatemalan market, and the forecast is that by the end of 2020 the number will increase to nearly 6,500 companies.

Regarding the consumer's perception regarding e-commerce, Juan José Castillo, manager of the Electronic Commerce Unit of the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce, told Prensalibre.com that "... the Guatemalan perceives the experience as a way to save time and it is simple'. The percentage of purchase intention has increased and for the first time the online purchase behavior is known geographically". It is estimated that 70% of online sales are made in the departments of Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla.

You may be interested in "Online Sales: What Guatemalans are looking for"

In Costa Rica, the beverage manufacturer Florida Ice and Farm (Fifco) had to adapt its business strategies to this change in consumption habits and transformation of the commercial reality.

Ramon Mendiola, Fifco's general manager, explained to Nacion.com that the pandemic accelerated plans to implement online sales, a process that can be divided into the customer's need to migrate to e-commerce and the business challenge of maintaining the relationship with the consumer.

Also see "Costa Rican Consumer in the New Normal"

Mendiola said that selling online requires "... a giant cultural change where the company puts all the technology at the service of the customer. We started this year, which we didn't have in mind, from the perspective that the consumer can get on the platform and ask the supplier for the products they want, not just ours. Then they take it home with Uber Eats or Rappi."

See article from Prensalibre.com "The figures that show the good time e-commerce is having in Guatemala" and from Nacion.com "The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce".

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