Selling Online to Stay Alive

Changes in consumer preferences, which increasingly value ease, convenience and time savings in their purchases, are forcing companies to strengthen their online marketing channels to stay in competition.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Several companies that have not developed their digital marketing channels in time have gone bankrupt because of the growing competition represented by online sales. The most recent case was Forever 21, which at the end of September announced the closure of most of its outlets in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Canada.

Other companies that have been victims of the U.S. online trade are the Sears chain store and Toys R Us toy stores, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

See "Faster Purchases and the Future of Digital Payment”

Faced with this reality, companies in Costa Rica such as Auto Mercado, Grupo Monge, Ekono and Universal, ensure that they strengthen their electronic marketing channels, investments that in the medium- and long-term promise to improve sales and stay in competition. reports that "... The chains seek to become a benchmark for online commerce at the local level, integrate digital channels with traditional and increase competition and attraction of buyers. Last March, Auto Mercado launched a new platform that allows online purchases and payments with cards, with the promise of deliveries in less than 24 hours".

Felipe Alonso, Auto Mercado's e-commerce manager, explained that "... the platforms offer the same products and prices that customers find in supermarkets. In the online store you can create lists of products to streamline subsequent purchases."

Another modality is to use WhatsApp for express orders, which are delivered in two hours or less, in company coverage areas and at set times.

View articles "Forever Bankruptcy 21 Leaves Lessons for Costa Rican Retailers" and "Retail Chains Reinforce Online Sales Platforms in its E-Commerce Bet".

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In the new context of accelerated growth of e-commerce, most consumers claim to have had problems buying online, with delivery time failures and lack of service for their area being the most frequent complaints.

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It is estimated that during 2018 the online purchases made by Guatemalans totaled $900 million, reporting a 13% growth over 2017, and the number of local companies selling through that medium increased 127%.

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New Online Commerce Guild

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With the aim of strengthening the legal framework for electronic commerce and facilitating the management of certifications, the Electronic Commerce Association was created in Guatemala.

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