Jamaican Micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are being encouraged to explore the various options of selling their products and services online, to help grow their businesses.
Speaking recently at a Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) ‘Virtual Biz Zone’ session, under the theme ‘Jamaica! Start Selling Online’, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fygaro, Ariel Rochwerger, said that business operators can utilise social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or create a website to enable consumers to make purchases online.
According to Mr Rochwerger, the goal when doing e-commerce, social commerce, or any of those options, is to generate sales just as the business operator would do in a physical retail store.
“One of the key elements of e-commerce is that you won’t have the customer face to face; we’ll have to use text, images, and others to make the same memorable experience as it would be in a physical store,” he explained.
He added that MSMEs will need to ensure that they have a proper assessment of their logistics and the pricing of inventory to avoid any issues.
“In preparing for an online store, you need to have the stock being advertised available and making sure that you can handle the different orders. Create a schedule on where you’re going to check if you receive new orders and when you’re going to ship them,” he said.
Mr. Rochwerger explained that to expand the business operations online, MSMEs must also retain their established clientele.
“Make sure that your current client base already knows that you are going to be selling online and make sure you share with them the new updates that are coming. Take advantage of the work done on your social media previously by capitalising on that captive audience also using a medium such as WhatsApp,” he added.
Mr. Rochwerger said that MSMEs also need to set up mechanisms to consistently assess consumer experiences of their online store.
“It is important that you have a focus on creating a relationship with those customers, providing them with customer surveys and making sure that you get feedback from them. Keep in mind that with e-commerce, unlike in the physical world, you can come back, relaunch your website, change anything with just a few clicks, and it takes everything in real time, so it’s a great way of improving doing a B testing or actually changing, based on your convictions and your business needs,” he said.
Mr. Rochwerger advised businesses to start with their best-selling items online, and then start adding more to ensure that there is always a novel item to make sure that customers are coming back to check what is new.
The JBDC is the Government’s business development agency that assists in the sustainable creation and development of MSMEs in Jamaica.