According to the recent report “Situation of Spanish SMEs that sell online in 2015” published by eBay (leading e-commerce platform in Spain), and in which the managers of 1,235 small and medium-sized Spanish companies participated, 19.5% of Spanish SMEs (that is, only two out of ten) sell their products through the Internet, despite the fact that the vast majority of respondents (89.8%) consider it essential for their company to make the leap to the online world in the next 12 months or sooner
In a personal capacity, it is impossible to conceive a world without the presence of the internet in many aspects of our daily lives. It is still surprising how Spanish companies, and especially SMEs, remain largely unconnected to this phenomenon in what has to do with their business model execution. That is, with its “nature” in the market.
Talking about these issues with the person in charge of one of them (specifically a law firm), he told us the following: “but let’s see, if I already have my own domain and web page, what else can the internet provide me? And if I also do not sell products that I can send, but services, an online store would not give me much either “
According to the eBay study, 57.3% of small and medium-sized Spanish companies claim to have their own website, and 38.6% are present in some social network; not such bad data, especially considering that the rate at which these indicators grow is, fortunately, very fast.
But taking up the comment that we referred to earlier, the internet is not only about registering your own domain and opening your web page. Not even to sell on the internet through an e-commerce store (yours or shared, like eBay), even if only 2 out of 10 Spanish SMEs do. Limiting our understanding of the Internet to something that allows us to improve the company’s image in the network, offering information or making transactions is a setback. Today in the light of this report, simply not having an in depth understanding of all the possibilities that the internet and technology offer today to an SME is in itself enormously disruptive.
Just for illustrative purposes, we’ll share with the reader some of the questions that we often ask to challenge our clients in ESSENZIAL , and that illustrate the multitude of possibilities that the Internet can offer to SMEs of any size and sector:
- Have you thought about setting up a virtual press room through which to reach your market, eg to present your news?
- And what about publishing your catalog and prices in a virtual “showcase” with audio and video?
- Even if your business is not directed to the final consumer (B2C), why not capture the orders of your distributors and sales executives in real time, while allowing them to carry out their own monitoring?
- How about making it easier for your customers to request offers and quotes online, or request technical assistance?
- Have you ever thought about implementing an online system for managing the reservations for your products or services, including waiting lists and advances?
- Would you like set up a loyalty system with points redeemable according to consumption, and available in your “customer portal”? A Portal that could also manage all communication with your customers, including online access to your invoices, orders, contracts, …
- Would it be a differential factor to implement an online customer service module to resolve your FAQs, cases, incidents or suggestions?
- Would you like to train (or even certify) your distributors through virtual classrooms, in an effective way and at a minimal cost? How about guiding your customers in the use of your products or services, wherever they are?
In short, we believe that there is a long way to go for our Spanish SMEs in understanding how digital technology and the internet can expand their businesses, if not completely reinvent them.
And it is part of our DNA at ESSENZIAL to pave that road to make it as fast and as effective as possible.