BUSINESSES which operate during the pandemic now face the huge task of enhancing their consumer experience in the fast-growing digital market.
Because of this, telco companies play a crucial role in the recovery of brick and mortar micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in their ongoing shift to digitalization.
“With the easing of the community quarantine, businesses are slowly opening to help the economy get back on its feet. Yet many customers have taken spending digitally, leveraging on online shopping and delivery platforms during this time,” Jimmy Chua, assistant vice president and head of PLDT Enterprise in the Visayas, said during the Visayas Area Business Conference.
More than 99 percent of the local economy is made up of MSMEs, which have been highly affected by the crisis with many of them forced to temporarily or permanently stop operations.
“Businesses have to totally reinvent their operations to be able to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of their consumers’ behavior,” Chua said.
Before, Chua explained, traditional MSMEs were focused on the brick and mortar experience of customers and it caused them to suffer greatly during the enhanced community quarantine that hampered the mobility of customers.
“This prompted many to make a digital pivot to be able to reach their customers in light of the situation. Before, customers had an in-store mindset but in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, most MSMEs opted to shut down in-store operations to go into online transactions,” Chua said.
According to the 2019 data of PLDT, 67 percent of internet users or about 49 million Filipinos were making purchases online. Seventy-four percent of Filipinos turned to e-payment to pay for their groceries and other bills.
“This mode of transaction has started to gain traction to customers. So much so many market studies saw that it is transforming the behavior of these markets allowing online channels to become the preferred mode among consumers,” he said. (JOB)