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Digitization of neighborhood supermarkets, a sea of ​​opportunities for small business owners

August 27, 2020

One of the most popular sectors that have, in turn, been skeptical about technology adapting is neighborhood businesses.

4 min read

The opinions of the employees of You are personal.

Digitization of neighborhood supermarkets, a sea of ​​opportunities for small business ownersDigitization of neighborhood supermarkets, a sea of ​​opportunities for small business owners


Since the start of the pandemic, buying and selling online has been the best alternative to comply with mandatory social distancing measures. However, because the situation was so immediate, many companies saw it as a problem rather than an opportunity. Although e-commerce in Colombia has grown significantly and accordingly Consumer study on e-commerce in Colombia, 90% of Internet users carry out activities under this modality.

One of the most popular sectors that has been skeptical about adapting the technology is neighborhood businesses, which are valued at around 719,000 in bakeries, hairdressers and businesses, according to data from the National Trade Association FENALCO, of which 278,000 are in the neighborhood, including small supermarkets. The sum of all these factors makes it an important financial muscle that contributes to employability, and at the same time they are considered to be the largest sales channel in formal commerce, with businesses forming the bridge between the product and the end customer.

Despite the affection and nostalgia we have in the neighborhood of shops and supermarkets, we are facing a new reality with the effects of Covid-19. And the fact is that consumer behavior has changed significantly due to biosafety issues that are required in the current context. While the benefit of the “proximity” that neighborhood or local businesses had was largely their success, on the other hand there is the rapid migration of Colombians towards online shopping, which allows different payment methods and schedules to be flexible, resident and fewer contact persons.

Topics such as the adoption of technology, cybersecurity and costs were the main fears of store owners towards digitization. Because of this, WhatsApp has become a solution that is within their reach as 90% of Colombians have this app, according to the latest study from Social Media We are social. However, concerns among sellers are that the application alone is not an efficient solution due to poor customer service, incomprehensible merchant, long order receipt times and delayed attention, among others. This makes the use of platforms like Mercabot, with which you can automate your sales channels Whatsappwhere the intelligent bot that can support large amount of data and lead the user to sell becomes a timely low cost; the existence Perfect mix between doing an online business and having a daily chat without having to download and learn a new application.

It should be noted that the national government has already launched campaigns such as “Don’t go away, become a digital shopkeeper” This is a strong incentive for traders to be part of this transformation, which will undoubtedly bring great economic benefits. In fact, digital sales in Colombia will not be registered until 2018 6 billion From Doran increase of 20% is expected by 2021.

Cities like Bogotá, Cali and Barranquilla have already pioneered the digital transformation of neighborhood shops in the country. However, a large percentage has yet to be covered as they are more skeptical. For this reason, it will always be important to emphasize that the benefits that technology brings to the business are related to obtaining information for making smart decisions, such as: B. Investing in the purchase of products that are in greater demand or with greater utility and user experience. , higher sales, and of course the much-needed social distancing.

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