The e-commerce site, an instrument for the competitiveness of Gabonese companies in the time of covid-19.
To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Gabon, the Government of this Central African country has taken a number of measures since March 13, 2020. Among them, the lockdown of Greater Libreville. It has been accompanied by the closure of many non-essential shops, businesses and administrations, resulting in a precipitous drop in turnover in several economic sectors. How can companies take advantage of the Gabonese authorities' battle against the Covid-19 pandemic? The Corporation of Experts in Entrepreneurship Diagnosis, Restructuring and Upgrading of Enterprises and Industries (Ceedireme-Gabon) believes that the digitalization of companies, especially the operation of the e-commerce site, is a solution that must be taken into account.
According to the online encyclopedia Marketing Definition, "E-commerce or e-commerce includes all commercial transactions that take place remotely through electronic and digital interfaces. E-commerce essentially encompasses commercial transactions carried out on the Internet from different types of terminals (computers, tablets, smartphones, consoles, connected TVs) on e-commerce sites or mobile merchant applications."
In the light of this definition, e-commerce is both a digital tool and a market in which economic operators can conquer new customers and continue to carry out their activities of production and sale of products and services. Thus participating in maintaining and strengthening their relationships with their customers, especially in this time of health crisis. Online transactions are therefore an opportunity for local businesses, especially those operating in the service or trade sectors in general.
E-commerce makes it possible to reach a wider customer base in Gabon.
These advantages include the possibility for entrepreneurs to sell their products or services despite the confinement of the population. E-commerce makes it possible to reach a wider customer base in Gabon. With an online sales site, the company remains open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. This is usually not the case with a physical store. On the Internet, customers have the opportunity to visit your establishment at their leisure and without constraints.
In addition, e-commerce sites are also equipped with a multitude of digital tools, including marketing, sales and logistics, designed to improve the company's sales force and customer satisfaction. The other particularity of the e-commerce site is that it represents a huge source of information (database) that allows the company to enrich its customer file.
However, if the digitalization of companies is very popular in Gabon during this period of health crisis, the fact remains that a large number of economic operators are not very inclined to have an e-commerce site, generally opting instead for teleworking, institutional sites, showcase sites and pages on social networks. The question that comes to mind is why are online sales sites not so popularized in Gabon when they represent a real potential for local companies?
Why are so many dysfunctions weighing down the e-commerce sector in Gabon?
The answer to this problem lies in the fact that many institutional, technical and social dysfunctions weigh down this type of trade in Gabon. We are thinking in particular of the crisis of confidence maintained by users regarding the security of online financial transactions as well as the protection of personal data in the face of attacks by cybercriminals. There is also the lack of online means of payment due to the low rate of banking access of the African population in general and Gabonese in particular, preferring payments via mobile phones. The weakness of the logistics infrastructure in the finalization of deliveries, the high cost of transporting parcels internationally, the lack of qualified personnel in the management of commercial platforms, the delay of the administration in supervising this sector of activity or the fact that some managers and sectors of activity are resistant to change are all bottlenecks that harm the development of e-commerce in Gabon.
Despite these weaknesses, we believe that companies could reorganize themselves by adopting the e-commerce site as a competitive tool for the continuation of their business activities. They would thus offer their products and services online with delivery options throughout Gabon and even internationally. For customers wishing to shop from home or work, this would be an undeniable asset because in one click, they would be able to select their items on these sites, pay the invoice online or on delivery and receive the products without travelling.
The current situation requires companies to reinvent themselves to avoid accumulating losses.
To this end, it is desirable for companies to opt for the training of their employees in the use of digital tools in the workplace so that digital tools truly integrate the company's culture. It also includes the recruitment of new skills in this field such as web developers, web designers, graphic designers, online salespeople, etc. Using private agencies for the design and management of quality e-commerce sites is also another option available to entrepreneurs.
The current situation, as you may think, requires companies to reinvent themselves to avoid accumulating losses. Under these conditions, companies for which it is technically possible to do so can launch with the aim of continuing their production activities remotely and thus maintaining their customer relationship.
With this in mind, we have noticed that there is a real need among many consumers. Social networks are taken over by entrepreneurs for the publication of advertisements, products and services of all kinds. At the same time, many public and private organisations (banks, insurance companies, public services, etc.) have opted for teleworking and the use of internet applications to communicate internally and/or externally or to offer their services online. All these changes are likely to reinforce our position that the e-commerce site is a performance tool at the service of companies.
In short, we offer economic operators the opportunity to rely on the e-commerce site for the development of their activities. Appropriating this tool is a significant investment likely to improve the image, reputation and profitability of the company in this difficult period of the fight against covid-19.
Armel Severin MBEMBO
- On sale!
- On sale!