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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
2020 will be framed as a “unique” year in history. While the year that just ended presented us with significant challenges in almost every aspect of our lives, it also tested our capacities and resilience in the face of adversity. For many, this year gave us the motivation to take the next step in our business .
During 2020, small business owners and entrepreneurs across Mexico were forced into a digital acceleration as more consumers began to use digital channels to make their purchases and stay connected to the outside world. These tough times created a window for businesses of all sizes to consider entering the digital world to reap its benefits in a new and somewhat uncertain economy.
Globally, according to GoDaddy's 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Survey , interest in online sales among entrepreneurs grew due to the pandemic; 24% of respondents have started or improved their digital marketing activity, and 17% added an online store in response to the pandemic. In our country, online retail sales are expected to grow 31% compared to 2019, according to the Industry Report: E-commerce in Mexico 2020 by BlackSip.
Mexican micro and small companies have been immersed in a process of adaptation and constant learning to help survive and maintain their businesses during this global pandemic. Although 2021 is expected to see an increase in the digitization of companies, this goes hand in hand with changes in consumer behavior.
Here are some trends that small businesses should consider in 2021:
The digital push continues
Although in recent years there have been significant advances in digitization in our country, 2020 has given the bell as we begin to adopt digital tools out of necessity. According to the Mexican Online Sales Association (AMVO), the Good End 2020, the last great season of discounts on purchases in Mexico, generated 36.1 billion pesos in internet sales (an increase of 225% compared to the year past) and 40.1 million transactions in online sales. Similarly, it was also recorded that almost 7 out of 10 Internet users made purchases during this campaign, and about 5 out of 10 buyers did so exclusively online. But perhaps most importantly, 54% of shoppers plan to buy more online in the coming years.
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These numbers can broadly reflect what has been experienced in Mexico in recent months, where International Data Corporation (IDC) projected that e-commerce would grow 60% at the end of this atypical year, with a penetration of 39.3%, according to BlackSip . In addition, 2 out of 10 companies expect electronic commerce to represent more than 30% of their total sales by 2021, as reflected in Report 4.0 COVID-19 Impact on Online Sales Mexico , and data from the Industry Report: The e -Commerce in Mexico 2020 show that e-commerce is expected to reach a penetration of 55% by 2024.
As we have experienced throughout 2020, technology has changed the rules of the game and the importance of digital platforms will continue in 2021. Therefore, it is highly recommended that micro and small businesses decide to join this digital wave to continue connecting with your clients and look for new opportunities.
The omnichannel buying process will be the new normal
Social media or website? Marketplace or own online store? As we have seen throughout the months of the pandemic, brands have opted for an omnichannel strategy. This approach is about making sure your business can be available on multiple digital channels (as relevant to you and your business). In the Mexican market we can mention examples in which the leaders of their industry set the standard: Nike opened its official store in Mercado Libre, which will allow them to have excellent visibility, but, of course, it continues to sell through its website official, where you can personalize the shopping experience. The same happened with Miniso, which started in the Claro Shop Marketplace, but has its online store on its website.
Among the benefits of having an online store on your own website is that you can link it to your company's social networks. With an integrated online tool, entrepreneurs can set up an online store and start selling their products easily and quickly.
Thanks to social media and marketplaces, small businesses can gain more visibility and, by having a store on their website, they can personalize the shopping experience for their customers.
Borderless payment methods
One of the main reasons people buy online today is because of the different payment methods available on digital platforms, so today, more than ever, it is essential to offer multiple payment options. When shopping online, we might automatically think of using a credit or debit card; however, only 47% of Mexicans have a bank account. For this reason, other options are essential, such as e-wallets and even the possibility of finalizing the purchase with cash deposits or bank transfers. In other words, your online store should be inclusive and allow multiple payment methods for all preferences and needs. An example of this would be adding Apple Pay or PayPal as payment methods for the customer's convenience.
Mobile devices: the kings of e-commerce
As consumer confidence in online shopping increases, more purchases are made through mobile devices. Globally, it is expected that by 2021 72.9% of total e-commerce sales will be made through a mobile device, where smartphones have the upper hand. Currently, 70.8% of Mexicans have Internet access, and of these, most connect through a smartphone, according to the Study of Media and Device Consumption among Mexican Internet Users . For Mexican entrepreneurs it is crucial to consider this trend, even more so knowing that approximately 30% of online shoppers are likely to abandon the shopping cart if they discover that the website is not “mobile friendly”. Additionally, Google is starting to prioritize mobile-optimized websites even higher in its search engines.
While the current economic situation can be difficult, Mexican entrepreneurs are resilient. Having an online store or website for a small business is a great start. They also need to consider how to give their customers the best experience, and part of that is knowing where and how your potential customers shop. Currently, there are solutions on the market that offer the necessary online tools to help a micro or small business grow online. At GoDaddy , we are ready to help entrepreneurs and small business owners in Mexico achieve their goals in this new year.