After 2020 that brought with it a real change in the paradigm of consumption worldwide, 2021 is presented as a great unknown. And to respond to this situation, companies in the sector will have to be prepared, since the evolution of the pandemic and the measures related to the health emergency have been factors to resort more to online shopping. Thus, according to recent information released by eMarketer, e-commerce in Spain has registered 36% growth during 2020.
Despite the uncertainty, the need for digitalization of companies will continue to boost electronic commerce, being marketplaces are a great option for SMEs to start or consolidate their digitization process by joining this channel or expanding its reach. Local businesses, due to the limitations implied by the measures against the pandemic, must continue to enter the digital world as an alternative to recovering the bulk of the business they generated before 2020.
Recognizing the need to accelerate the digitization process of Spain, the Government has announced initiatives to promote the reforms and transformations necessary to advance in this task, contemplating the digitization of SMEs and the Public Administration, as well as the reinforcement of the digital skills of the population as a whole. Specifically, it has released a Plan for the Digitization of SMEs in which a public investment of close to 5,000 million euros is estimated until 2023 in order to accelerate the digitization of 1,500,000 small and medium-sized companies.
Since we opened our platform to local sellers, digitization and internationalization of Spanish SMEs has always been our priority, but now more than ever from AliExpress Businesses we are turning all our efforts to make available all the necessary tools so that they can boost and expand their businesses.
The consequences of Covid-19 could be understood as a full stop in the digital consciousness of small and medium-sized businesses. 2021 appears as the year of the consolidation of electronic commerce as a compulsory subject when managing certain businesses in sectors that find in the digital environment an opportunity to diversify their audience and reach a wider audiencesuch as cosmetics, health care, fashion, home improvement and decoration items, education, sports or home entertainment, among many others.
Given this situation, it is clear that marketplaces will continue to be more than support for SMEs and local businesses, which are increasingly open to integrating them into their business strategies as a fundamental element to obtain maximum profitability.
At AliExpress we are intensifying our efforts to support SMEs through programs such as “Together with your business”; an initiative that has five pillars that facilitate the process of joining our marketplace, and help current sellers that operate on the platform to perform better. In addition, we provide Spanish sellers with training and Webinars with which our team puts at their disposal the necessary tools so that they can create their own online store and start selling not only in Spain, but in Europe and Russia in the simplest way possible. .
Following this line, we offer other advantages to the ‘Alisellers’ that go from the technological aspect to the logistical one. For example, we provide them with the option of connecting their store through the most used management modules such as Prestashop; They can also choose a wide range of tools to automate the logistics of their shipments and have a seller service in Spanish.
In terms of promotion, in addition to the free marketing tools that sellers can access to seek to increase product visibility, improve conversion and increase customer interaction within the platform, AliExpress has a distinctive approach: promoting the “Shoppertainment”, a concept in which e-commerce, entertainment and lifestyle converge. Content creators collaborate with sellers to introduce products to consumers in a much more immersive and interactive way through direct and other actions of social selling on the platform.
More than 8,000 small and medium-sized companies are already part of AliExpress and our goal is to continue helping all those who want to stand out in an increasingly competitive digital environment. And for this they have to understand that omnichannel is one of the keys to success. The businesses that previously had a portfolio of clients who came to their establishments in person have now transcended the physical barrier to find buyers in Spain and outside our borders, in locations that seemed unreachable such as Russia, where AliExpress it is the most important e-commerce platform.
And the fact is that the union of forces between large platforms and SMEs will mean the massive acceleration of the commercial digitization processes of many small businesses. One of the few redeemable things of this difficult time for companies that we have had to live. In AliExpress we are clear about the line to follow during 2021: our focus is to promote local commerce.
The paradigm shift for thousands – or perhaps millions – of businesses to adjust to adversity is necessary, but the full entry into commercial digitization can provide yet another scenario in which to continue growing significantly. A new universe is opening up full of opportunities and in which the large platforms in the e-commerce sector will play a highly relevant role. For our part, we will continue working to make it so.