Estudio revela aumento de 13% en las compras online de boricuas

Study reveals 13% increase in online purchases by Puerto Ricans

Recently, the Association of Sales and Marketing Executives of Puerto Rico (SME) published the results of the " 2017 Digital & Mobile Behavioral Study" where it was revealed that in Puerto Rico some 807,000 people make online purchases. It also mentions that consumers spend an average of $158 a year, which means an expense of about $127 million a year, 13% more than in 2016.

In an article published by the Metro newspaper, the following comments are quoted:

Although a slight increase has been observed in the past few years, purchases on local sites remain low when compared to purchases outside of Puerto Rico. About two out of ten of the people who shop online do so in local sites, versus nine out of ten in sites outside of Puerto Rico ,” said Anitza Cox, director of analysis and social policy at Estudios Técnicos, a commissioned firm. by SME to carry out the study.
When inquiring into the reasons why they do not buy in local businesses via the Internet, 55% indicate that the costs of buying locally are higher, 45% indicate that it has not been necessary, 34% report that local businesses in which who buy do not have the online shopping platform and 31% indicate that they do not have the products or services they are looking for. "Local merchants have an area of ​​opportunity with online purchases if they invest in eCommerce platforms, or participate in commonly used platforms such as those that have been developed in the past years," Cox said.

As Ms. Cox mentioned, these results reveal a large area of ​​opportunity for local merchants to develop their business online and be able to compete in this growing trend. I want to comment on some of the results of this study.

55% indicate that the costs of buying locally are higher

This has always been one of the main reasons why people decide to buy online from foreign companies instead of buying from local businesses. Still, a competitive strategy can be developed. An example would be that the delivery when buying online in a local business would be much faster since the inventory is already on the island. It could also offer better customer service and a less strict return and exchange policy. This could encourage the consumer to prefer to buy from a local business rather than a foreign one.

34% report that the local businesses they shop at do not have the online shopping platform

There are very accessible and easy-to-use platforms that would allow local businesses to venture into online sales in a short time. An example is the Shopify platform, which allows businesses to sell in their own online store and through more digital channels such as Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, and others. Applications can also be developed to integrate the inventory management system that the store currently uses with the Shopify platform so that inventories would be synchronized.

· 31% indicate that they do not have the products or services they are looking for

If we go to the websites of companies like Walmart and Walgreens, we find many products that are not available in physical stores. These companies use the "dropshipping" method, where the product does not come from a company warehouse. The customer makes the purchase on the merchant's page, but the shipment leaves a manufacturer's or distributor's warehouse. Having a local inventory is very expensive and more so in Puerto Rico than most products you have to import them by ship or plane. For this reason, many shops only import a limited variety of products, which leads many people to search the internet for more variety.

The dropshipping method can be used by local businesses with many of the product lines they carry. This would allow you to offer a wider variety of products and thus be more competitive. The Shopify platform can be easily configured with this method so that when a customer buys a product that comes from another store, the supplier receives the order automatically, thus eliminating the manual process of sending a purchase order to the supplier.

As we have seen, more and more people are doing their shopping online, which is a great opportunity for local businesses that accept this trend and move quickly to offer their products through this channel. Businesses that do not adapt to these changes run the risk of ceasing to be relevant to the consumer and unfortunately cease to exist.

Tell me, what is your business doing to adapt to this new era?

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