Imagine this: the world’s in a state of crisis and stores have been closed. What used to be crowded cities have turned into ghost towns. This is bad news for your business—no customers is equal to no revenues.
Crazy, right? But the thing is, this isn't a “what if” anymore that’s just waiting to happen. This is a nightmare that came to life in late 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Let’s review, shall we?
The first few months of lockdown made for quite a significant adjustment, with businesses being forced to shut down indefinitely. Large corporations were taken aback but the pandemic-induced impacts were more pronounced for small businesses, including those in the retail and food industries. In a recent study, Asian think tank ADB Institute reported zero revenues for micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines during the height of the pandemic in March 2020 due to business closures. Unfortunately, MSMEs that were able to continue operations at the time still posted sharp revenue declines.
The situation turned a little less bleak when cases dropped and the economy re-opened. However, just as businesses were gaining momentum, the omicron COVID-19 variant surfaced in late 2021, threatening business continuity once more.
Now, it appears we’re following the same script again: cases are going down and stringent restrictions are bound to be lifted. One can only hope that things will go back to normal but there’s no guarantee that they will.
What Needs to be Done
Going digital is seeming more and more like a no brainer for businesses to stay afloat. For merchants, this means converting their physical store into an e-commerce venture. It also means embracing a new mindset and thinking of one’s store as a digital space with a physical component instead of the other way around.
Indeed, digital transformation is becoming the norm and it took a pandemic for businesses to accelerate the process.
The increased number of businesses embracing digitalization led to a boom in e-commerce over the past year. Retailers accounted for a big part of that, with online businesses involved in retail trade growing from 70 percent in 2019 to 80.2 percent in 2021.
Why it Matters
It is no surprise that businesses are going digital as it allows merchants to operate from anywhere. Opening an online shop also requires less work and cost compared to opening a physical store. But perhaps the biggest benefit is that it widens one’s business reach by being able to connect to consumers without having to engage with them in person.
For consumers, gaining access to online stores makes shopping more convenient. All that’s needed is a mobile phone or a computer with internet connection to have online stores right at their fingertips. This cannot be more understated in the context of the pandemic, where it is in everyone’s best interest to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus.
What We Can Do to Help
Times truly are changing. With our current situation seeming like the new normal, you need ChatGenie more than ever to help your business thrive in the digital world.
Our team of developers has created Mini Apps that allow merchants to sell inside the world’s biggest apps such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Viber, and GCash.
Mini App is a tech jargon. But to put it simply, they’re smaller apps that operate within bigger apps—no downloads required! The ChatGenie Mini App functions as a fully operational online store. It has built-in features to showcase your store’s product catalog and enable add to cart, checkout, and product delivery. All these are integrated in a single platform, meaning customers no longer need to jump from different webpages to complete their purchase.
Monthly and daily sales, unique orders, low inventory products, and top referrals can even be tracked through our all-in-one dashboard. Another selling point for ChatGenie is its ability to provide customers with updates regarding the status of their orders through templated messages. Merchants can also offer promos and discounts to customers if they wish to do so.
What are you waiting for? ChatGenie may just be the partner you need to kickstart your digital transition.
If you still have doubts, don’t worry because we got you covered! The ChatGenie team is hosting a product demonstration on Feb. 28, 2022 at 2:00pm PHT to walk you through the Mini App. Register here to join: https://bit.ly/ChatGenieWebinarDemo.