Exciting times for women entrepreneurs to venture into e-commerceJanette Toral
Last March 28, I gave a “Tech Touch” talk at the 8th Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference 2015 organized by the Network for Enterprising Women.
It is an exciting time for women entrepreneurs to venture into e-commerce for a lot of great reasons. This includes:
According to We Are Social, there are 44.2 million Filipino Internet users.
– 42 million of them are active on social media.
– 36 million active mobile social media users.
– Spends 6.3 hours online daily. 3.4 hours on social media.
– 21% bought something online in 2014. Around 11% used a mobile device when buying something online.
This provides a lot of visibility opportunities for entrepreneurs active in selling their products and services online.
Highlight your value proposition while keeping your business cost-competitive
The great thing about e-commerce today is there are many opportunities that allows women entrepreneurs to dabble into various business models. Find one that suits you.
Next day payment settlement for merchants
In the early days of e-commerce in the Philippines, local merchants would have to sign-up for foreign payment gateway services like CCNow and 2Checkout. Sales gained from April 1 to 15 were released through check on the 30th of the month.
The check gets sent through postal mail which will take 2 to 3 weeks before it reaches the Philippines.
They are usually in dollar currency and would require a merchant to open a dollar account. After 3 weeks of clearing, that is the only time you can access your earnings.
Today, with a variety of online payment options, some of them are already providing next day settlement.
SME friendly couriers
The availability of couriers like Xend pave the way for a friendly e-commerce environment. They pick up the package from your office or home even if it is just one at an affordable rate. Today there more shipments bound outside of Metro Manila.
There is Upshift Express too that offers collect on delivery services.
Intelligent targeted advertising
In the old days of Internet advertising via social media, you just identify the location, profile and interest of your target audience.
Today, with audience management, remarketing, and conversion tracking, advertising platforms allow you to reach out to people with profiles similar to your earlier visitors and even carry out subtle follow-up reminder through your ads.
Best of all, they are made affordable to the budget conscious entrepreneur.
Rise of bloggers as online lead generators
A growing segment of the blogging community are realizing their potential as online lead generators. Especially those who see the need to diversify their income sources from blogging while building their inbound marketing skill in the process.
Apart from brand building exposure that companies get, online lead generators earns commissions from transactions they generate. This in addition to other incentives received for the promotion efforts.
Customer relationship management tools within reach
A woman entrepreneur today can have live chat added on their website to encourage prospect interaction.
Potential leads can be added to a customer relationship management system for monitoring, follow-through, and relationship building.
To keep in touch with customers, affordable e-mail marketing tools (often know as e-mail blasting) are also available that entrepreneurs can use to keep customers and prospects up to date.
Make your dream future a reality today
Women aspiring of having their own business while doing it at the comfort of their homes is no longer impossible. It can be done. It is already happening.