Shaping the Future of Economy Through DigitalizationBy Enrique Marú | Fri, 11/27/2020 - 12:55
Until a few months ago, our way of doing business was considered traditional. Shops had an already established a number of clients, there was an approximate amount of daily income and I could even bet that many establishments knew perfectly which months had the highest and lowest sales. It was more than a habit; it was a lifestyle.
We cannot entirely blame the pandemic for the shift toward digitalization. It is true that some began to explore new sales channels as a result of a sedentary lifestyle during the first quarters of the year, but actually this commercial evolution was already growing before COVID. I am not trying to say that the situation in the world did not change consumer behavior, but that there were already precedents for this change.
The agents that began to drive this transformation were the so-called “digital natives.” This new audience, who in the words of Mark Prensky are dependent on new technologies for information, education and even to establish interpersonal relationships, are the ones who encouraged the acceleration of online platforms as commercial providers.
Today we talk about millennials and Generation Z as if we were reading a cookbook; people from such to such age, with different tastes, are always glued to a screen. But in front of us we have an audience that is innovative, that is easily bored and who were born in the era of technology, where everything is close and where they can find what they want with just one click. Something we must admit is that consumption among all generations is constantly changing; it is not a secret that year after year trends target new audiences and thereby stimulate sales.
It is here where the line between new technologies and consumption is broken, and unfortunately affects both buyers and merchants, which leads to a social question: how prepared are we for a full or even partial commercial digitalization in our country? It would be utopian and unwise to say yes openly: the truth is that a large part of the economically active population in Mexico lacks the basic conditions to digitize. This is due to multiple reasons, including the most important, which is the approach to the internet.
As brands, we have the responsibility to provide our services to as many businesses as
possible and to be firm with our commitments to them, to be their ally in the fulfillment of their own objectives. We must also speak clearly because when we mention digitalization, many automatically think of e-commerce, and although this is actually true since we refer to online platforms, digitalization is not only about setting up a store and selling; it is innovating, expanding your services, generating reach, providing your customers with an experience and adapting to their shopping habits. And these are just business concepts. If we talk about all its benefits, we could easily include education and safety.
For these and many more reasons, digitalization goes way beyond just increasing your sales channels. Let's use the “new reality” as an opportunity to transform the way business opportunities are made, and maybe find new, more creative ways to pass our competitors. The public has changed and today it is more digital than ever, but we can help to technologize the businesses of our users. All this with the aim of achieving true financial inclusion, one that supports SMEs in the new era they are facing and that, as a result, leads to national economic development.