Roy Joseph Roberto, platform governance and policy operations lead of Lazada Philippines, cited some thought leaders in this specific field saying it is not a question whether or not to invest in digital technologies to succeed in the Philippine business setting.
“It’s a must, it’s the bare minimum as you can see Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) actually exposed the vulnerability of our economies. So, if you want to survive really and not render your business obsolete, you need to transition fast from the traditional brick-and-mortar stores into digitally oriented platforms,” he said in a webinar.
Roberto said a hybrid of digital with brick-and-mortar can work for businesses in the beginning if they do not fully transition immediately to the virtual space.
“But definitely in the years to come, even after the coronavirus pandemic, the new normal will dictate the need for us to be more adept in terms of the digital environment,” he added.
Roberto said business digital presence is aligned with the vision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that by 2025, at least 70 percent of all retail transactions must be digital.
“So, if you want to catch up as an entrepreneur, you really have to make an investment and definitely, our government should play also a very crucial role in supporting entrepreneurs in their transition, maybe in terms of empowering them about the tools they need to succeed in the digital ecommerce environment and also to become successful in terms of selling their products or services online,” he added.
Roberto further said a lot of ecommerce companies have seen tremendous growth because of Covid-19, apart from the growth and opportunities that came along with the global pandemic.
However, he said the pandemic also created more challenges especially in terms of logistics.
“Because of the physical constraints being imposed on us by Covid-19, people are leaving more digital footprints. We highlight the need for businesses to really take advantage of this data tsunami for a lack of a better term and really take advantage of that data so that we can understand our customers better, we can do sales forecasting or demand forecasting so that we can have a better and more robust logistics strategy for example…,” he added.
Roberto said entrepreneurs can use the huge amount of data to influence and shape business decisions.
Joenil Cofreros, chairperson of Real Estate Management and Business at iACADEMY, advised them to do proper business feasibility and become part of platform solutions such as those on e-payment.
“There should be little deterrent in adapting these solutions because all of these are conveniently and readily available to all business owners. So, I would encourage everyone to try, study, and experiment,” he said.
“It’s only a matter of time, it’s only a matter of how fast we will go there (ecommerce) hence, my recommendation to business owners is don’t get left behind,” he added.