15+ min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.
It is time to change our mental structures as human beings to understand that we are all one and dependent on others. For this reason, empathy and solidarity are two values that must prevail forever.
The pandemic has posed many challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). All of these events have caused them to adapt and develop new habits that include new technology and sales through digital channels.
CONTPAQi, an electronic invoicing company, is aware of the challenge that adapting to the new reality has brought for SMEs. Therefore, from July 20th to 24th, it organized a congress through video conferencing, during which the points were presented from the point of view of various personalities from the fields of business, communication, taxation, marketing, human resources and innovation, in order to alleviate this complicated situation and increase their ability empower you to face new challenges.
The event, titled Profit, was held for the fourth year in a row, but this is the first time it has been virtual. Issues related to the crisis were addressed as drivers of SME digital development, cybersecurity, as well as the impact of the new reality on economic structures and the traditional culture of corporate productivity.
Think differently to get different results
René Martín Torres Fragoso, General Director and Co-Founder of CONTPAQi, points out that one of the most important challenges today is not just technological innovation, since many of the technologies we are currently using have been around for years, but also mental and administrative innovation The most important change is not that of businesses or consumers, but of yourself to think differently to get different results.
“We organized a congress through video conferences from Monday to Friday with consulting companies that have to do with post-COVID management, what will happen to your company, your organization, your employees and various topics. For example, a motivation problem because they need to be motivated. You don't see when they will return to the new normal and how to give (employees) positive messages that everything will be fine in the end, which we will all do. Come on and everything will be fine, ”says Torres.
Solidarity and empathy, two important factors for a real transformation
In the face of complex moments of uncertainty, René Torres conveys the message that solidarity and empathy are two elements that must be taken into account.
“The message I want to say is that the world has already changed, business too, because every time they are digitized in important ways, the most important thing isn't that the world changes or that your company changes The most important thing is that you change us, the people, the people, that we change our approach and that we realize that today a virus can end humanity. What it takes for people to show solidarity and empathy to see how fragile we are, ”said Torres.
The executive says that today is the time to change our mental structures as human beings to understand that we are all one and that we are dependent on others. For this reason, empathy and solidarity are two values that must prevail forever. It also encourages those in need to help as much as possible.
The event held inspirational talks for the personal and professional development of entrepreneurs, accountants, business people and even students interested in a better understanding of accounting.
In the tax area, a lecture was given about the reasons why the SAT can suspend the Digital Seal Certificate (CSD), as well as about the appropriate process to expedite problem solving. In the same way, related regulatory and technical standard issues were discussed in order to get the new electronic platform complement.
Speakers who shared their views and knowledge included: CONTPAQi's tax advisor, Benito Barragán. In addition to the journalist Jesús Silva-Herzog, the Israeli advisor Mohanda AH Al-Madi and the former Minister of Health José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic spoke.
To keep helping small business owners, this company created Wopen. Here I explain in a little more detail what this initiative is about.
What is wopen and what does it work for?
"Wopen is this initiative that we have been working on since 2019 to enable – especially micro-businesses – to have a virtual business, and we believe e-commerce is now critical for businesses. I say this was before the pandemic One of the first processes that needs to be digitized is your relationship with customers through an e-commerce platform. Wopen means we are open, "explains Torres.
The application launched on July 7, 2020. Torres claims they cared very much about the launch date so the 2020/07/07 numbers were repeated. One of the main goals is to have a free platform for users with a Premium Commercial application and thus offer them access to the Internet.
"Because of the pandemic, this was still of vital importance today, because if your physical store is closed, at least because of your virtual electronic store on a platform that can continue to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year . " Torres points this out.
However, they released two versions, a free version with a number of very complete features and a paid version which is the plus as it has additional features such as: B. the fact that you can choose the template of your business i.e. H. How your company will look in the Plus version, choose and customize by customizing it with your own layout to your liking. While the standard version is free and suits premium commercial applications, there you adapt to a single format for presenting information. In this way, they are dedicated to a B2B and B2C relationship to facilitate transactions.
Another benefit of using wopen are:
Considerable reduction in implementation and development time to have an online shop up and running in an hour.
Ecommerce platform with a free life plan.
Reduced implementation and development costs compared to other similar solutions which are priced between 10 and 15% higher.
Higher sales profit with a preferential price for the services of the "Envíoclick" platform.
Digitization and automation of commercial processes with the bidirectional integration in CONTPAQi Comercial Premium from the free version.
Customer service at no additional cost with an online chat.
"With Wopen, we want SMEs to digitally transform and use technology to better adapt to changes in consumer behavior that are related to today's consumer wants and needs," adds René Torres Fragoso
Management emphasizes that an electronic store is only part of the solution as the product is the complement and the most important thing for a retailer is the location, in this case the internet. It's not just about having your business, it's also about generating traffic so that users can reach you.
"We train all of our distributors – around 500 – with a degree in digital marketing with the idea of preparing them so that they can advise their customers on the decisions they have to make in order to successfully generate this traffic for the business", mentions Torres.
He also points out that by setting up a virtual store, there is an opportunity to increase sales by simply being on the internet and obviously generating traffic.
“According to the Mexican Society for Online Sales, companies that have set up a virtual business on the Internet increase their sales by around 19% due to this presence alone, which obviously leads to this data traffic. The first thing about an SMB is that it does business with its current customers and by generating traffic with new customers that generates that revenue growth, ”explains Torres.
With this in mind, it is important to generate traffic for virtual stores so that they can increase their sales and acquire more customers.
“As a result of the pandemic, the Mexican Society for Online Sales calculates that electronic commerce will grow by around 60%, ie more and more sales digitally than physically. Every time a larger percentage is covered, online sales now represent around 15% of total sales in Mexico, but the annual growth is 60%, and that's pretty significant, ”says Torres.
About 30% of Mexicans have already made transactions over the Internet. Now the number of people who have made a digital transaction has increased to 50%. This means that the additional 20% comes from people who have visited a website for the first time and made a purchase using this digital medium. These are very positive numbers for Mexico as it puts us on the path of digitizing business.
From the above, he emphasizes that both versions of their platforms are aimed at micro, small and medium-sized businesses that want a place on the Internet with the benefits of the payment and shipping gateway with the ability to choose the courier company that theirs Platforms transfers products, be it Estafeta, FedEx etc. Also with regard to the domain problem, you can use your own products in the plus version, which give your business a greater presence in contrast to the standard where the domain depends on Wopen .
In both versions, Standard and Plus, they coexist in a market equivalent to a shopping mall. Therefore, Wopen tries to attract visitors to your company through digital marketing. However, every business has the responsibility to develop the digital marketing strategies it deems appropriate – always accompanied and supported by its distributor – in order to generate its special traffic in order to be very successful.
The choice of platform depends on your requirements, as the number of products for the free platform is limited while the fee is unlimited. In both versions there is no type of transaction fee, in the case of the Plus there is a single annual payment without any restriction on transactions and when paying by credit card, the commissions generated by the processor payment do not go to Wopen because they do not charge for the type of payment .
Results so far
Widespread adoption of the platform has been reported by existing customers and those trained in digital marketing strategy. You decided to try the free version to understand it better.
“More than 200 stores have been installed as of July 7th, and they're growing week by week. As the platform is known, the advantages and benefits are seen as they increase more and more each time. We assume that by the end of this year we will have around 10,000 stores in our market, of which we expect 25% to be standard and 75% to be a plus version, ”commented the businessman.
There have been very dramatic changes in the consumer aspect, the executive calling them "prosumers" as they are now professional consumers. Up until now, a price comparison was almost impossible and exhausting. It took a long time to get done in physical stores. With digital stores, this task is now becoming easier and faster almost instantly, saving travel and making better purchasing decisions.
Therefore it is very important today that all SMEs are present in virtual media so that they can conduct transactions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If your customer goes on the internet looking for you and can't find you, most likely they will look for another provider and lose your customer.
This means that all of these entrepreneurs, whether micro, small or medium-sized, are responsible for converting their products via a platform such as Wopen and uploading them to the Internet. In this way, they are present on the internet and start doing business with you customers automating and digitizing from the beginning of the transaction. With that in mind, it becomes a faster and more agile action, avoiding what happened in the physical world through phone orders or emails that slow down the process.
In order to speed up the business cycle through the platforms, the sale is currently made at the time of the order by the customer. The invoice is then created, the product and the invoice are sent digitally. Hence, the business cycle is shorter and more effective, resulting in more wealth and prosperity through its e-commerce platforms.
“There are estimates by the Bank of Mexico that say GDP will decrease by 10%, which is brutal, that the economy will decrease by 10%. It's really very dramatic. We've already seen the INEGI numbers this quarter for Mexicans, the economy was down 18.9% and that means business mortality, and that business mortality, means the loss of millions of jobs. At most, millions of jobs don't mean anything, but if you put it in the millions of families with no income, now all Mexicans are thinking about it, ”adds Torres.
It is for this reason that the entrepreneur believes that the Wopen platform in its two versions is essential for all entrepreneurs and companies developing in electronic commerce. If you want to keep going in this digital world, you have no other alternative to respond to changes in the consumer that changed during the pandemic as this segment of consumers resisted buying online because they felt it was unsafe and he felt now that he is vulnerable to identity theft, his money, or other problems, and is fully convinced of the benefits of virtual shopping. For example, there are already many more security elements in place trying to protect consumers and helping to make Internet transactions increasingly secure. There are also different payment methods available, from credit card to deposit, and that helps make it more user-friendly.
“All of our customers who have the premium commercial product platform are software that manages your inventory, your customers, your receivables, your payables, etc., because all they need is one click and that's it and that for everyone Day and when they upload all their products to their online shop. So it is not far from having your electronic business in one click and starting selling. This was part of our success. This is because it is very easy to assemble your products on the platform, ”says Torres.
It's really easy because it's pre-configured, making it easy for the end user to do. In this way, they want to give access to millions of SMEs in Mexico so that they can continue to conduct transactions, not just in Mexico but worldwide. That is why they added shipping gateways so they can ship their products anywhere.
Short and long term plans of your platform
"There are always plans to keep growing. For example, connect it to Facebook, as it is important to connect it to your social networks. Nowadays you have to help businesses sell and continue to sell. However, it is important to pay fees You have already sold You have sold because, in the event of a B2B lending, you publish an application that is a capture platform coupled with Wopen Automate this whole Process and depersonalize it as it is extremely difficult to collect as it requires a lot of character. "I call those who charge, they are well charged," says Torres spontaneously.
In view of the above, the debt collection platform has the advantage that it is fully automatic when sending bank statements, payment notifications and collections. For example, everything is handled via email, messages, WhatsApp. Like loan and collection agreements, it depersonalizes that hard work.
“We found that this collection platform recovers up to 30% more outstanding collections, which improves business liquidity. We realize I'm saying it seems like a joke, but it's very true that often companies don't pay because they don't bill them. This is the premise: if you don't incriminate me, I won't pay you. All they need is a phone call, a reminder to the bill and they'll be paying soon, ”explains Torres.
The importance of realizing the customer's needs
René Martín Torres Fragoso concludes that it is really easy. Wopen is a product that is already in the cloud and is preconfigured in this way. It makes the end user's job easier. It continues to remind us that the Mexican distribution channel is constantly changing based on consumer needs.