In no sector has anything positive been rescued from the impact of the pandemic, such as that of e-commerce, which, due to the closure that the physical businesses that endured during the beginning of the quarantine, registered a “hypergrowth” multiplying its rise in visits, sales and traffic on their web pages. Leonardo Ottati, president of the Ecuadorian Chamber of Electronic Commerce (CECE), comments on how the sector reacts to the new reality, not only in Ecuador, but in the region; testimony that will be exhibited this July 2 in the eCommerce Day “Online [Live] Experience”, of which Ecuador will host.
What is the impact of COVID-19 on electronic commerce in Ecuador and in the region?
The impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce in Ecuador produced an overgrowth of the industry, not only at the level of the number of users who turned to this channel, but also at the level of consumption habits. Considering that, before the pandemic, the main items that marked electronic commerce were involved in entertainment, tourism, aviation, among others; now consumption became much more essential, the growth of everything that has to do with hygiene, food was very large. We also have to consider everything that involves telework and distance education, they are categories that promote subcategories and there is an intrinsic category that is online education and everything that has to do with platforms to be able to carry out telework in the best way.
How much has e-commerce grown during the pandemic?
Undoubtedly, it has grown at the user level, which has doubled, and, on the other hand, from March 16 to May 16 what moved e-commerce in Ecuador was more than $ 500 million, which gives us a pretty clear measure of what growth was. In traffic and in purchase intention, growth is immeasurable.
Ecuador will host the eCommerce Day. What does it consist of?
The eCommerce Day, organized by CECE and the eCommerce Institute, is the most important e-commerce event in the region. It has more than 100 events held and this will be the tenth version in Ecuador. Usually the way in which this event is carried out is that one year is inserted in Guayaquil and one year in Quito.
Local and international experiences and best practices are shared so that all those interested in electronic commerce, from the largest player in the ecosystem to the entrepreneur, participating in the event get a very clear idea of what is having an impact on the industry.
What are the main changes that this edition will have due to the current situation?
Doing it in person, as is done every year, would not have been feasible and therefore the decision was made to make an online version, which makes it very interesting, because we have made the registration free. In addition, we have obtained very good speakers since, before they would have had to travel to be able to, today they simply have to give us an hour of their time.
However, to participate, prior registration is required at https://www.ecommerceday.ec/2020/ . This revolutionary new format adds to the value proposition of the Tour eCommerce Day innovative activities that include online interactions with the aim of accelerating sales and incorporation of digital channels in companies and ventures.
How many exhibitors, from which countries are they and what topics will they share on the eCommerce Day?
More than 30 speakers from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador are going to attend, as the host country will have a great participation. All the related issues on how retailers faced and face this new reality, how service companies do it, what are the challenges of banks, payment methods, logistics companies, that is to say, will be addressed. He is going to talk a bit about everything to get an idea of what is coming in the e-commerce industry.
What is the projection for online business after the pandemic?
After the pandemic, online businesses have to work more responsibly and seriously because, definitely, it will be one of the channels of preference for all consumers, if it does not end up being the most important sales channel, it will end up being among the the top five most important within the company. We have much more expert users, much more constant users and, also, new users who must be served in the best way. What comes for electronic commerce is very big and positive and you have to take it with great responsibility. (I)