SMEs empowered to go global
LOGISTICS concern, DHL Express Zimbabwe, has challenged local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to gain confidence in cross border electronic-commerce for them to create opportunities in international markets.
Speaking at a training workshop that DHL organised for SMEs in Bulawayo yesterday, the company’s chief finance officer, Mrs Susan Katsukunya, said the event aimed at imparting knowledge for SMEs to understand the economics of international trade.
She said the training was also meant to give SMEs confidence in their cross border activities.
DHL is the global market leader in the logistics industry and commits its expertise in international parcel, express, air and ocean freight, road and railway.
Mrs Katsukunya said e-commerce creates an innovative way for SMEs to connect globally.
“Cross-border e-commerce has developed into a large, quickly growing ecosystem and has become a great success story for many e-retailers, meaning retailers and manufacturers are selling their products over the internet directly to end consumers.
“The innovative programme was specifically designed for SMEs to understand the economy and potential of international trade. We want them to be connected globally through e-commerce innovative platforms with minimum regulatory risks. It also helps them to gain the necessary confidence to develop their cross border opportunities to grow around the world,” she said.
A guide to the cross-border e-commerce opportunities by DHL, shows that cross-border e-retailers are managing to boost their sales by an average 10 to 15 percent by selling internationally.
E-retailers market share in foreign markets was expected to increase further and thus those not yet linked on the e-commerce were missing out on a number of opportunities.
The logistics company’s managing director Mr Jeff Phiri said businesses that resist the digital revolution risk becoming extinct because customers have shifted from the way they conduct business.
He urged businesses to embrace digital platforms to increase their visibility and market share in line with global trends.
Meanwhile, ZimTrade encouraged exporters to pursue online and social media marketing as a key component of their retail strategy.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, SMEs run the risk of missing opportunities in both productivity and profitability by not engaging in e-commerce.
A survey by the Centre for Retail Research revealed that e-commerce was the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America. Online sales in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Poland as well as Spain grew by 18.6 percent in 2015 and similar growth figures are expected for 2017. — @Kiyaz_Cool.