In Europe, the figure is 17.5% on average. Last year, Latvia’s e-commerce turnover accounted for only 5% of the turnover of small and medium-sized enterprises, but on average in Europe this indicator was more than twice as high. Signe Bāliņa forecasts that this year’s statistics will show an increase in the development of e-commerce in Latvia, as the time of the pandemic has given a great impetus and push for the development of e-commerce.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the usual things, such as booking a hotel room or buying a plane ticket online, the possibilities of e-commerce in Latvia have increased significantly. Signe Bāliņa, President of the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA), continues.
“If in the spring there weren’t so many restaurants, cafes that offered takeaway food. It offered the possibility to order food online using an app or using one of the common platforms. Then now it’s everyday. I think many thought and had many of these digital things. , which we knew, but which we did not use and thought – maybe later. But this time came and entrepreneurs understood that it must be done now, “says Bāliņa.
This is how cafes Stockpot started to use their Internet platform more widely. Its owner, Linda Johnson, said the website, which has the ability to order food at home, was created four years ago, but it didn’t get a response.
“That’s why we stopped using it and then we started it again in the spring and we had a turnover of around € 200 a day on the website. Now it has developed more and the turnover on the website is around € 600 a day,” says Johnson.
Ordering food online has become especially relevant in the last two weeks, since the emergency in the country began and during which it is forbidden to have a meal in cafes and restaurants on the spot. Linda Johnson says that she was offered food to take with her before, so this situation does not cause any problems. Fashion store M50 Elīna Berklava admits that during the first emergency situation, online stores helped to survive and for a few months became the main source of revenue.
“We had been working on the e-shop for more than a year and we had arranged our e-shop so far for the reinforced Christmas so far that we were in a good starting position during the pandemic. We had already done most of the work and could” catch up “small gaps when the pandemic started. , which appeared to be a sharp increase in turnover, “points out Berklava.
Elīna Berklava says that success online is not only ensured by the existence of an e-shop. It is necessary to work on self-advertising on social media, service, website design, product descriptions. The President of the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA) urges small and medium-sized enterprises that plan to develop their activities in the field of e-commerce to identify support opportunities, as not everything has to be done on their own. For example, many banks offer help to small and medium-sized businesses with their e-commerce platforms, which already have payment options. The 220.lv online store also offers its platform, which has grown from a classic online store into a virtual shopping center. Līga Bubko, the company’s marketing and communication manager, continues.
“Marketplace is an e-shop with the right infrastructure where any merchant can sell their goods by registering. In the meantime, our mission is to provide IT solutions, logistics, customer service and marketing. The marketplace currently brings together more than 1,300 vendors from all three Baltic countries,” says Berklava. .
Līga Bubko explains that the analogue of such a virtual shopping center is the well-known amazon and ebay.