Digital shopping as an added reality

This is the first winter we decided not coming back to the city apartment from our village cottage 60 km from the capital. Forthcoming holiday lockdown starting right after the Orthodox Christmas on the 7th of January played a big role in this decision – no concerts and performances to attend, no strolling on Xmas markets, no visits to favourite restaurants – what’s the reason of moving to the city with six pets?

Frankly, the least of everything that we are deprived now of, I will miss shopping in big molls. Even in before corona times I was not a fan of commercial centres – being in crowds of people amongst noisy one-man music and bright artificial lights, made me feel tired within less than an hour. On the contrary, virtual shopping at a time convenient for me and the cats sitting on my laps is really fun. Since the first quarantine in March, cars with a bright green logo “Rozetka” – the most popular Ukrainian online hipper market – or minivans with red sign “Nova Poshta” (New Post) – have been regularly delivering various goods to my house: dog/cats’ food from a favourite local brand, IHerb supplements from the USA and Orthamol vitamins from the German manufacturer. My garden house became full of gardening tools, lawn mowers, rattan furniture; and as you can imagine, I ordered them conveniently from my computer; not to mention house appliances including pet’s friendly robot vacuum cleaner.

Many foreigners sell their goods in the virtual space of Ukraine. I can find quite many Finnish trademarks on my favourite portals: Fiskars, Tikkurila, Finlandia, Norfin Finland, Harvia, Abloy, Nokian Mobil, Reima, Icepeak, Kuoma, Lapsi, Kuppa, Norfin, Rapala, Suunto, Kuusamo, Polar, Storm, Sven, Nokia, Smart Watch, Lumene…. On the other hand, how many Finnish brands are not present in Ukrainian digital market yet! is the second most popular e-market place in Ukraine, it is a project of the IT company EVO. On the platform, entrepreneurs independently create their own online stores and offer more than 100 million products for customers. Most recently I ordered traditional chests for clothes and impressive wrought iron gate with a wicket from the reliable entrepreneurs. I definitely became one of those loyal customers who contributed to the immense growth of digital commerce in Ukraine. While share of e-commerce in Eastern Europe raised 10% in 2020 compared to 2019, Ukraine recorded the highest growth with its 45%.

In late 90th I initiated the project for women farmers to provide rural women with an access to internet and teach them how to market their products. This pilot greatly empowered the female entrepreneurs from villages and helped them building their business. Since then, e-marketing has developed rapidly in Ukraine. The last year was really special: grocery e-commerce increased by 107%! It happened very much due to quarantine restrictions that have facilitated the cooperation of grocery retailers with delivery services. Thus, e-commerce has a lot of advantages for business as it does not suffer from full or partial lockdown.

Social media is another wonder in digital commerce. I use it in my work as a consultant but as a customer as well. For St. Nickolas Day my dogs received handmade biscuits in shape of hearts, which I ordered from the “Golden retriever parties” on Facebook. PromoRepublic, a Finnish-Ukrainian start-up knows well how to grow its business out of social networks. PromoRepublic is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company with headquarters in Helsinki and the development office in Kyiv that provides social media marketing tools for entrepreneurs worldwide. It is a Top-10 fast-growing SaaS marketing technology company trusted by enterprise brands and local businesses across the globe. Case studies show that 30% -45% of total sales of their clients come straight from social media.

I recently learned that about thirty thousands of new goods appear on the market every year, more than 80% of them fail to find their customers. At the same time customers, digitally or not, have been always looking for new innovative products. There must be a match. If not an innovative marketing tool, then your personal business consultant is always ready to help you in finding your interested customers on new markets. “+1” is that consultant will add a human touch to this endeavour.

Julkaistu 04.01.2021

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