PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is enabling small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get into the fast-growing digital market through online store creator TackThis! with cost-effective and customizable business packages.
This is in recognition of the fact that SMEs face barriers in joining the world of ecommerce because of the lack of financial resources, digital know-how, and lack of information.
Addressing these challenges for local SMEs, PLDT and its digital unit Voyager recently unveiled its premium concierge service for its e-commerce platform TackThis!, which makes it easier for business owners to set up a professionally managed online retail site, with online payment features for consumers.
“We recognize the importance of SMEs in our economy, that is why PLDT is at the forefront of empowering SMEs through various digital solutions that are cost-effective and easy to manage,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, PLDT first vice president and head of SME Nation.
Powered by Voyager Innovations, TackThis! is being offered to PLDT enterprise customers through PLDT ALPHA Enterprise and PLDT SME Nation.
According to a study by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the Asean online market has seen a 15 percent growth rate for the last four years and is expected to grow at a rate of 25 percent in the coming years amid increasing purchasing power, growing internet penetration, and improving online offers in the region.
However, online retail sales of the six major Asean economies, including the Philippines, only made up around less than 1 percent or $7 billion of the total $1.2 trillion global retail sales in 2013, reflecting a still huge opportunity for e-commerce.
Abelarde explained that with the TackThis! service, “we are providing SMEs, which make up the majority of our country’s business sector, a convenient innovation that allows them to participate in the burgeoning digital economy.”
In the past, companies would have had to hire a development and operations team to create an online store. With TackThis!, a user-friendly interface allows one to create a site in minutes.
They can then ‘tack’ their virtual store to social networking and blog sites, such as Facebook and WordPress, and websites allowing their customers for a seamless social shopping experience.