Learning to trade online with Andalucía Lab, Marbella

  • Having studied Internet Journalism at London School of Journalism and worked for four years as EU Business Support, Finance & Technology Manager for London Docklands Development Corporation and London East Training and Enterprise Council, Chris Dove accepted an invitation from Marbella’s Andalucía Lab Technology Centre to a seminar on ‘Sales Opportunities on the Internet for Small Business and Tourism Companies’, co-hosted by CADE Marbella business support organisation.

    Lab Managing Director José Luis Córdoba’s presentation titled ‘Internet: ally or threat to the small business?’ emphasised the need for companies to pay as much attention to their digital presence as they do to their physical shop windows and urged small business owners to promote special offers to potential customers outside physical shop opening hours, creating customer experiences that motivate internet users to visit their local shop as well as serving as a low-cost means of up-selling.

    Andalucía Lab, www.andalucialab.org  CADE Marbella, www.andaluciaemprende.es 

    José María Atencia Palacios from Jimdo in Hamburg talked about ‘Online sales and the small trader: the reality of 2.0’ (web 2.0 is the second generation of websites using e-commerce instead of static websites). He’s adamant that traditional ways of selling are obsolete and online trading is especially important for competitive small businesses and artisan projects to seize the opportunity to expand, using his cost-effective service to easily create e-commerce sites. Jimdo, www.jimdo.com

    Launched in Madrid and now operating in Andalucía, the founder of local online shopping portal De Compras Por (translates as Shopping For) gave the final presentation titled ‘Incorporating my business for online sales: a real, possible and shared experience with other trades’. Part of Grupo enjoyMuch S.L., Director Enrique Amaré congratulated small business owners who have their own websites and encouraged companies to “take your physical shop online using all the experience built up through your physical shop.”

    Reaffirming that the 4 Ps of the Marketing Mix equally apply online as in street trading (Product, Price, Placement, Promotion), Mr Amaré advised: “If you can go online, do it. If you don’t know how, seek help to sell from local to global.”

    We were informed that online sales in Spain will grow 18% per year to 2017, valued at €9.1 billion, and given customers’ inability to fully experience products by touch and smell, high quality graphics and brief but clear information are essential. De Compras Por, www.decompraspor.es

    A lengthy Question and Answer session fielded by all three speakers left us fully ‘clued-up’ on the why, where, when and how of adapting to the rapidly changing online trading environment.

    Attended and translated by Chris Dove, Pro Write and Edit, www.prowriteandedit.com