Spanish SMEs bet on digital commerce: 51% already operate through the internet | Economy

51% of Spanish SMEs operate through a channel on-line and of these, 21% began to do so during the pandemic. According to the study commissioned by the company PayPal and presented this Wednesday by Beatriz Giménez, director of the company in Spain and Portugal, the digital business model has gained prominence. The number of transactions that passed through the US multinational increased by 13% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, a growth that Giménez associates with the need to adapt during the covid crisis: “After the pandemic, people did not want to touch the money and that made them have to make an effort to understand, almost compulsorily, digital payment”.

The new trend that is consolidating is the purchase through social networks such as Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. This model, called social commerce, does not require the prior installation of an application: the product or the web page link is accessed directly from the social network. According to the data provided, 37% of Spaniards have used social networks to buy during the last six months. Of these, 11% admit to using this service weekly.

In Spain, the best-selling products on social networks are clothing and accessories (35%), beauty and health items (28%) and games on-line (25%). When those surveyed are asked about their motivations for using this medium, 30% state that they only do so through the social network itself if they can use a secure payment gateway. A fact that PayPal, whose main business consists of this, highlights in the report. Another 37% use the links to access the product’s web page and make the payment from there. For consumers, the flexibility in the payment method and immediacy, that is, being able to buy quickly when the product is seen, are the two main advantages of online commerce. In the case of companies, 88% of those consulted answered that this digital model allowed them to reach new clients.

The main barriers that consumers encounter when buying an item online are two: that the usual payment method they use is not available —either credit card, cash on delivery, payment gateways, etc.— or that the purchase process does not give them a sense of security. The data from the study confirm that almost two out of every three Spaniards have abandoned a purchase before completing it for one of these reasons.

The simplicity of the payment processes is another element that determines the volume of sales. 47% of respondents say that a long and confusing purchase process makes them abandon before completing the process. According to the director of PayPal Iberia, “it is no longer so common for people to enter a website and buy, but users compare between different sites”. This makes, she has completed, that having an efficient and simplified purchasing system is “decisive”.

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