Online shopping on Portuguese websites has increased and, despite the “resistance”, managers “are increasingly permeable to the digital transformation of their structures”. The guarantee is from António Alegre, CEO of the Yellow Pages, who, in an interview with SAPO TeK, highlights the importance of digital literacy for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), stressing that the bet must go much further than just creating or maintaining a website or online store.

For the CEO of the agency that manages 7,500 clients with online platforms, only a portion of the company’s clients, a promotion strategy is essential in the area of ​​digital marketing. “Having a website / online store without promoting it is like having a store on the 5th floor of a car park: we either stand out or nobody knows we exist.” Therefore, he argues that “the digital presence does not begin and end in development of a website. “

“Knowing the tools, as well as the techniques, and taking advantage of the opportunities they generate is fundamental for the sustainability of the structures and for the generation of a workforce focused on the future of the business”, guarantees the CEO of the Yellow Pages.

António Alegre explains that any “online storefront” must be linked to social platforms, advertising space and even an integrated lead management system, which centralizes orders on various devices and allows for agile responses. And it is mainly in smaller businesses that this strategy has the most impact, he says.

It is in this context that António Alegre believes that digital literacy puts companies on the “right path”, stimulating both productivity, creativity and growth. Something that, in his opinion, has been a bet by companies of all sizes, but with more benefits for SMEs.

Digital marketing strategies mainly benefit SMEs

Despite considering that Portugal is still a long way from being considered a “digital nation”, the agency’s CEO considers that companies, both individual and multinational companies, have been betting on digital marketing, based on Yellow Pages customers. However, it is SMEs that need the most support.

“For most Portuguese SMEs, the design of a marketing strategy, the development of a website, the management of performance campaigns (Google, Facebook), the professional management of social networks, are all unexplored terrain”. And, therefore, he explains, they need specialist monitoring.

This trend has been seen above all with the pandemic. From the moment that physical stores had to close their doors, the growth in orders from stores with online payments was evident. “Within the portfolio of 7,500 Yellow Pages customers with a website, the increase was 10 times, having been one of the most sought after services by SMEs”, with the figures for the first half of 2020.

“I think that the fact that we associated the online store with the existing sites without any additional cost has caused many companies to take another step in their digital transformation process,” he says.

During the pandemic, companies also started to use more management interaction tools with customers, such as coupons, email marketing and contact manager. “A trend that points to a concern and focus of companies on customer retention”, in the perspective of António Alegre.

“As attracting a new customer is significantly more expensive than retaining a satisfied one, this perception is now much more latent in the strategies of companies, which invest more and more to keep them loyal and in the center of their attention”, he concludes.

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