WITH the current business trend focused on online selling due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Cordillera has introduced to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) its oneStore, a digital marketing that incorporates e-commerce in the operations of MSMEs.
Christian Musngi, DOST program developer, said this online product delivery services is a strategy that helps business enterprises widen the scope of their market and increase business opportunities.
"Here in the Cordillera Administrative Region, we have two oneStore hub, which was launched last year, located in Kalinga Province and Baguio City, which are under the Small Enterprise Technology Program or Setup, which is a flagship program of the DOST nationwide and supports the production of MSMEs for 20 years. Although the products may have a higher cost in prices due to logistics, convenience and distribution to other hubs, the quality of these local products should be considered and I think the Department of Trade and Industry should intervene with regards to pricing. However, it's the reason why our tagline is brining quality products to your doorsteps," Musngi said.
There are thousands of MSMEs in the Philippines assisted by DOST through its Setup. These MSMEs contribute to increase in income and employment in the country.
The traditional way of buying and selling goods is time-consuming, uses debit/credit card payment and point-of-sale (POS), and energy-consuming.
With the oneStore, delivery is door-to-door, payments are online, products can be easily accessed anytime anywhere.
"We are encouraging prospective businessmen to invest in our oneStore hubs, particularly in Baguio City. What would be needed is the physical presence of a store, which may just be a stall located in a strategic area so that the sellers could also earn from the mark up which we offer to resellers of the products of the MSMEs products, their access to the internet, and if a businessman would pursue on being a hub and would get the products from other provinces in the region, they should have at least a 50 percent buffer cash or financial capability for the products to be paid or either under consignment," Musngi said.
The online program reduces travel costs, cost of materials, marketing and distribution and trade, promote wider/global market reach, improved image and brand awareness and customer service, increased market awareness, continuous trading, and interactive and environment-friendly.
It also leads to more supply management and eliminates the need for middlemen, thus redound to lower transaction costs, reduced overhead, inventory and labor costs, aside from improving customer service by providing more responsive order-taking and after-sales service to customers using live chat and email which can result to increased customer loyalty.
Another benefit of the oneStore is increased market awareness, as MSMEs can become more aware of the competition and changes in the market. MSMEs are on their toes to always go for product/service innovation or quality improvement, while sellers and customers can assess 24/7 sales service, considered as a convenient way when trading globally.
"Once a businessman would acquire a oneStore hub, they will be provided for with a vending machine for the MSME products which we are acquiring at present. Hopefully, we can provide for the other provinces in the region so that the local products produced by MSME's can be placed in these vending machines," Musngi added.