Before March, 2020 E-Commerce was not a regular option that many Panamanians people will choose to buy things.
Due to our culture, the favorite method to purchase anything was going to malls, looked many options and decided which one to get based on the Price or any other thing to be considered. That is the main reason why the owners of the business did not invest in a secure and complete platform to sale web way. Most of the web sales in Panama City are done in a hybrid way, it means that you are able to have the request done online and then the payment could be done online as well or upon delivery with a credit or debit card, even in cash. This is not a bad thing, but it definitely makes the process a little bit more complicated, also it contributes for the growth of the E-Commerce to be slow since the logistics and risks are higher.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, go shopping is not a safety way to have our purchase done, it has caused a considerable increase on the E-Commerce´s develop. Keep in mind that these purchases are not totally electronics because small business are using their social media as virtual shops to offer their products without establishing a method to pay through these ones, so payment methods and delivery still the same under the hybrid concept. Big companies have been forced to improve their sales processes by having everything digitized including their stocks and virtual payments, implementing the electronic payment gateways offered by banks and companies which give this kind of service such as PayPal, Paguelo Fácil, Nequi, and etcetera, which also means a higher investment for the companies which are using these systems now.
Having this explanation, I could say that this Healthy situation has opened a window that should be consider for a labor shield that wasn’t being incentivized because it was not a need as it is now. It is one for web programmers because we used to have a lot of web designers. However, the job of one and the other are totally different, a web designer chooses tools and applies them, but web programmers make sure that the code from the pages are secure and according to the laws of the country as well as based on the international standards. These web programmers should be educated to build and certificate web pages because it is important to validate codes by having an expert on this field to keep safe information that is handle even by business’ owners and clients as well.
This is a great opportunity to value and improve this kind of commerce as well as the professional strength on this field that we have in Panama because companies and life style are not going to be the same from now, for that reason, each company should not look for the way to stay in the past, but to see the future that is now.
E-Commerce in Panama is right now!
Author: Jonathan Sanchez