Going digital: Woman entrepreneur bounces back with her online store during the pandemic

Going digital: Woman entrepreneur bounces back with her online store during the pandemic

Ecommerce

Airamae Guerrero

Airamae Guerrero

2 Nov 2020, 13:00 — 5 min read

For many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines, trade fairs have been a great opportunity for them to showcase products, achieve target sales, and meet partners, suppliers, and buyers.


“Trade fair is like a harvest season for MSMEs,” exclaims Lyn Sheryl Reasol, the woman behind Binuhat Arts and Crafts that offers handwoven products made by women of Dinagat Islands.


Lyn is one of the many MSMEs who are used to participating in various trade fairs to market their products, and find exporters and big clients.


However, it was a different story with the COVID-19 pandemic.


“At the beginning of the year, I was so excited and I already prepared my products for trade fairs. But due to lockdown, physical trade fair were cancelled,” the female founder explains.

 

Because of this, her products were stuck in cargo supposedly delivered in Metro Manila that left her with no on-hand products.


Finding opportunities in the crisis

Before the pandemic, Lyn admitted that she didn’t pay much attention to online channels to market her products as she was used to attending trade fairs.


But with no sign of things getting back to normal, Lyn decided to explore digital channels to keep the ball rolling for her business.


“At the start of lockdown, I started posting products on my personal Facebook account and asked my family and friends to share it.” And within that day, she was able to receive several inquiries.


The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also came to her rescue and invited Lyn to attend a webinar on how she can create her own online store to navigate the new normal.

Binuhat Arts and Crafts


Creating a digital showroom

“After the webinar, I immediately applied all the things I had learned,” she said.


Not letting any circumstances stop her from running her business, Lyn managed to create her own online store with the help of the DTI and UnionBank GlobalLinker.


“It was a huge help to me. I’m so happy because I now have a digital showroom where I can post all my products, connect with my customers, and accommodate inquiries from local areas and abroad.”


When people inquire, she no longer has to send several photos of her products; instead she just sends them the link of her online store where customers can see all of her products.

Promote your online stores because not all people know that you have an online store. Treat it as if it’s your physical store.


Participating in digital trade fair

Knowing that creating an online store was just the first step, Lyn participated in a virtual trade fair to market her products and promoted it to various social media channels.


The Binuhat Arts and Crafts owner joined Gawang Pinay, a digital trade fair featuring women-led enterprises organized by DTI in partnership with UnionBank GlobalLinker.


Her participation did not only bring exposure to her brand, but also an increase in sales and a wider reach.

An exporter discovered my online store and made a bulk order for my products. I also got inquiries from Italy, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. 


Results of going online

From participating in digital trade fair and promoting her online store to various social media channels, Lyn was overjoyed to share that what she earned from her digital activities in a span of a month is equivalent to attending two – three physical trade fairs.


“An exporter discovered my online store and made a bulk order for my products. I also got inquiries from Italy, Sri Lanka, and Singapore.”


Aside from that, she was also featured in several programs by a major television network in the Philippines which gave a good chunk of traffic to her online store.


With a spike in the word of mouth and referrals, the Dinagat Island native is grateful for the trust that people have poured into her brand.

Binuhat Arts and Crafts


Tips to online store owners

“Promote your online stores because not all people know that you have an online store. It’s like a physical trade fair; you need to visit it every day. Treat it as if it’s your physical store.”


At the end of the interview, Lyn leaves an encouraging message to business owners navigating the digital new normal: Don’t limit yourself with what you can only do. Believe in yourself as opportunities are hidden in every problem.


Visit Binuhat Arts and Crafts at binuhatartsandcrafts.linker.store


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the members

Posted by

Airamae Algentera Guerrero

I shine the spotlight on business owners who are doing exciting and innovative work by featuring them as part of our 'SME Inspirations' series. Connect with me and share...

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