E-commerce – for selected industries only? This is the question experts from the e-commerce industry attempted to answer. The “E-commerce for entrepreneurs” debate took place on September 12 at the Regent hotel in Warsaw under the honorary patronage of the Chamber of Digital Economy, gathering specialists and representatives of the sector.
Leszek Maśniak, Chief Data Officer at the Ministry of Digital Affairs, talked about the ideal model of e-services from the administrative point of view. A good e-service should be valuable and available, cost-optimized, and satisfactory to the service user. He also referred to the research the Ministry of Digital Affairs is currently focused on, such as the implementation of broadband networks and response to the fourth industrial revolution, cyber security, and defense of the sovereignty of Polish data.
During a panel entitled “E-commerce market and the condition of Polish e-stores” the speakers talked about the opportunities for small entrepreneurs to establish their presence on the e-commerce market. They also searched for an effective path for the expansion to foreign markets as well as discussed aspects related to logistics and online customer service.
Leszek Maśniak (Ministry of Digital Affairs) stated that the key to effective management of e-commerce activities is to “talk to the market”, correct and adjust parts of the offer in response to the feedback received. Poland is a leader of payment systems and their efficient functioning. We are an attractive partner because hunger and greed are the driving forces of Polish business – stated Leszek Maśniak. He also encouraged exerting influence on the administration, as they have duties and obligations to fulfill towards entrepreneurs. It is necessary to established cooperation and demand the fulfillment of these duties.
Dariusz Stolarczyk, Vice President of the Management Board of Ruch S.A. talked about the competitive advantages crucial for the success of Polish companies implementing online sales channels. He stated that it is currently mainly about the offer, which is becoming increasingly more interesting, sophisticated, and accommodating of the needs of the customers. “I strongly believe that competitive advantage is achieved through product quality and customers service, both pre- and post-sales.”
When referring to the statement of Dariusz Stolarczyk, Teresa Bukalska (ROHLIG SUUS Logistics) added that success is also strongly determined by the industry, and not every industry is easy for e-commerce. The leading branch in Poland is still the fashion industry, as its products are easy to sell and distribute, while the situation is quite different for the foodstuffs sector. We can compete by means of additional services, which are associated with delivery and technology, i.e. through interfaces and connections with partners, such as logistics operators. The Project Manager of ROHLIG SUUS Logistics enriched the debate with a short presentation concerning the more and less popular services associated with delivery: upstairs delivery, cash on delivery, text message notifications, or delivery during non-standard hours.
“You don’t have to invest a fortune to start an e-store. It can be done with small capital expenditure or even using free sales platforms” – said Roman Baluta. The member of the Chamber of Digital Economy emphasized that e-commerce is an fast-developing industry, which requires constant investment to keep up. Establishing one’s own e-store requires a unique, strong brand or a niche industry with a small number of players. The Polish market is open to innovations and adjusts to them quickly.
The meeting ended with a networking session, whose aim was to integrate the old and new members of Executive Club and say goodbye to summer during a violin concert.