e-Commerce and digital advertising are proving to be particularly effective tools for Belgian SMEs and the self-employed to increase their visibility and sales.
On the downside, many professionals have neither the time nor the technical skills to work on their online presence, even though it is becoming increasingly essential. Proximus has therefore decided to give them a kick start by launching Business Booster, a new digital solutions and coaching range to help SMEs and the self-employed create a presence and boost their visibility online.
E-commerce is more popular than ever in Belgium. According to the latest SafeShops.be E-Commerce Barometer, more than 8,500 new online shops opened in the country in 2021, while sales by Belgian e-commerce sites have spiraled by 33% to €11.7 billion over the past year. Figures from the latest BeCommerce Market Monitor support this, showing that, in the third quarter of 2021, a quarter of the money spent by Belgians took place online, totaling €3.24 billion. This is up by 46% compared to the third quarter of 2020. As for visibility, the Uberall study shows that in 2021, 76% of consumers who searched for something nearby on their smartphone visited a business related to that search within the day.
Proof indeed that good online visibility has become essential for all businesses, including SMEs and the self-employed, as a way to raise their profile and stand out from the competition. In many cases, it is no longer a choice but a real obligation if they want to be primed to meet consumer demand. But of course, most professionals are busy managing and developing their business. They often have neither the time nor the technical skills in-house to take care of their online presence, whether through the creation of a merchant site or through advertising campaigns on the main digital platforms.
A mobile application and digital coaches for optimal follow-up
To come to the assistance of businesses, both those that are already online and those who haven’t yet made the leap, Proximus has decided to develop its Bizz Online product into a much more comprehensive and personalized offer. The new offer, called Business Booster, is tailor-made for SMEs and the self-employed. It does away with the need to bring in several different suppliers: with this modular and scalable product, professionals can choose the services that best suit their needs, their sector of activity and their level of digital maturity.
In practical terms, Business Booster offers four types of services: improving visibility on the main digital platforms, creating a professional website adapted to the company, adding an e-commerce module to sell products and services online, and, finally, a digital marketing tool to attract new customers via Google and social networks.
Thanks to the Business Booster mobile application, these different services can be managed and monitored on a daily basis by the customers themselves. Data analysis and reporting tools for each of their channels give them a direct insight into the positive impact of their online presence. But that’s not all: to guide SMEs and the self-employed as effectively as possible in developing their online presence, digital coaches based in Belgium will be available at all times to steer and advise professionals every step of the way.
“In the world as we know it in 2022, almost all businesses need an online presence to attract customers and increase their visibility. This is true for Proximus and other large companies in Belgium, but it is just as true for smaller companies and the self-employed, whether they are catering businesses, hairdressers, health professionals or contractors in the construction sector, for example. Today, there’s no avoiding digital. I am therefore particularly pleased that Proximus can continue to play its role as the driving force behind an inclusive digital society accessible to all. Our role is to guide our country’s SMEs in their digital transformation by offering them the right tools to boost their online visibility, even when they do not have the time or skills to do it themselves. That is the number one objective of our Business Booster service,” commented, Anne-Sophie Lotgering,
Chief Enterprise Market Officer, Proximus.