Elevating Armenian SMEs: inside the e-commerce development initiative

Apr 5, 2024

Elevating Armenian SMEs: inside the e-commerce development initiative

Apr 5, 2024

In today’s digital age, the importance of e-commerce for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), cannot be overstated. Recognizing this, RVO and the Netherlands Embassy in Armenia, in collaboration with Globally Cool, embarked on a mission to equip Armenian SMEs in the fashion/clothing and agrifood sectors with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the online marketplace. The e-commerce development program aimed to empower SMEs in Armenia with the tools they need to succeed in the ever-evolving world of e-commerce.

Navigating the digital landscape

The journey began with a multifaceted approach to training, encompassing both physical and online components to ensure maximum accessibility and effectiveness. Alongside the physical opening event held in Yerevan, Armenia, we conducted an online training program via the Globally Cool Academy. This allowed participants to engage from the comfort of their homes. The online platform covered a diverse array of topics crucial to e-commerce success, including regulatory considerations, digital payment modalities, security recommendations, website design strategies, social media strategies, logistics, aftersales processes, legal aspects, and fraud prevention.

In addition to the comprehensive curriculum, the training program featured sessions with local institutions and guest lecturers to provide participants with real-world insights and practical advice. Topics covered in these sessions ranged from taxes and legislation, social media engagement, logistics management, and payment modalities, to analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Yandex Metrica. These interactions enriched the learning experience and equipped participants with a deeper understanding of the e-commerce landscape.

Practical application

Furthermore, to support participants in implementing their newfound knowledge effectively, we integrated an assignment book into the program. This document served as a guide for self-assessment, quick wins, and actionable steps to improve critical aspects of participants’ online presence, including website optimisation, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media engagement, and e-commerce marketplace strategies. By combining theoretical learning with practical application, we ensured that participants were equipped to navigate the complexities of e-commerce with confidence and competence.

Individual action plans were developed by participants to define their next steps in e-commerce activities, based on the knowledge and skills acquired during the program. Personalised coaching sessions further supported SMEs in implementing quick wins and enhancing various aspects of their e-commerce endeavours.

An online community was also established via WhatsApp to facilitate communication and knowledge exchange among participants beyond the program’s completion. This platform served as a hub for discussion, feedback, and support among SMEs, fostering collaboration within the e-commerce community.

Empowering educators

The program also included a Training of Trainers component, where lecturers from the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) gained valuable insights into e-commerce, enabling them to transfer this knowledge to their students effectively. The outcomes of these sessions were positive, with lecturers expressing enthusiasm about integrating practical measures into the curriculum to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application.

Measuring impact: feedback and results

The impact of the e-commerce development program was profound, with 26 SMEs benefitting from enhanced e-commerce skills and knowledge. Feedback from participants was positive, with high ratings for the usefulness of the training, quality of materials, and effectiveness of the trainers. Notably, 50% of SMEs reported an increase in sales via new e-commerce channels or upgrades to existing ones.

The Training of Trainers component proved to be a success, with ASUE lecturers expressing readiness to integrate e-commerce topics into their lessons and explore new learning opportunities such as summer schools and business clinics. The practical measures suggested by lecturers aim to equip students with the skills needed to excel in the workplace and contribute to Armenia’s growing e-commerce sector.

Individual action plans and coaching sessions yielded tangible results, with SMEs implementing improvements in social media engagement, website upgrades, and marketplace integration. Moreover, the creation of job opportunities by participating SMEs underscores the program’s positive impact on employment and economic growth in Armenia.

Building a brighter future

The e-commerce development program has been instrumental in empowering Armenian SMEs with the skills, knowledge, and tools needed to thrive in the digital era. From training sessions and coaching sessions to online communities and beyond, the program has fostered collaboration, innovation, and growth within the Armenian e-commerce ecosystem. Together, we are building a brighter future for Armenian businesses in their marketplace.

Take the next step in your e-commerce journey today and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. Contact us for more information!

Experience in and with emerging markets

Since 1995, Globally Cool has trained and coached thousands of professionals, in over 45 emerging markets. Want to know more about what Globally Cool can do for you? Check out our services and join us!