Portuguese companies need to make a digital transformation the next five years, told Lusa the president of ACEP – Digital Economy Association, Alexandre Nilo Fonseca.

ACEPI today released the study 'Digital Economy in Portugal 2009-2020', within the scope of the Internet Week in Portugal 2015, which concluded that less than a third (31%) of Portuguese companies are present on the Internet.

One of the great challenges facing the country, considered Alexandre Nilo Fonseca, is to enable small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to “truly enjoy digital” and this should be a bet “priority of the Government”.

This is because practically 70% of Portuguese companies are not present on the Internet, corresponding to SMEs and micro-enterprises.

We need to help SMEs to come to the Internet“, he considered, pointing out that this could be done through the 2020 community funds, with a focus on training and business development.

 

There is a revolution to be made!

 

Most of these companies [which are not present on the Internet] are small and managed by people who are not digital“, pointed out, noting that “There are a revolution to make” to endow them with digital knowledge, he said.

Alexandre Nilo Fonseca argued that Portuguese companies “They need to make a digital transformation in the next five years“.

The big challenge is how companies will take advantage of the opportunities [that digital brings] and the international market“, he stressed.

B2C e-commerce [between businesses and consumers] almost doubled in five years in Portugal, reaching a turnover of 2.9 billion euros in 2014, the study concluded.

In 2020, it is estimated that the turnover will reach 5.4 billion euros.

Whereas the Portuguese companies may be the “the twenty-first century navigators“, recalled that Portugal benefits from having a market – Europe -, whose e-commerce is worth around 500 billion euros, having the fifth most spoken language in the world or even being one of the countries with many graduates in computer engineering.

These are advantages that Portuguese companies must take advantage of in an increasingly digital world.

Alexandre Nilo Fonseca gave the example of the tourism sector, which has taken advantage of the Internet to be more competitive.

The tourism market has ever seen it“, now “other sectors, such as commerce, have to bet on the transition to digital“, in the sense of increasing productivity, competitiveness and exports, he underlined.

According to the study, of the Portuguese companies that are present on the Internet, the majority (90%) have a ‘site', while the rest are present in 'websites’ third and the social networks.

More than half (50%) of Portuguese companies operating in retail and catering say they have an Internet store.

The study said that more than two thirds of Portuguese companies present on the Internet have domínio.pt “because they are created content in Portuguese and addressed to the Portuguese market”.

Regarding 'online' advertising, 73% claim to be present through 'email'’ marketing, advertising on social networks and search engines.

Companies predict 2015 a growth in marketing budget allocated 'online’ around 60%“, says the study.

Currently, the digital marketing budget is 20% and companies estimate it to be 32%.

Last year, the world population reached 7.2 billion people, of which 2.7 billion were Internet users (38%).

According to ACEPI, online shoppers’ amount to 1.1 billion people, 41% of Internet users.

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest e-commerce (B2C) market, followed by Europe and North America.

China has dethroned the United States and leads e-commerce, with the United Kingdom in third place.

Currently, China, the United States and the United Kingdom represent more than 50% of the global e-commerce market.

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