Digital is growing at a quick pace as a consequence of the Covid-19. The coronavirus has indeed strongly impacted the world economy as well as the Moroccan economy. Thousands of businesses and jobs are threatened, and some sectors are obviously more affected than others and suffer the full force of this health crisis. So, how are Moroccan businesses adapting their digital strategies in times of crisis?
Health crisis & partial interruption of economic activity in Morocco: Which businesses are benefiting from digitalization?
Paradoxically, the Covid-19 crisis is an opportunity for a handful of businesses that can continue to operate on the web or that are not directly impacted by the current health crisis. Indeed, businesses such as Glovo in Morocco, which is an on-demand courier service that purchases, picks up, and delivers products ordered through its mobile app, have experienced a significant increase in their revenue, as have several other businesses and startups operating in different sectors of activity, which have seen a significant increase in their revenue since the appearance of Covid-19 in Morocco.
As for the public sector, the Moroccan administration is working to accelerate the process of digitization of its services. The urgency of the situation is not unrelated. Actually, it requires effective measures to fluidify the various administrative services.
Covid-19 and e-commerce websites
For e-commerce websites, observers described these players as being able to pull their weight. The large choice of products offered could logically lead people to think that a lot of customers are rushing to these e-commerce websites to make purchases, but the reality is quite different, especially with stock shortages and logistical problems. In fact, China, the main exporter of consumer goods, has experienced a drastic drop in production, some factories have closed, and the supply chain has been heavily impacted.
In addition to this, people are giving much more importance to so-called “priority purchases”, except for the gaming, home, and other beauty products, which are also experiencing some lack of interest. These categories of products alone represent a significant part of an e-commerce website’s revenue.
Same in France, according to a study conducted in April by the Fevad, 76% of e-commerce websites who were interviewed say that they have experienced a clear decline in sales since the beginning of the lockdown.
Are small and medium-sized Moroccan businesses the most affected by the current crisis?
Currently, a very large number of Moroccan small and medium-sized businesses are facing numerous difficulties. The total or partial shutdown of their activities has directly impacted their cash flow.
So, how should Moroccan businesses adapt their digital strategies? The best answer is certainly not to wait and observe, but to be proactive by adapting their digitalization not only for this Covid-19 period but for the post-lockdown period also.
Digitalization, a great opportunity for businesses in Morocco
Internet usage saw a notable increase of 14.4 percent between 2019 and 2020. According to a report by ANRT, the emergence of Covid-19 led to an increase in the number of Internet users by 3.5 million. It also indicates that Moroccans’ use of e-commerce websites has increased significantly.
Moroccans, since the beginning of the crisis, naturally started taking the initiative to look for products and businesses online. In fact, They are now checking websites, comments, reviews, and businesses social media profiles especially on Facebook and Instagram if they are interested in a product.
Furthermore, Moroccan customers are now more and more paying online with their credit cards, which was unimaginable a few weeks ago before the crisis. In fact, in terms of number of online transactions, they have reached 14.2 million in 2020, up 46% compared to last year, unveiled the Interbank Electronic Banking Center (Centre Monétique Interbancaire also known as CMI).
So, for businesses, digitalization is no longer a choice, but a priority!
In the very short term, how can Moroccan businesses communicate on the web during the Covid-19 period?
Adapt their digital content strategy
At the beginning of the crisis, it is important for Moroccan businesses to quickly readapt their communication strategy and marketing goals. This starts with readjusting the digital content around the brand and its values in order to create a contact point with the potential Moroccan customers.
Indeed, it is necessary to focus on a communication centered on the brand image and its values rather than a communication oriented directly on sales. However, the situation is different for each business, for E-commerce actors, the opposite is to be recommended, it is necessary to orientate its strategy on customer acquisition by concentrating the digital investments on the products which record the best sales precisely during this period.
Anticipate to optimize your digital presence?
Adapting its content and building a relationship of trust and loyalty with consumers is the real challenge for most businesses in Morocco. Having these notions at hand, it’ll be a bit easier for them to take advantage of this period to improve their presence online.
Businesses, if they do not yet have an online presence, must use this time to catch up and position themselves digitally before the end of the crisis!
For businesses that are already present online, they must also take advantage of this economic slowdown to innovate and improve by doing an audit on their digital marketing strategies: website, SEO, online advertising etc.
In short, this period of Covid-19 can be a great opportunity for Moroccan businesses to rethink their digital marketing strategies.