Ready4Trade guides Turkmen small business on e-commerce success

6 December 2021
ITC News

Ten Turkmen companies from the textile, food, fruit and vegetable, consulting and marketplace sectors are expanding their market reach and business opportunities through effective e-commerce strategies provided by the International Trade Centre’s Ready4Trade Central Asia project.

The project’s e-commerce initiative designed seven webinars for the Turkmen small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and seven regional webinars delivered by international experts. These focused on unique value propositions, how to identify online customers and competitors and how to create e-commerce content.

“We were used to make business in traditional way, but we can’t ignore the fact that global trade is transforming and switching to e-commerce. The good news is that there are solutions like this initiative. Successful e-commerce activity is just a matter of timely and effective adoption,” said participant Aygul Sazakova, of the Keshde art studio which produces local handicraft.

All ten companies who attended aim to use online sales to reach international markets. The webinars included guidance on the structure of large marketplaces and international payment systems, how to digitalize products, social media marketing, and online sales channels. Participants were also given a chance to practice their new skills and review additional materials on ITC’s online learning platform.

The e-commerce initiative supports SMEs on their digital journey through its training program, research and facilitation of innovative solutions, collaborative structures, partnerships, digital tools and technologies. Shifting to e-commerce is crucial for many small and medium businesses, and successful online sales require effective digital marketing.

“We provided essential information on the fundamentals of e-commerce. Next, we plan to provide direct consulting support to Turkmen enterprises, including on digitization of products, creation and optimization of websites, digital marketing, social networks, and product placement via online platforms. These efforts will help enhance the online competitiveness and export potential of Turkmen enterprises,” said Natalya Kozlenkova, ITC’s e-commerce program officer.

With the project Ready4Trade - Central Asia, the European Union and ITC are joining forces to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and Business Support Organizations. The project operates in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.