Following up on a first workshop on product listing in May this year, a second workshop was held in Baku at the end of August, as part of the recently launched EU4Business ‘Ready to Trade’ project, which aims to increase the competitiveness of SMEs from Azerbaijan and other Eastern Partnership countries, and to improve access to a more global market, with a particular focus on the European Union.
The project, which is implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), also aims to build the e-Commerce capacities of SMEs to help them use online channels more effectively and come up with innovative digital solutions to facilitate cross-border trade and increase their international sales.
The main objective of the latest five-day workshop was to assess the progress that had been made by Azerbaijani SMEs since the last training, as well as to digitize as many products as possible. The first three days were held at AzExport and the last two at AzPromo. The first days at each new venue involved meeting the seven different trainers that ITC had trained during the last mission and giving them a quick refreshment on the process, focusing on particular problems and issues that each trainer had.
After the refresher session, the trainers were then tasked to apply their knowledge and help to train representatives from each SME. The objective was to ensure that the trained SMEs are able and have the tools independently to build their e-Commerce capacities and strengthen their respective companies.
The trainers demonstrated that they had fully understood the ethos of e-Commerce and the importance of high quality content. Furthermore, they showed that they had learned the importance of payments, marketing, logistics and customs, and, at the same time, strengthened their capacities to apply these concepts. Additionally, the trainers were confident with the digitization process and only needed a general refresher on how to formulate product descriptions, take and edit high quality photos, generate barcodes, create unique internal product references (SKUs) and upload the products on the platform the ITC had provided.
The trainers were made up of experts from AzPromo, AzExport and independent consultants. Over the course of the workshop, the seven trainers coached a total of ten representatives from nine different companies and supervised the digitization of approximately 65 products that were successfully uploaded onto the platform with edited photos, SKUs, barcodes and descriptions.