What a year 2020 has been so far. We have all struggled with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all aspects of our lives.
Lockdowns and restrictions have been essential in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, but they have also significantly impacted businesses across the globe.
Businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) have been some of the worst hit.
Depending on which industry they belong to, they may have had to manage a fall in demand and/or supply, travel and gathering restrictions or their customers’ fear of potential infection. The tourism and hospitality sectors were and remain the most vulnerable to the economic woes of this pandemic.
The ‘Global State of Small Business’ report released in July 2020 showed that 26% of SMBs around the world had shut down between January and May 2020. In the MENA region, 70% of businesses reported a drop in sales, with around 40% forced to let go of some of their employees.
To survive, these businesses had to get creative and turn to the right partners and support infrastructure. Facebook saw the chance to help and the opportunity to expand its e-commerce influence under these circumstances.
It launched its #LoveLocal campaign to help SMBs in the MENA region use their entire network (Facebook, IG and WhatsApp) to pivot to a more digital approach and shift their operations online to stay afloat or even flourish where possible, in addition to growing their businesses thanks to the several resources made available to their economic recovery.
The #LoveLocal campaign aims to amplify the voice of SMBs and shed light on their stories and their challenges to help generate consumer demand for local SMBs across the region
Some of the local/regional SMBs that are capitalizing on the support of the Facebook network to survive and thrive include:
Offers driving lessons and maintenance information for women, taught by women, attributes 70% of its revenue to its use of the Facebook family of apps.
Produces creative, handcrafted home accessories and tableware using ceramics and natural materials in Cairo, credits Facebook apps and services with 90% of its business revenue (EGP 230,000 monthly), emphasising the benefits of Boosted Posts.
Sells German desserts online to customers in Cairo, shared that Facebook’s family of apps have contributed to the company adding 4,500+ new customers within its first 5 months of operation, to 60% of its overall revenue and a quadrupling of monthly orders, with a 33% customer conversion rate from Facebook Messenger.
A mobile shopping app that aggregates Egyptian-made products, showcasing them in one place to be sold to the world, credits Facebook apps and services for 11 new hires, an increase from 11 to 74 in registered sellers, 60% of its monthly sales, 1000 new active users, a rise of up to 15% in revenue and a six-fold increase in sales during the pandemic.
A marine tours company in Cairo, providing boat rentals/charters, boat tours, water sports, and boat support services across Hurghada and El Gouna, attributes 25% of its monthly revenue to the use of Facebook and Instagram, credits Facebook apps and services for four new hires, and secures three bookings daily via WhatsApp.
An online fashion company in Egypt that provides trendy fashion accessories at affordable prices, using local producers, attributes 60% of its monthly revenue of EGP 350,000 to Facebook, credits Instagram ads with 80% of its customers from Cairo and 20% of its customers from Alexandria and Mansoura.
Produces innovative, customised iron-on and/or washable labels for students’ items such as flasks and lunch boxes etc., credits Facebook for 95% of its business revenue and links its success on Facebook to seven new hires.