ELIGEMURCIA: the platform that helps local entrepreneur not to surrender before giants such as Amazon

24/11/2021, por Angel

ELIGEMURCIA: the platform that helps local entrepreneur not to surrender before giants such as Amazon

Isabel Ortega

ELIGEMURCIA


We talk with Isabel Ortega, the creator of ELIGEMURCIA, a platform that aims to help small local businesses to face up to the very Amazon. This marketplace is free and more than 500 small businesses are already selling their products on it. Isabel is a national American Kickboxing champion and has been a member of the Military Emergency Unit for several years.
Her initiative is a clear example of digital entrepreneurship. During the hardest weeks of the pandemic, Isabel thought about “how she could help small crafters, a sector which has been hard hit by the economic slowdown”. “I don’t have a business or family members who work in the craft industry, I started the marketplace just because I felt I had to give a hand to relieve the difficult situation we were facing and I thought about giving exposure to local businesses in Spain, taking advantage of the increase in online sales that occurred during those days”

 

Tell us how ELIGEMURCIA was born and what is the philosophy behind this initiative

ELIGEMURCIA was born during the isolation. My goal was to help, and I thought about how I could do my part in a situation that was unique for everyone.

I came up with the idea of developing a free marketplace where all businesses in Spain would have a place to offer their products at no cost, and of course, where customers could buy at a fair price, as there are no commissions or fees charged. 

The philosophy of ELIGEMURCIA is to give help, it is something that has been with me since I was a child, that is the reason behind my calling to be a policewoman.

 

 

How did you progress from competing for being part of the national police force to creating an online sales portal to support small businesses and the consumption of local products?

Well, as I said, it came about in the midst of lockdown, when I realised that small businesses, mainly local shops, had to close, while online retailers were, obviously, booming. I put myself in the shoes of all those shop owners who are not familiar with social media and the online sales market.

Entrepreneurship is also part of my life, I had never taken the plunge, but my mind is always working in this direction. It is possible to study for a public competitive examination and be an entrepreneur at the same time, although now I am more focused on my current job as a salesperson at Repsol and ELIGEMURCIA. Lockdown changed my perspective, I couldn’t wait to get the job to start working on my project.

 

How many retailers have joined the initiative and how is the marketplace valued by businesses and customers so far?

At the beginning only a few shops trusted the initiative, I had poor counselling. ELIGEMURCIA started with a rather bad website, which was not very intuitive and had a lot of bugs. 

As a result, no sales were made. Moreover, the first sale took about five or six months. The few shops at that time hosted on the marketplace claimed that there were not enough sales and the customers complained about the difficult purchasing process. 

I got tired of this situation and in February I developed the current website without any prior knowledge. With a little dedication and interest, nowadays anyone can develop a marketplace. It is not necessary to know about programming, you just need some time and motivation.

 

 

There are currently more than five hundred businesses offering their products free of charge on ELIGEMURCIA. Little by little the project is gaining strength and relevance, both for businesses and customers.

 

 

You have created an online sales platform with no quotas or membership fees. How does it work and how does Elige Murcia support itself financially?  

The answer is very easy; I work for them. I get paid for working 40 hours a week developing and improving the marketplace, and all the costs are covered by that small amount of money.

Anyone can make a donation on the website to help with the project. At the moment I don’t receive any kind of support, but I don’t care about that. I didn’t launch it with that in mind. I find getting sales for the affiliated shops very satisfying.

 

What can you offer to the shops and retailers that choose to join Elige Murcia instead of other global marketplaces as eBay,Amazon or Aliexpress?

Basically, they don’t have to pay anything to offer their products on Elige Murcia’s website and social networks, so if they set fair prices, they will get sales, and obviously, sales are the source of profit.

It’s not about competing with anyone, it’s just about increasing visibility. The more marketplaces they are available on, the more people they can reach. The difference is that in ELIGE MURCIA they don’t pay a fee and I don’t charge them commissions for sales. That’ s how customers and their commitment to local commerce come into play. 

 

 

Elige Murcia was launched in 2020. Since then, have you noticed a positive multiplier effect on local and proximity commerce? In which sectors?

Not really, it takes time. I have not seen any significant change, although some people are trying to promote this idea of global trade. Nowadays, convenience and savings are more important than anything else, added to the fact that self-employed people also have to pay rent, bills, suppliers, etc. Although little by little, physical commerce is gradually growing into online commerce.

 

 

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in Spain about stopping the depopulation of rural areas. Do you think that initiatives such as Elige Murcia can help to revitalize these areas and contribute to creating new opportunities in the countryside?

Of course they can. Actually, I help some artisans who are not familiar with online commerce. ELIGE MURCIA is open to anyone, all they have to do is just get in touch with me.

 

 

Could you give us an example of a successful business that has improved or developed thanks to Elige Murcia?

So far I just can say that the consumer is becoming more and more interested in the products offered on the web and, therefore, in local commerce.

I have just begun this long journey. With dedication, time and enthusiasm, I am sure that we will achieve great results together.

 

Official site ELIGEMURCIA –  https://eligemurcia.es/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/eligemurcia/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/eligemurcia/

 

 

 

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