Monday, June 17, 2024

Sari-sari stores go digital with Packworks B2B platform

Despite their ubiquity and essential role in Filipino communities, sari-sari stores are still mostly run the old fashioned way, with pen-and-paper logistics. But with continued rise of digital solutions for small and medium businesses, there is an increasingly vital need to enable sari-sari stores to harness new digital technologies.

The recently-launched Packworks B2B platform is aimed at enabling sari-sari stores to go digital, with a mobile Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) feature that is claimed to be easy to use, low-bandwidth, and with a light footprint.

“We at Packworks believe in the power of our microentrepreneurs to drive economic growth and social development within their communities. Through the tools that we are making available to them, we are helping them see their full potential and achieve greater flexibility in their operations while greater earnings for them and their families,” Packworks co-founder Ibba Bernado said.

Great lengths were taken to ensure ease of use and accessibility, according to Packworks, with the app even usable without an Internet connection and all store running processes possible to be carried out remotely offline. According to Bernardo, the company hopes that this will make the app more convenient to use especially in far-flung areas with limited or no connectivity.

“The Sari Super Store  app works even during brownouts. They just need the Internet occasionally to get access to more promos, opportunities and so that we can coach them on improving their business,” Bernardo added.

 The app’s interface is also designed to appeal to sari-sari store owners who may be apprehensive about jumping the digital divide.

“It’s all about making sure they’re not left behind as the world transitions further into a digital landscape. It’s about accessibility and ensuring they have tools that contribute to their establishment and success,” Packworks co-founder Bing Tan said.

Packworks touts a growing ecosystem of over 150,000 registered sari-sari stores to date.

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