LaCalleComercio.com online mall opens to help Puerto Rico’s SME’s
LaCalleComercio.com, an online shopping center recently unveiled to help Puerto Rico’s small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) expand their sales amid the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now open for companies to create their virtual stores.
Axel Caraballo, executive director and who created and manages the project along with lawyer Max Caraballo and communicator Luis Alberto González spent time revamping their system — which is designed for distributors — so that hundreds of small businesses can also have low-cost access to options that large companies already offer, they said.
“Several years ago, we started with the idea of creating a virtual shopping center in Puerto Rico, but one that could expand to the world,” the trio said.
“Today, with the emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, orders to stay at home and the closure of multiple businesses, we have decided to open LaCalleComercio.com to the people,” they added.
The service will offer low cost access, and retailers who create their online stores will not pay the first month of subscription until Dec. 31, 2020 and will be advertised on media and social networks that the virtual shopping center is going to promote, Axel Caraballo said.
“The platform was developed, initially, to provide the opportunity to small and medium-sized merchants that many times, due to lack of knowledge, do not benefit from the range of suppliers that we have in Puerto Rico,” he said.
“The idea was that they could contact the suppliers, improve the quality of the products with local offers and reduce production costs. Now we want everyone to benefit because we know what’s happening,” Axel Caraballo said.
“Since everything has changed, we decided to change. Not to change completely, but to use our tools in another way to help the local merchant be able to reach, potentially, all consumers on the island,” he sadded.
The idea is that the virtual shopping center offers Puerto Rico and United States consumers the opportunity to buy from home, work, or anywhere. At the same time, it allows the local merchant to accomplish online sales, which they are unable to benefit from due to the high costs and time associated with building a presence on the web.
LaCalleComercio.com provides a variety of options for online businesses — from department stores, clothing, beauty, health and hygiene product sales, food (supermarkets, grocery stores, farms), to professional services and automotive parts.
Participants can choose to deliver their products by mail, in person, to be picked up by the customer, or through “La Calle Express,” a service that delivers islandwide in one or two days.
In addition, online retailers can get paid via electronic services, by phone or in their own stores when the customer picks up their purchase.
To start creating stores, retailers can access www.lacallecomercio.com and click on the banners and links that lead to the contact form such as “Create your store,” fill in their contact information and the type of business they want to establish. Platform staff will contact them to explain how to create the page, upload their products, set prices and keep track of inventories and offers.
“We hope that with LaCalleComercio.com we can contribute to help small and medium-sized merchants, as well as self-employed workers. We want everyone to be part of the digital wave to which the world has moved,” said Axel Caraballo.