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Thinking of launching a startup? Here’s all you need to know about the market

The great technology and its way to revolutionize the economic game board Amazon Logistics Center in Madrid. / RC The way to sell Amazon, Uber or Airbnb force many traditional to change their strategy to survive.

In recent years companies such as El Corte Inglés, Inditex or large car rental companies or tourist rentals, just to give some examples, have changed the way they work and interact with customers, focusing on digital. What has been your main motivation? Although new technologies and how Spaniards have been adopting them in their daily lives is undoubtedly one of the reasons, experts agree that the main one has been a much more commercial: if you can not with your enemy, join him.

And is that technological giants such as Amazon, Uber or Airbnb have revolutionized the sector in which they have burst that traditional companies have had no choice but to change their platforms and the way they sell their products and services to not disappear before such competition. The president of Microsoft Spain, Pilar López, said during her speech at the Pivot Summit that the objective of companies at the moment is “to be digital first and foremost,” regardless of size and sector.

«We must take advantage of the best of the technological revolution and the best of the face-to-face world» Juanjo Ganuza, Funcas

The really important thing in this point is “to take advantage of the best of the technological transformation and the best of the presential world”, assures to this newspaper Juanjo Ganuza, director of Strategy and Industrial Economy of Funcas. He explains that the problem is that in Europe we do not have any leading company in the technological disruption that began about 10 years ago. “Large companies buy small innovative European startups, they incorporate their talent and their products instead of being their competitors in a few years and that will generate a problem of monopoly in the future,” he says.

Home orders: ‘riders’ The ease of having everything at one click away

Glovo and Deliveroo are the visible face, but there are countless applications that go to the restaurant for our dinner to take home (Just Eat, Uber Eats, Takeaway …), but some even with ‘riders’ who move to the super to buy that missing milk carton or queue at a concert to take a few hours of waiting for the user. The Red Fridge is one of the examples commented by the expert of Funcas, a very innovative Spanish application that ended up falling under the clutches of Just Eat -100 million euros in between-, which took off the direct competition.

Deliveroo has only around 5,000 restaurants in Spain and works with a network of 1,500 delivery drivers or ‘riders’. The labor relationship with them is complicated after last November a court ruled that they are false self-employed. In May the first collective trial of workers of the company will be held.

Transport: Uber The biggest battle of the year for the regulation of the sector

If there is a war between the traditional business and the new players that has been fought this year, it is the taxi against the VTC, with different endings depending on the autonomous community. The taxi drivers have seen how a new competitor has broken into their business, not only keeping part of the market, but also wanting to get a bigger share of the pie, explains Carolina Villegas, professor of Economy, Finance and Accounting, to this newspaper. in Esade.

«The rapid digitization of some sectors questions the regulatory framework and competition policies» Carolina Villegas, esade

Due to the high regulation of the sector, taxis have been limited in their adaptation to a new game scenario. “For many, the victory of companies like Uber in a sector as traditional as the taxi has not been so much at the technological level, but regulatory,” says Villegas.

Private sales: Wallapop Second-hand buying and selling as a first option

Online sales among individuals have become popular to the point that in certain age groups before going to a furniture store, for example, it is searched before if it is in Wallapop. And is that the platform that was born in 2013 has already unseated eBay and Amazon as the main seller of second-hand products, according to a survey of the OCU. It is not the only ‘app’ to sell second-hand products, those of Milanuncios or Vibbo are also well known.

The survey confirms that 26% of Spaniards use one of these platforms at least once a week to look and browse products that may be useful at a low price. Among the most sought after furniture and decoration products, followed by sports articles, books and records. In addition, they have also appeared shopping platforms but much more specialized in specific products, such as Chicfy (clothing), Todocolección (collecting) or Catawiki (auctions of original articles), but they are more minority in use.

Consumption: Amazon Food, books or mobiles, everything goes through it

The absolute king of the game that has forced thousands of traditional companies to change their sales strategy has been Amazon. It began with the sale of books but little by little it was made with a much larger part of the cake until today to compete even with food chains like Mercadona for its fresh delivery service (Amazon Prime Now). The funcas expert assures that each company has been affected in a different way and has decided to act in one way. El Corte Inglés, for example, has become a platform by copying the Amazon model by contacting product sellers with customers, such as Fnac as well.

But other large companies such as Inditex “have their strength in logistics”, which is why they have created a powerful online sales channel. The food leader, Mercadona, has also made improvements in its Internet sales service, although not in such a visible way. “Each sector is dealing with the bull as best it can, above all it is important to give more value to the face-to-face experience in stores”, explains Ganuza. In addition, he affirms that ‘network economies’ mean that the more users have an ‘app’, the more value they have, regardless of their quality. “In that position of dominance it is difficult to be threatened by another competitor and the problem is that in Europe we have few leaders with which to compete with giants like Amazon.”

Rent: Airbnb Tourism is also online but requires regulation

The arrival of the internet as a fundamental player in the economy is what has truly revolutionized the rules of the game. The platforms that now face expensive businesses could not exist with that strength without internet. The problem with the internet is that regulation is going at a much slower pace, which is why many companies have to adapt faster than they would like.

“The rapid digitization of some sectors questions the existing regulatory framework and encourages rethinking competition policy,” says the Esade professor. This is the case of Airbnb, the website for renting apartments for short seasons, which competes directly with hotels in cities but at normally lower prices. The Funcas expert explains that these sectors should copy models such as Airbnb but taking advantage of their additional advantages for their physical presence. “You have to look for market niches so that your reaction capacity is optimal,” he says.

Employment: LinkedIn The new requirement needed to find a job

The great paradox of the Spanish labor market is that although there are 3.3 million unemployed, more than seven out of ten companies (72%) say they have problems to cover the jobs they offer, in most cases for not complying with the required knowledge, according to a report published last month by the IESE business school.

But not only for lack of skills, but for information. The experts consulted agree that nowadays or you are on LinkedIn or practically do not exist, since thousands of companies look for their future employees directly through the online platform, something that a few years ago seemed unthinkable because it was related to a social network plus.


Also published on Medium.

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