A first workshop on product listing has just been held by the International Trade Centre in Azerbaijan, as part of the recently launched ‘Ready to Trade’ project funded by the European Union in the framework of the EU4Business initiative.
The project aims to improve the competitiveness of SMEs from Azerbaijan and other Eastern Partnership countries, and help them access new markets with a particular focus on the European Union.
Among its objectives is to build the capacities of SMEs on how to use e-commerce channels and innovative digital solutions to expand their sales in international markets, with ITC working with local business support organisations and service providers to facilitate cross-border trade through digital channels.
The workshop on product listing was held on 3, 4, 7 and 8 May. During the first two days of the workshop, ITC trained 7 trainers from different institutions (AzPromo, AzExport, IT development fund and local consulting firms) on how to digitize content for e-commerce.
The trainers learnt about the importance of high quality content and how content affects other important pillars of e-commerce, such as payments, marketing, and access to virtual marketplaces, as well as logistics and customs procedures. The trainers were trained on how to formulate a precise, complete and appealing product description, take and edit high quality product photos, create unique internal product references (SKUs) and machine-readable EAN13 barcodes, identify HS codes and prepare product labels according to international standards.
During the consecutive training sessions on 7-8 May the trainers then applied the acquired knowledge to coach 17 representatives from 15 different Azeri companies in food and beverages, jewellery, and decorative products. At the end of the session, the companies were able to recognise the importance of content in e-commerce, write a precise and appealing product description, take and edit high quality product photos, identify HS-codes, indicate all existing product variants and create unique references as well as machine-readable EAN13 barcodes
On 3 May, ITC also met with GS1 Azerbaijan to explore possibilities for cooperation to provide cost-efficient access to GS1 compliant barcodes, improve the technical capacity of GS1 Azerbaijan (particularly in the field of billing), retain registered companies and acquire new companies. GS1 has expressed its interest in training potential SMEs on the acquisition and use of barcodes.