Small and medium enterprises make up 99.5 percent of the Philippine economy. Despite the overwhelming number, only 36 percent contribute to the economy due to challenges in digitalization. In the age of the smartphone and mobile app boom, a team behind a new superapp is empowering SMEs by helping them adapt to new ways of doing business.
Apart from digitalization, emerging entrepreneurs are also facing other challenges in running their businesses. “It is around manually tracking orders, checking payments, making sure that you are on top of your business operations,” said Nicole Luzuriaga, an entrepreneur and business development and marketing manager at Enstack. “The common misconception when you start your own business is that you have more control over your time, you have more time to relax, and take care of your functional and emotional needs. However, it is the nitty gritty operational stuff that takes a lot of time more than coming up with the idea and making the business grow,” she added.
Addressing these challenges, Luzuriaga and her team introduced Enstack, a fast, free, and easy-to-use superapp that can help SMEs digitalize business by consolidating different digital tools for various aspects of running a business. Enstack acts like a business headquarters in the pocket so owners can run their businesses with a few taps. Since launch, Enstack has over 10,000 merchants already signed up and has already crossed over the 50,000 mark in terms of downloads. Enstack is available for download on both Android and iOS but cannot be currently accessed via the web because the superapp is envisioned to be a mobile-first and mobile-only solution for mobile phones.
“We want to enable SMEs to pick and figure out what works for them because sometimes it is just digitally taking orders or automating payments or tracking performance. We want to help them manage their business with one app that is easy to understand and streamlined regardless of the kind of business that they have. We want to empower a lot of people to easily become an entrepreneur. Budding entrepreneurs who have not yet registered their businesses can use Enstack,” Luzuriaga continued.
Enstack offers a simplified registration process. By simply signing up, users get access to all of the features of the app, a far cry from dealing with a courier or a bank where customers have to submit several documents and information that not everyone has.
Enstack has an online cashier feature that allows users to take orders, and a chat store so whether they are sleeping, doing some errands, or having meetings, business doesn't stop and they can still take orders from their customers. Enstack also has an online store, which can be set up for free without paying for development costs. Compared to other e-commerce platforms where other vendors sell similar products and customers get recommended similar products, Enstack’s online store serves as its user’s exclusive store on which customers see only their products. It can be added to Facebook and YouTube and has a live selling functionality.
Enstack supports different payment methods. Users are notified when they get payment links so they can immediately check out pending orders, fulfill, and pack them up. Enstack also features shipping orders on demand, which offers cheaper fees compared to when buyers book their shipments individually. With one superapp, users do not have to check multiple service providers or different apps. It is all integrated and transparent. Users can immediately print the airway bill so that the courier knows where to deliver the orders. Both the seller and the buyer can track the order.
Recognizing the fact that many SME owners also struggle when managing finances, Enstack can automatically log sales and manage inventory to know how many stocks are left and what bestselling products need restocking. The app has a dashboard and can generate a report to help users understand where their money is going.
With its features, Enstack can be used as a personal financial management tool. It is one of the first ways users can start using the app because it is simpler compared with other accounting or expense management apps, which tend to be quite overwhelming.
Apart from SME owners, there are other types of users of Enstack, which could shape the way how the app would be marketed in the future.
“We are also seeing a lot of freelancers using the app for specific services like invoicing and inventory management. For example, let us say a graphics designer or a video editor. What they do is add their services and inventory, use the online cashier, and send an invoice link to their customers so they can bill them and get paid right away. If you are a freelancer, one of the challenges is getting paid right, so with that invoicing feature, they can solve that problem. Interestingly we are getting different kinds of use cases from people that we did not expect to be using our app,” Luzuriaga added.
Through strategic partnerships with shipping, payment, and other service providers, Enstack consolidates and integrates multiple apps using application programming interfaces. The Enstack team also built collaborations with key players and institutions, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, to expand its reach among target customers. Enstack is also committed to continue working with industry-leading partners and subject-matter experts to provide users with solutions and services that they typically would not be able to get on their own.