Monday, 11 April 2016

E-commerce; A problem and a solution to Africa

E-commerce; A problem and a solution to AfricaE-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or business on the internet is basically any form of business transaction or the exchange of products and services via electronic media and the internet. In many parts of the world, e-commerce is far advanced and is being used to cause astronomical changes in profit and development. In Africa, e-commerce is not fully established yet and many e-commerce platforms and start-ups are building rapidly here to infiltrate the market and make the most of the already existing resources. Jovago takes a closer look at e-commerce being both a problem and a solution to businesses in Africa.    

It is usually said that e-commerce is a two edged sword that cuts both ways. This is mainly because, aside the many advantages and solutions, it also brings with it quite a wide range of problems or disadvantages.    

Experience and empirical research has proven that unlike the traditional business transactions, e-commerce lacks the personal touch. There is less or no human relationships involved when businesses are done via e-commerce platforms. Just by clicking on ‘’buy now’’ on an ecommerce website, customers skip the process of actually relating with the seller before buying. Generally, seeing the face of the seller ensures a certain level of trust for the buyer. There is also the issue of delay in delivery of goods and services. Ordering pizza or fast food may be immediate or may arrive after a few minutes. However for e-commerce, even with express shipping, the earliest one can get a delivery is ‘’tomorrow’’. Therefore, if you order a pen to write now or a printer cartridge to print now, you may not want to buy it via an e-commerce website when you can actually walk into a shop and buy it instantly.    

When using ecommerce platforms, you also buy on your proverbial ‘’blind side’’. This is mainly because you cannot touch, feel or properly examine the item before you buy. For instance, if you are buying a piece of fabric, you cannot feel the texture. All you have is the beauty of it from the picture you saw on the website. Similarly when buying a music system, you cannot test it or check the sound quality because the item is delivered in a sealed box. On the other hand, if you bought from a shop or store, the machine is usually tested to ensure it is functioning properly. The issue of security in any business entity cannot be underestimated. With e-commerce, buyers are usually required to provide credit card information, mailing addresses and other personal information. Read more....

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