Does Malawi need E-Commerce?
The use of technology is rapidly becoming an integral part of our lives, and no doubt taken the world by storm. The coming of technology and its wide range of application has made human life easier. There is no doubt that the use of internet and its many advantages has enriched our lives and it’s no surprise that business owners are utilizing it. The use of internet has helped shrink the world. It has helped people communicate across continents easier, faster and cheaper. For business owners, this is a huge achievement since communication is an important factor.
The internet further exposes the supplier to a wider range of consumers from all over the world. The exposure that technology grants has influenced and resulted to rapid growth and expansion of businesses. A popular example of someone who has utilized the exposure that comes with the digital age is Jeff Bezos, the owner and founder of Amazon.
Sadly, this is not the case with Malawi. Despite the many benefits that e-commerce has, Malawi is reluctant to adopting this form of conducting business. E-commerce has been introduced in Malawi but only certain aspects of it have been openly welcomed. Money transfer applications have made a huge impact in the Malawian businesses and service providers have evolved ever since to become faster, secure and affordable.
The use of business ads has been introduced fairly in Malawi where people have responded heavily to ads on Facebook and other forms of social media for social events, sales, promotions and donations. Unluckily, shopping sites have not received a similar positive response. This particular aspect of e-commerce has not been fully integrated into a lot of Malawian owned businesses, with the few that have, receive little or no traffic at all. The opposite of this is also true. For example, most online shopping platforms do not deliver to Malawi because of limited-or no consumer traffic from its Malawian users.
The biggest contributor being people not necessarily being able to navigate business websites or online shopping platforms. This has resulted to services offered by Malawian businesses concentrated only in one place where one has to either travel or send through a third party to attain it. International trade recognition through exportation is hard due to limited exposure and absence of online presence. This begs the question why e-commerce really is important and how to get such a message across Malawians.
E-commerce has helped eliminate certain costs like the need for middlemen where goods go directly from supplier to consumer by eliminating the middleman. Online businesses also save time since one can conduct the whole business in the comfort of their homes. People are now able to order goods from China without them having to physically go to china. This also helps save money that would have otherwise been spent on airfare.
Online Shopping sites are not limited unlike traditional shops we see in malls. These have a wider and expanse range for consumers. It is time Malawi embraces e-commerce as a whole-and-not in pieces for it to fully be able to reap its benefits. Research shows that the correct utilization of modern technology and internet and fully understanding its roles it plays in business can bring genuine success to a lot of businesses.