It is imperative to understand the role technology has forced on us all, as we transition from an analogue system of trade to digital, forcing out old methods and creating new ones we have to adapt with. It was published in the media recently; “Online shopping booms, states and businesses lose revenues”. This is as a result of a progressive shift in the way trade is carried out.
The electronic trade has got us familiar with new terms like e-shop, e-store, storefront and marketplace. These are terms that represent a virtual setup of ones store on the internet that can be open for trade 24hour with ease of access through mobile phones, apps and desktop using the internet.
In recent times we have seen development that e-companies like Dealdey has brought to the online industry by driving huge volumes of customers to sellers through a discount pricing system, which helps the seller to reach interested individuals with their product offering, saving cost of marketing for small businesses.
Also getting familiar with terms like affiliate, that is more common to sites like Konga and Jumia, they host thousands of small scale businesses that sell hundreds of goods through their platform, which helps to drive sales for the business owners. In the recent black Friday hosted by the platforms, sales generated by these platforms for business owner were in volumes that wouldn’t have been possible by the brick and mortar physical shops.
Furthermore, marketplace like cokodeal.com that helps manufacturers and exporters’ drive their growth to intra Africa trade, this saves huge advertising cost, by creating market linkage to new emerging markets for manufacturers and local producers in Nigeria. Cokodeal.com has successfully helped manufacturers link with interested buyers out of the shores of Nigeria, making such businesses capable of more international trade.
As explained by an economist with the Kaduna state Ministry of Budget and planning, Mr Yusuf Auta, states that in spite of the risk associated with online shopping, government could still tap from its huge revenue potentials. For instance cokodeal.com partnerships with SMEs, exporters and government agencies in helping them to promote locally sourced goods to a global market has huge potential of driving revenues from other countries and boosting the economy of the nation.
In the turn of the table, business owners need not see online trading as a hindrance to their growth instead see it as a means to save marketing, advertising and staffing costs. As their business can now be accessed globally when registered on these platforms for free. To highlight some of the cost these means of trading saves such businesses; the technical requirement and cost to setup a website, the search engine optimisation that enables easy search of product through the internet, and the ease of communication between buyers and sellers securely has been covered.
All that is required of the business is to register for free and abide by the agreement policy of the platform, upload business and product details and then sales begin to roll in. This can be achieved in minutes and the opportunities for SME businesses are unending. It is obvious that innovation and creativity of the online space is taking over and the world is becoming a global village, therefore SME’s must see online market place as the next big space to tap into instead of seeing it as a threat. If businesses do not take advantage of the huge benefits now, they may be left behind.
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