Well, some or other day we need electronic items like Computers, Laptops, Routers and other communication items. In Liberia, Shopping is best done in the shops and markets of Monrovia. Randall Streets, Tubman Boulevard, sells find furniture and various electronics items.
In Liberia, commercial activities are going through the traditional brick and mortar approach which offers little or no access to global markets. There is currently no online business platform in the country; something it desperately needs for its economy to gain global exposure.
E-commerce, a novel phenomenon, and a component of the “New Economy” which is powered by the Internet have also attracted brick and mortar businesses as an added value. But despite its successes in developed countries, online shops have not been a universal phenomenon.
Now let’s first understand, what exactly E-commerce is?
“E-commerce (electronic commerce or online shops) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to transactional processes for online shopping.”
Developing countries, especially those on the continent of Africa have yet to experience the benefits of online marketing. Liberia, a country located on the West coast of Africa, is one of the many developing countries that are yet to adopt E-commerce.
Current Scenario: Liberia officially the Republic of Liberia is a country on the West African coast. Checking the number of Internet users from last few decades, the statistics are increasing rapidly. At present, Africa has 9.8% of the total internet users in the world. Coming to Liberia, it has 78% Mobile and 5.0% Internet penetration rate. This simply signifies that the future of shopping in Liberia would be majorly focused on online marketing.
In this article, we are providing some future estimations of shopping in Liberia, which mainly includes online marketing or E-commerce
The government of Liberia releases documents regarding the development strategies for the country. One of the many initiatives included in the document was the use of ICTs to drive economic development; E-commerce was also mentioned briefly in that document. Other strategies mentioned by the government of Liberia include: inviting foreign companies to invest in the country, providing loans to Liberians to run small businesses (or shops) encouraging Liberians to engage in business, etc.
So there are chances that online marketing would change the game of businesses and marketing schemes and become one of the reasons for the development of the country.
Some of the estimations are:
• Access to a Web medium, online transaction with banking and financial institutions, and the incorporation of the online market is primarily desired.
• To establish an Internet-based medium that links Liberia commercially to the global economy for economic development
• To level the playing field for farmers, market women, small/medium scale entrepreneurs and exporters to be able to trade their products locally and globally
• By providing a medium for small business owners who do not have the real estate to run a brick and mortar business.
• To Increase the rate of Internet usage and penetration in Liberia
• Implement new E-commerce business models that subsume the current infrastructures of the country as well as the needs of the society.
• Use E-commerce as a gateway to bridge the gap between E-commerce systems in developed countries and developing countries
Pros of Online Shops:
• Save Time – Do you have the specific list that you want to buy? With just a couple of clicks of the mouse, you can purchase your shopping orders and instantly move to other important things, which can save time.
• Comparison of Prices – The advanced innovation of search engine allows you to easily check prices and compare with just a few clicks. It is very straightforward to conduct price comparisons from one online shopping website to another. This gives you the freedom to determine which online store offers the most affordable item you are going to buy.
• Save Energy – Admit it, it is tiresome to shop from one location and transfer to another location. What is worse is that there are no available stocks for the merchandise you want to buy. In online shopping, you do not need to waste your precious energy when buying.
• 24/7 Availability – Online shopping stores are open round the clock of 24/7, 7 days a week and 365 days. It is very rare to find any conventional retail stores that are open 24/7. The availability of online stores give you the freedom to shop at your own pace and convenience.
• Hate Waiting in Lines – When buying items online, there are no long lines you have to endure, just to buy your merchandise. The idea of shopping online is cutting down those bad habits of standing in a long line and just waiting. Every online store is designed with unique individual ordering features to purchase the item.
• Easy to Search Merchandise You Want to Buy – You are able to look for specific merchandise that includes model number, style, size, and color that you want to purchase. In addition, it is easy to determine whether the products are available or out of stock.
The m-commerce option: Along with the online web marketing portals, m-commerce or mobile commerce is also getting a good response in many other countries. People and can do all the online shopping services including the transactions through mobile devices only. The emerging technology behind m-commerce, which is based on the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), has made far greater strides in Europe, where mobile devices equipped with Web-ready micro-browsers are much more common than in the United States.
Final Thoughts: There are no cons in offline shopping or window shopping, but, online shopping is the emerging trend which will prove as a boon for Liberia. It will not just reduce people’s time consumption for shopping, but will also be helpful for purchasing and selling of the products anywhere from the world.