E-Commerce at a glance
E-commerce, electronic commerce, or internet commerce is online trading. We are all familiar with the word commerce, which involves the buying and selling of goods and services. E-commerce is all of commerce, but online. Either selling or buying items or expertise on giant online stores or your own website - which I believe you have worked so hard to make SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) friendly, or through your social media platforms; it all counts.
E-commerce is still business and business strategies involving market and economic researches and analysis to improve sales or the demand for service can all apply to pull customers to your business and make a profit.
It is however unfortunate that the mention of online trading raises brows in Ghana where you are likely to be met with comments like, it’s a scam, products and services do not meet expectations, they won’t buy, it won’t be lucrative amongst others, which are sure to give you second thoughts on engaging in online trading. Even though the internet is uncensored and anyone is free to use it in any manner they want, it is your responsibility as an individual that uses the internet to make sure that the sites or social media platforms you are trading on has a lot of positive reviews and is widely used or recognized in the country. You can take the actions to prevent others from wasting their time or money by sharing your experience with the website managers or companies if they can be contacted, sharing a review on the site’s page, or sharing your experience on your social media platforms if you are not pleased with the products or services and whether the whole thing was a scam. You can equally do so if they satisfy you with the service or product you purchased.
Let’s look at things this way, you own a store in the heart of our Kantamanto, Iceblog’s Katamanto. You sell shoes. Kantamanto is mostly crowded with customers and you may or may not have to yell your vocal cords out saying catchy phrases or slogans to get someone to stop at your stall to ask you how much a shoe costs. Let’s assume your stall is already visible to human traffic so anyone can just stop by and trade with you. Online trading platforms can also be your Kantamanto but the difference here is that the responsibility of your business being lucrative rests heavier on you in e-commerce compared to a ‘physical’ market. With online trading, you must work harder to make your product or service seen or noticed by adequately marketing your skill, product, or service to meet the demands of people so they can purchase your product or service. It is not as easy as it sounds, but an excellent way to start is by advertising it in a manner you would to any stranger, devoid of familiarity with friends and families to buy from you. You can encourage them to serve as your advertising agents so you can build a market online through them and those they know.
I wouldn't say e-commerce saves you time to be idle as time and effort are required to brand your product or service, market it, build a market, and manage your business. Unless you have employed others to do this for you, you are not that free. Compared to our Kantamanto, you may or may not get paid immediately as again, time and effort will be needed to build a market first - this may depend on the e-commerce you are venturing into.
Whether it's dropshipping, affiliate marketing, bitcoin mining, selling, or buying from online stores or websites, selling or buying your skill as a freelancer or from freelancers, E-commerce is a field of business worth venturing into. It just requires time and effort like any other business to flourish and to get the best out of. Given the growing economy and the positive change of attitude, E-Commerce has a bright future in Ghana.
You can check out Jumia or Kikuu for your online shopping, and 15ghana or cedi job for your freelancing works. You can subscribe to Joel Sam's channel by clicking his name to watch his videos on YouTube to explore some e-commerce options.
Disclaimer: Icebog gh is not an advocate for any of the online stores mentioned in the post or Joel Sam. The aim of the blog is to encourage ghanaians to use e-commerce means of conducting business. The blog is not meant to demean other forms of trading. Any enquiries regarding the parties mentioned, should be made by directly contacting the parties .
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