A number of Ghanaian e-commerce companies will now have the opportunity to effectively explore opportunities in the e-commerce sector, following the operationalization of a tool that provides business data and analysis on local African e-commerce marketplaces.
The tool is thought to be the first ever to offer online Africa-wide analysis of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplaces, detailing the characteristics of more than 630 e-commerce marketplaces across the continent.
The online market tool dubbed: Africa Market Explorer, was developed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences to explore the e-commerce business ecosystem in Africa and as such, addresses the lack of comprehensive information about marketplaces on the continent.
With the increasing need and demand for products online in the e-commerce industry as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which is making it difficult for people to transact business physically, most businesses in Ghana and beyond are using online commerce to remain in business and this is expected to deliver comprehensive benefits to both counterparties in commerce transactions.
However, the greater challenge facing African e-commerce firms has always been getting adequate information in the market sector to enable such firms explore the various market opportunities that abound.
In fact, since data and analysis on local marketplaces is hard to come by or in some instances highly incomplete, the ITC insists that with the operationalization of the market explorer, African entrepreneurs in the e-commerce sector will have better information on how to sell goods online in a regional or neighbouring countries where marketplaces exist.
Although e-commerce is growing in Africa, information for entrepreneurs remains rare. However, industry analysts assert that that e-commerce sector when given the required support and boost will accelerate economic growth on the continent.
According to the ITC, the tool aims to build the world’s largest community of e-commerce entrepreneurs engaged in the sustainable development of small businesses online by facilitating shared learning, innovative solutions, collaboration and partnerships.
“This comprehensive set of data provides an important contribution for understanding how the development of e-commerce can be supported in Africa”, ITC’s acting Executive Director Dorothy Tembo noted during the launch of the new tool late last month.
The tool reveals that just 1 percent of Africa’s e-commerce marketplaces are responsible for 60 percent of the marketplace traffic on the whole continent. Only 11 percent of the marketplaces websites enable financial transactions which limits the possibilities of selling internationally.