Revenue from e-commerce to hit 3.4 trillion dollars this year…Ghanaian players urged to cash in

pRevenue from e-commerce worldwide is expected to hit 3.4 trillion dollars this year creating avenues for Ghanaian players in the e-commerce space to expand the scope of operations of their businesses.

A panel discussion at the conference

It is also estimated that 900 billion dollars will be spent on cross-border purchases in the year 2020.

To this end, global logistics company DHL has been preparing Ghanaian companies especially small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the huge opportunities that E-commerce presents.

Speaking at an e-commerce conference organised by DHL Ghana in Accra on Thursday Mr Morgan Uloko, in-coming Managing Director, DHL Ghana said the conference sought to give customers most of whom were SMEs the opportunity to understand the many benefits of trading across borders using e-commerce as a vehicle.

“This is the second time we are having this conference in the last 12 months in Ghana.  It’s about exposing them to how e-commerce could help expand the scope of their businesses. We have so many exciting entrepreneurs in Africa but most of them particularly here in Ghana have had all kinds of reservations regarding the use of E-commerce for trading and for expanding the scope of their businesses,” he said.

He said “this capacity enhancement programme has been designed by DHL to empower all markets we operate in, not just in Ghana.  It is about how they can find customers across borders; how they can tailor-made the products they want to sell to the needs and requirements of their customers, how to be paid for or how they can pay for the services across borders and most importantly how they can ship what has been bought by customers across borders to wherever they are needed”.

E-commerce in Ghana

On the performance of E-commerce in Ghana, he said the penetration of e-commerce was still pretty at infancy hence the need to build the capacity of those already operating in the E-commerce space and potential entrepreneurs seeking opportunities in the sector.

“The low penetration is not limited to only Ghana but predominantly across Africa. In terms of development we are still playing catch-up and that is partly why we are having this programme, to let people know that, some of the reservations they have about e-commerce particularly doing business online is slightly unfounded. This workshop is about helping them to overcome those reservations and joining the train to economic success,” he said.

Mr Uloko said, “Many years ago, a lot of people never thought about trading across borders without traveling. If you want to sell in America, you buy a ticket and travel to America but today, you don’t have to leave the shores of Ghana to sell products. If you are innovative and create products that appeal to markets outside your immediate market, you can sell them online. You can sell without having to travel, you can buy without having to travel, you can get paid without having to travel and you can expand your business beyond the horizon of Ghana without having to travel.”

Cost of data

On the way forward for E-commerce players in Ghana and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa he said there was the need for governments to create the enabling environment for players in the telecommunications sector in order to reduce the cost of data.

He said currently, the cost of data was high and internet penetration was quite a low preventing more businesses from participating in the E-commerce business.

Participating SMEs in a panel discussion commended DHL for helping them to sell their products outside the shores of Ghana with ease.

By David Adadevoh

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