E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the internet. E-commerce allows people to carry out businesses without the barriers of time or distance. One can log on to the Internet at any point of time, be it day or night and purchase or sell anything one desires at a single click of the mouse.
The popularity of online commerce is understandable, considering the time and hassle involved in running from store to store, searching for an item. It not only takes valuable time and energy, but using transportation usually costs money. Shopping online whenever the mood strikes — even in the middle of the night — has many advantages. Not only is it convenient to shop at a myriad of vendors from the comfort of a computer chair, it’s also a snap to find the best deal by allowing certain shopping sites to sift through all of the sellers.
With the coming in of internet a lot things have changed both economically and socially. Most companies worldwide are now taking their businesses online as one way of reaching out to their potential customers. Of late, few businesses in Malawi have opened shops (e-commerce) where they showcase and sell their products online. This has helped them with a chance to interact with their prospective customers throughout the day and make their shops open 24/7.
However, there are a few companies or individuals who are specialised in setting up online shops in Malawi and one of them is Freelance Web Solutions, a company, which is registered with the laws of Malawi.
Freelance Web Solutions that has so far transformed some businesses and organizations in Malawi, is currently running a special offer which is valid up to June 30. All those who wish to turn their shop, restaurant or factory into a virtual shopping mall will get an online shopping website for their physical shop at a reduced give away price of MK30,000 (worth K150,000).
Managing Director for Freelance Web Solutions (FWS) who has been in a web design industry for over three years, Marshall Dyton says his company specializes in creating attractive, effective and yet affordable e-commerce sites for both small and big businesses.
“In simple terms, e-commerce is an online shop which enables most companies and individuals to showcase and sell their products online. This gives them an opportunity to boost their business by doubling their profits as they generate income from both online and from their physical shops thereby killing two birds with one stone in the process.
“Our e-commerce package has a variety of features such as customer accounts – where the shop owner is able to manage each customer’s account. Inventory management which helps you control the product stocks for your shop. When the product is out of stock the systems automatically sends the message to the shop owner. We set product variations and options e.g colours, sizes etc. but the most exciting thing is that is open source of technology. You own your site and do not pay any on-going fee,” he said.
When asked what does it cost for somebody to have a website, Dyton said it depends on what the website is like to be.
“In fact, we do not charge our client for what they do not need, so we consult them on every aspects of the website to figure out what will work best for them, and then we give them a quotation. But the good thing is that anybody can get a website at as low as MK30, 000,” he explained.
The director therefore said it is important for organizations and business people to have a website because it helps them to reach out a wide range of potential donors or customers.
“We want to help as many business people as much as possible so that are known and sells themselves through online without dipping much into their pockets. As earlier said the world is changing, and ways getting money are changing hence the need for them to go online. It is said that a business or organization with no website does not deserve to exist.
“At FWS we believe that while services are tangible, user experiences with websites are memorable. We strive to provide better services that enhance user experiences. As Tom Peters once said, we are living in an experience economy and the experiences that customers have interacting with an organization are as important as the goods and services. A website is part of a customer’s interaction with an organization,” he said.