Here are 3 reasons why Ghana’s informal sector needs to be online

Times continue to change from when receiving and making calls was a communal affair (call centers) and sending mails was a day’s trips to the post office. There was the time when one had to wait for weeks to buy SIM cards at exorbitant prices. Then came the times when phone directories were the basis upon which business contacts could be built. And then technology moved a couple of notches further and introduced the Ghanaian to mobile phones, the power of the button and the magic of instant connection.

Business operations around the world have evolved along with the lifestyle of the people who now demand services provided 100x faster and demand answers that go beyond buy-and-do-what-you-want-with-it. Consumer relationship has now become a journey and one that continues to demand answers that service providers or sellers have no option than to oblige. As the power of the internet is changing thinking and demands, the market woman or spare parts dealer needs to evolve along with it and here is what Social Media Week, Accra wants to do to facilitate that:

  • Open Market: In the high-speed world we find ourselves, limitations are few. Being content with two (2) or three (3) customers doesn’t work when you can have access to a hundred (100) new ones. Social Media provides connection opportunities from our living rooms to our daily commute to work. In a snap, a market woman can set up a business page on Facebook that will draw in delivery service and over-the-phone transactions, all of which move beyond the customer making a trip to the market.
  • Improvement in Customer Service: The more people shift from physical stores to online shops, urgency and attention to detail become easier and more effective. Social Media and its attendant speed have resulted in customers understanding that it is not enough to settle for anything lesser than the best and this in turn becomes the standard for service providers. In the end, the customer and the seller get to improve how service is rendered and how business is done.
  • Build Successful Ghanaian Brands: The reason why we don’t have a Walmart owned by Ghanaian is probably that we don’t put a value on the building of brands. With an online presence, our mothers get to differentiate between themselves if you get on Instagram. You get to compare prices, make decisions based on tangible faces and brand names. You no longer have to move from one stall to the other for hours before finding the person you bought fish from the last time you went to the market. You can order before getting there and help build a relationship and avoid settling for the price or product that doesn’t stress you.

As Social Media Week, Accra is starting from 11th to 15th September, 1000 businesses will be getting the chance to join the online business class and it wouldn’t hurt to help your favorite waakye or tomato seller setup their accounts on Facebook at least.

Leave a Reply