27th August 2021
Over the last decade, the world has transformed into a network of highly connected ecosystem of businesses, government and people. Access to technology, smartphone penetration and data connectivity has created a completely new business environment and a new category of tech savvy consumer who demand greater convenience and ease of doing transaction “on the go”. This category of consumer segment is the fastest growing and can no-longer be ignored by businesses.
As the world moves into the digital realm, e-commerce and the ability for businesses to sell their products online is becoming ever so important. With a restricted trading environment due to the pandemic, being accessible to consumers remotely is a matter of survival for many businesses. According to Gartner, in India alone e-commerce has become the backbone for supplying essentials to the more than 1.3 billion people with the onset of lockdowns. In China, mobile wallet payment now processes around USD $25 trillion annually. This shift in consumer buying pattern and businesses trading online is a global phenomenon. Businesses that do not transform their business models and accept the new reality may soon find themselves in an isolated world inaccessible to their consumers.
For many businesses, investing in their own e-commerce platform without understanding the intricacies of managing an online e-commerce platform can be quite daunting. Fortunately, for these businesses, they can take that leap of faith with confidence into the new world of digital trading with their trusted ally and business partner Vodafone Fiji. Vodafone Fiji, with its online e-commerce platform, is offering businesses to register as a merchant on its ready-built online trading platform to offer their products for sale directly to any customer from anywhere in the world. This in contrast to the current model of doing business through a physical outlet which limits their sales opportunity largely to walk-in consumers only.
Going online opens an opportunity to sell to a new set of consumers that were previously not accessible to the business. With Vitikart consumers will be able to purchase goods from anywhere in Fiji with an option to have it delivered directly to their homes. Merchants such as Courts, Vinod Patel, Home and Living, Subrails, Prouds, Jacks, Valuefone, Vodafone and many others are now offering their products through the Vitikart platform for consumers Fiji wide.
Vitikart is available to small and large businesses alike and come ready-integrated with M-PAiSA, Visa and Mastercard payment options. The platform comprises of smartphone applications for both iOS and Android and also a web-based solution www.vitikart.com.fj. It also provides an online marketing space for large & small businesses to market their products to their consumers all over the Fiji Islands and to the Fijian diaspora abroad. VitiKart draws parallels with global e-commerce platforms like AliExpress & Amazon albeit on a smaller scale comprising of independent sellers on a common platform.
“At a time, when community transmission of COVID 19 is a major risk, keeping away from large gatherings and shopping malls etc. to avoid contact with infected persons is a precaution that all Fijians must take”, said Mr Pradeep Lal, the Regional CEO of Vodafone Fiji. Hence, providing an online platform that offers Fijians the convenience of shopping safely from home is highly recommended. The Vodafone Vitikart platform is integrated with the M-PAiSA mobile wallet which processes now in excess of $120M in monthly transactions and gives consumers the freedom to browse, purchase and pay safely from their home. M-PAiSA accounts for over 50% of sales to-date on Vitikart compared to consumers who pay via credit cards online. The Vitikart platform now has more than 25 live merchants and has recorded over 300,000 users from within Fiji, USA, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Major retailers, restaurants and even small enterprises have adapted to this online ordering and delivery system to keep afloat during this pandemic. Mr Shiva Gounder, Director of Subrails said: “Vitikart has enabled us to tap into the e-commerce market which has become the preferred method of shopping for most consumers. Since the current outbreak in April 2021 we have seen an increased preference by consumers to shop on the Vitikart platform. We have also been able to add a greater range of products for sale online as we are able to showcase these products online without the need for additional shop and shelf space. The platform is very robust and Vodafone is very helpful to businesses that wish to take their first step in digital trade.”
With the recent announcement by Government to subsidize the fixed monthly cost to register as a merchant on Vodafone’s Vitikart, there has never been a better time to embark on your digital trading journey.
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|Media Relations||Head of E-Commerce|