Cameroonian SMEs are Getting Ready for eTrade
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Cameroonian SMEs are Getting Ready for eTrade

ExportPortal 31 Jul, 2019
Cameroonian SMEs are Getting Ready for eTrade

Cameroonian businesses understand the benefits of digital marketing and are taking steps towards establishing an online presence. There is growing awareness about the benefits of eTrade. Read this article to learn more.

Most Cameroonian businesses understand the benefits of digital marketing and are taking steps towards establishing an online presence. Point-of-sale technology and reliable eCommerce platforms have adapted to suit local needs and will play a crucial role going forward, but overall, there is growing awareness about the benefits of eTrade. 

eCommerce is an excellent opportunity for lean startups that promote and sell directly to their clients all over the country, bypassing the postal network and finding any means that is convenient to deliver products. The fashion industry leads the way in this sort of delivery with clothes, wigs, and shoes bought and sold through Facebook and Whatsapp. Online platforms like Maibeta Inc. have also boosted services like plumbing, cleaning, and electrical maintenance.

For SMEs who can’t build and maintain their eCommerce sites, some of them sell through Cameroon’s biggest online store Jumia. Jumia’s growth has been accelerated by mobile money payments, the easiest way SMEs can send and receive money when they sell to customers in different parts of the country. As the eCommerce sector continues to grow, Cameroonian SMEs are searching for partners abroad that will deliver raw materials, machines, and commodities at a cheaper and consistent rate while adapting their payment options to include mobile money, rapid bank transfers, and support. That’s where platforms like Export Portal’s come in, providing a safe and secure place for SMEs to trade with other verified B2B companies.

The most promising opportunity for Cameroonian eCommerce is in the tech field, where developers are working on finance, eCommerce, and job search apps. The two significant telecoms operators MTN and Orange sponsor innovation in tech hubs like Activ Spaces and also offer their platforms to developers to create Value Added Services for their subscribers. Telecoms products for SMEs already help them send out bulk SMS, access cloud storage, customer relationship management, vehicle tracking, and collaboration tools. These partnerships will provide innovative solutions in eCommerce that are unique to the market.

Creative solutions on a larger scale will require some SMEs to engage Cameroon’s developers to build unique platforms for their products, hire content creators to cater to their niche markets, and integrate local payment solutions. This is already happening at some level with text-based car tracking app Zoomed being scaled up across Africa, and more job seekers using search site Njoku. Cofounded by a Cameroonian developer Cedric Atangana, WePayCash integrates global payments solutions with mobile money. The Government is also building a second tech hub which it calls Cameroon Silicon River in Yaoundé to fuel innovation in its French-speaking regions. It plans to invest $20 million in the venture.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ranks Cameroon 10th on its business to consumer index, an indication of the country’s readiness businesses to trade online. There are boundless opportunities once that hurdle is crossed. SMEs are aware their clients are already spending money to buy from Amazon, eBay, and many fashion stores on the Internet. What these foreign stores have built is trust, and that is all their clients’ demand.

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