E-business is basically doing business via the internet or online. This new way of business is largely developing and can help small enterprises gain better bargaining power despite the restriction on capital and mobility. With e-business what one entirely needs is to set up an online shop to begin trading his products or services. E-business in Africa can be described as sort of a new concept that is rapidly gaining ground. Africans who have insufficient capital will largely benefit by setting up online shops that require less capital. The ability of African businesses to take advantage of e-business will determine their growth in the future and their ability to compete in the global market. Businesses can also benefit from tax reduction- i.e. the hmrc tax credits – which are the reduction of the amount of tax owed to the government. The government may introduce tax credits to encourage individuals to explore new behaviors’ like e- business so individuals will be required to submit less tax.
For Africa to benefit a few issues needs to be addressed in order to facilitate the growth of e-businesses:
Africa needs a complex ecosystem for making and processing online payments. Banks need to accept online payments from its customers as this will lay the foundation for developing e- commerce. For anyone to make any transaction online a valid credit or debit card is required so the banks need to encourage the use of these cards.
E-readiness shows how much prepared Africa is in terms of:
1. Connectivity, which addresses the ability to exchange information, goods and services with the rest of the world via the internet.
2. E-leadership, which address governments commitment to partner with other stakeholders to create favorable conditions for electronic advancement by offering incentives to those that are engaged in e-business
3. Human capital, for technology to develop skilled manpower i.e. it managers are required to manage and enhance technology growth which in return helps businesses customize their services to adapt to global technologies.
After addressing the above issues African businesses will largely gain from using e-business in the following ways:
Removes Availability and Location Restrictions
All that is required for an individual to access e-business is internet connection and thus clients are not restricted by their proximity to the stores and time as these businesses are open 24 hours a day. E- Business is also accessible through mobile phones which allow anyone using a mobile phone to access these businesses.
Enhances Customer Service
With this advancement, a client can get replies quickly through the use of chat applications and emails unlike physical stores whose time is restricted to its time of operation. Clients also get the products delivered to their physical addresses after purchasing them.
Reduces Time and Money Spent
Businesses are able to reduce or entirely eliminate most of the overhead costs attributed to physical stores like various bills e.g., electricity, rent, telephone and general office maintenance. Transactions expenses are also reduced as customers can check what they need without assistance which also reduces the number of employees required. Marketing charges are also reduced as online marketing is cheaper than physical marketing.
With changing economic times and the rapid increase in internet connectivity, E-business in Africa is expected to rise. More online users are expected to do their shopping online rather than use the conventional means of times past.
Leo is blogger and writer. He loves writing articles. He learns new things in his free time. At present he is focusing on hmrc tax credits a tax free benefit.