The recent widespread of coronavirus amid lockdowns caused many businesses in Ghana to embrace the concept of digitization and, as a result, transition to the internet world. This change was supposed to benefit both businesses and consumers in terms of profit and protection from the virus. However, many businesses, such as market stores and artisans who sell from home, were unable to do this due to a lack of financial resources and technological know-how.
Makola, being one of Ghana's largest and most well-known marketplaces, has always boasted inexpensive costs both for buying and selling goods. This, unfortunately, has led to the area being highly congested, making it difficult for new start-ups to find a suitable and inexpensive location to sell. MakolaStores aims to address this issue by providing individuals with a free online platform where they can register and begin selling their products. This opportunity is available to those who do not have a physical store, want to establish a side hustle, or want to expand their already existing store to a digital market.
For some, going to Makola Market might be one of the most difficult things to do. The distance can be a problem, and not owning a car can make the trip even more annoying and costly. In addition, fuel prices have risen dramatically in Ghana over the previous years, causing transportation costs to increase. And so, moving from a town like Kasoa to Makola only to buy everyday items has become quite costly, not to mention the human traffic you'll encounter once you arrive and the hot Ghanaian sun scorching down on you. This may be an uncomfortable experience, especially in the midst of Covid-19. Still, it is necessary because of the low prices at Makola. Digitalization is required to avoid this long, painful, expensive, and potentially dangerous journey.
Individuals will be able to fully purchase online at Makola from the comfort of their own homes, rather than visiting there in person, thanks to the introduction of Makolastores. This would reduce the time, money, and stress necessary to get to the store and buy basic groceries. With the digitization of our marketplaces in Ghana, there will undoubtedly be a significant increase in employment and the consumption of locally produced goods. Therefore, offering a more convenient option to sell and buy from Makola is a wise move in the right direction. According to Fiifi Stanley-Owusu, Makola Stores' operations manager, the team is working hard to offer everyone the opportunity to sell online and reach a wider global market. It is simple, easy, and free to start selling.