Challenges of E-marketing for SMEs in Africa
Despite the above-mentioned prospects that e-marketing offers for SMEs in Africa, its challenges cannot be overlooked. They need to be stated so that they can be addressed appropriately so they can procure maximum benefits for these SMEs.
Bostanshirin gives the following points as some challenges that e-marketing for SMEs in Africa can pose:
- Lack of trust:
Closely related with the problem of security and privacy is the issue of lack of trust on the part of customers which has been recognized as a great challenge on the way of online marketing growth. Today, despite the rapid growth of online transactions several people still mistrust electronic methods of paying and still have doubt whether the purchased items will be delivered or not. On the other hand prevalence of online fraud has made customers hold negative or doubtful attitudes towards online transactions. So much more clearly remains to be done to build up the trust and convince the customers that interactions which take place in the virtual world are as real and honest as those happen in the real, offline world.
No doubt, it is an on-going, long process and needs more time to realize. It should be stressed that unless this trust has not been built, internet marketing cannot be taken advantage from to its fullest potential. So it is imperative for those in charge of online marketing to understand the reality of new virtual world. One of the prominent realities of this new world is that “today trust and customer power have partnered to revolutionize marketing. Marketers and IT managers are challenged with the task of changing the online climate in order to gain retain online consumers. This has generated tremendous interest in learning about online trust and in developing new site designs to respond to the increased power of customers” (Urban, 2008).
As stated earlier, the internet has greatly changed every aspect of our lives. This paper introduced with the probable advancement of SMEs in Africa, and how it creates the middle class with wealth worth considered. SMEs in Africa can also be beneficial to the global economy if it is developed in the next decade; one of the tools being e-marketing. This paper delved into the prospects and challenges that e-marketing can give to SMEs in Africa. Some of the challenges posed by e-marketing can be turned into opportunities if looked into efficiently.