by Haroun Rashid

As the business landscape continues to evolve in Papua New Guinea more businesses, whether SMEs or established corporations, are utilizing digital platforms to increase their market reach and in turn grow their existing customer base. Most have taken to social media platforms such as facebook, capitalizing on Papua New Guineas 670,000 Facebook Users and the human need for easy access to goods and services. This has seen the rise of facebook groups dedicated specifically for the trade of goods and services such as Port Moresby Buy & Sell, Kona Market and PNG MarketPlace. Whilst the use of these groups have allowed businesses to grow and thrive there are still hurdles that businesses and consumers face on a daily basis such as: 

  1. Limited market due to their location
  2. Access to affordable freighting services
  3. Safe and secure transfer of funds for goods and services

These hurdles cannot easily be addressed by the facebook group administrators or members given the nature of the social media platforms and the lack of checks and balances to ensure businesses are accountable to their customers and vice versa. Recognizing these hurdles and in the true spirit of innovation, Shopsmart PNG was born. 

Shopsmart PNG is an online marketplace for businesses, both emerging and established to upload and sell their products, ranging from electronics to clothing and authentic PNG artifacts. Shopsmart PNG intends to be the industry leader in the E-Commerce Space in Papua New Guinea. At this point you're probably thinking to yourself, there are already so many PNG online shops and e-commerce platforms thus “What sets Shopsmart PNG apart?”. Aside from being able to address the three hurdles highlighted above, an important thing to remember about Shopsmart PNG is that it is a Marketplace for Everyone. Shopsmart intends to be a platform for individuals who have a unique product to sell and SMEs who are finding their niche.

The team at Shopsmart PNG intends to ensure that there is a seamless experience by all users, starting from the creation of accounts and uploading of products by vendors to the browsing of the shop and purchasing of items by customers. Now the big question, “How will Shopsmart address the three hurdles we’ve previously identified?”. There are close to 800,000 internet users in PNG which means Shopsmart PNG users will have access to an additional 130,000 potential customers that they can actively market their products to.The online platform also exposes all vendors to a global market that can now access their products thus vendors will now not be limited to their location!

 Having access to a wider market is the first step, ensuring that products reach their intended location is where Shopsmart PNG continues to be one step further than its competitors. Shopsmart PNG is in the process of finalizing partnerships with a variety of freight service providers in order to have their services and costs integrated with the platform. The integration will allow customers to have their purchases freighted to them anywhere in Papua New Guinea and even the world! All these can be done just by a click of the mouse or the tap of a Smartphone screen.

The final ingredient to ensure Shopsmart PNG is the best possible platform for its vendors and their customers is making sure there is safe and secure transfer of funds when either shopping or receiving payments. Shopsmart PNG is taking an innovative approach to this by introducing an online wallet and integrating various online payment gateways from the major banking systems in PNG. The online wallet will allow a variety of functions such as transfer of funds between wallets to use for online purchases and ensuring that money can be safely spent in the shop!

 Shopsmart PNG intends to be a gamechanger in the ecommerce industry in Papua New Guinea and we are ticking all the boxes of what a great online platform should be while we are at it! So what are you waiting for? Start your journey with Shopsmart PNG today either by signing up as a vendor or start browsing for that perfect online purchase because we are going to be the leading online platform in PNG, a marketplace that is truly for everyone.