Analysis and News

‘Big Market’ meets Amazon at

BY GEOCAP's Contributor: Vishani Ragobeer

If you purchase items online, it is likely that your purchases were made on ‘Amazon’- the global ecommerce giant and, according to Forbes magazine, the world’s largest retailer.

Beyond Amazon, though, there are other ecommerce platforms that occupy niche markets and Guyana is expected to enter this arena with the launch of its ‘’.

This Guyanese online marketplace was announced by none other than President Dr. Irfaan Ali, as he delivered the keynote address at the recent opening of the Amazonia Mall on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).

“We are also working on a project to launch what would be like our own Amazon- where we are going to give every single small operator, small entrepreneur the opportunity to market their products to the rest of the world,” the Head-of-State highlighted.

Not only is this platform expected to market the products from local small businesses but Dr. Ali made specific mention of the platform’s ability to provide a global market to Guyana’s women entrepreneurs and indigenous people.

The name of the platform itself ‘Stabroek Market’ is reflective of one of Guyana’s all-in-one traditional markets. Stabroek Market, or Big Market as it is sometimes referred to, is located in the capital city of Georgetown and is one of Guyana’s famous landmarks.

As it relates to the online platform, and not the red edifice in Georgetown, the President said that a Guyanese in the diaspora is spearheading this project. And, he related that it is expected that the marketplace would be launched in September, before the end of this year.

It is unclear, at this time, whether this platform will include partnerships with businesses in Caribbean and South American countries or those owned by Guyanese living in the diaspora.

For further context, Amazon manages 232 billion USD annually and, reportedly, controls about 45 percent of the ecommerce market share in the United States (US) alone. In addition to marketing products from other sellers, Amazon itself creates and markets products.

Even though Amazon has a significant global reach, there are other ecommerce platforms that market countries’ and regions’ goods and supplies.

Otto, for example, is an online retailer and trading company in the European market. Jingdong (JD) is a Chinese ecommerce business and a Fortune Global 500 company that sells retail products but also allows for bulk shopping. And, eCaribbeanonline has attempted to market Caribbean-made products internationally.

Rakuten is a Japanese ecommerce company that has generated more than 134 billion USD per year in ecommerce sales in Japan. The company also has a substantial global reach and has been undergoing rapid expansion.

And, there is Jumia Technologies which offers an ecommerce and delivery experience that is 100 percent African and is known as the “Amazon of Africa.''

Of course, these platforms add to Alibaba Express and eBay, which are other popular online marketplaces that function similar to Amazon.

Now, Guyana will seek to enter this online market space and provide an avenue for local products to expand beyond Guyana’s market.


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