Many Liberians are not used to utilizing the internet to buy everyday items like clothing, food, gadgets, books, baby items, home goods, and kitchenware, but the online app Ezee Market is changing perceptions.
Once the app has been downloaded and installed on a mobile device, users log in with a working email address, choose one item from the list, and then plan their order.
“Ezee market is convenient and easy,” said McGill Wallace, sales and marketing manager.
Liberians locally are gradually adapting to online shopping, though there has been some reported scamming from individuals purporting to be business people, especially on Facebook. Individuals post their items with a price attached free of charge to their contacts, and those who are interested will contact them for inquiries.
Similarly, on Ezee market, the vendors post their items with price. Payments are made directly to the vendor’s account. Ezee market only advises either to reduce or increase the price. Delivery fees are paid directly to Ezee market.
According to Wallace, Ezee market is a multi-vendor platform that is open to vendors selling different categories of product.
“We have electronics, we have home and kitchen items, we have babies items, we have fashion, groceries. These products are being sold by different vendors, different entrepreneurs on the platform,” he said.
“The vendors are key partners. When a vendor reaches out to us, he or she signs up on the platform. Our inventory team makes sure to verify the products and, once everything is okay, you have access to the online platform. The vendors upload the products by themselves.”
Liberia has a population of over five million. Over seven hundred thousand are active Facebook users, according to data published by Meta’s advertising resources in early 2022. Facebook is the most dominant social media in Liberia where 80.09% have the app installed on their devices.
“At Ezee market we focus on convenience. Look at the time you will put in to go in the market looking for one product, while you just need to shop online and make life easier.”
A screenshot of Ezee market’s customer overview shows that nearly 64,000 people, both vendors and clients, have used the platform since 2019 when it was established.
As a post war country, Liberia is faced with poor infrastructure including road connectivity. Many communities lack feeder roads to enable free movement of vehicles or motorbikes. Most instances the rider would parked and walk on foot to their area of delivery. This is one of Ezee market’s worries.
“All along we have been managing through the traditional way. But it has been difficult,” Wallace noted. When you are ordering from the platform we have major communities. For instance we have RedLight not the exact house address. We have your phone number to call when we get to the area in RedLight.”
Since it is an online firm, it allows people to buy and sell from anywhere in the world once they have internet access, and are able to properly use the platform. It is the same in Liberia. According to Wallace they make deliveries in seven counties.
“When you order from 12pm in Montserrado you will get your delivery within an hour. If you order from 12pm upward it’s possible that you will have delivery that day. The longest time to receive your delivery in Montserrado is within 24 hours. Out of Montserrado, if you order today you will receive your order within a day or two depending on the county.”
“The customers pay the delivery fees as low as US$1. Some pay US$5 but we deliver in Montserrado, Margibi, Bassa, Bong, Nimba, and Grand Gedeh counties, using basic online payment options, Orange, MTN, and Banks cards.”