As internet and mobile phone usage increases, it is not only connecting people, but also facilitating e-commerce, making it easy for people to purchase items or deliver same conveniently.
This is often made possible by the growing number of courier services in the country. While this is becoming the preference for many, there’s an emerging concern about the fees charged by these riders or courier service providers.
In Ghana, the combination of a buoyant economy and demographic shifts such as rapid population growth and urbanization, are driving new trends in the Ghanaian retail sector, such as the springing up of shopping centers, online shops, and a desire to have goods bought from these places delivered quickly without stress for buyers.
For most customers and businesses that rely on these delivery services, the one word that matters to them, is convenience. But how convenient are these services?
“Time is money. The time I’ll use in going to pick up my things, if I can get a courier person for me I’ll prefer that, as I can use the free time to make more money” said Christian Adzasoo who is a Banker.
For Akosua Sekyi-Agyekum who is a Shoe maker, courier service providers help her a great deal.
“Most of my customers haven’t met me before. All they need to do is place an order for a preferred shoe or pair of slippers on Facebook or Whatsapp, we agree on the price and delivery time, and I use the courier guys to deliver.”
On the part of entrepreneurs offering the courier service, they believe it is critical for the survival of e-commerce in Ghana. According to the Vice Chairman of the National Courier Members Association, Joseph Amuzu they are committed to the highest standards of service.
“Demand for delivery services for documents, essential medicines, security documentations among others is growing in Ghana and the courier industry is playing a very pivotal role in the developing situation.”
Regardless of the benefits, there are challenges. According to most people who use the courier service, the charges can sometimes be off-putting, and the implications can be dire for their business.
Esther Promise a Marketing Executive at Broll Ghana Limited narrates her experience.
“I ordered for spring-rolls on Saturday worth GHC 21, and the delivery charge was GHC 30. How crazy is that.”
Akosua Sekyi-Agyekum, a shoemaker also expressed her concern.
“On Saturday I called a courier person to deliver something to East Legon from Weija and they said they’ll charge GHC 50. And the product is supposed to cost the client GHC 60. So the client decided to cancel. Situations like that affect your revenue.”
So how best can this concern be addressed to ensure that both service providers and customers do not feel shortchanged ?.
For the consumers we interacted with, a reduction in the charges is the only way to go.
But the operators of the courier business want customers to understand the value they offer.
Stacy Opare, the Managing Director of SO Courier & Logistics said companies like hers have the best interest of consumers at heart.
“We’ll try our best to not make the charges too high, but it is important that customers also understand the investments we make to bring them the delivery services they have come to enjoy.”
by Bobbie Osei