By Angelo Shyaka
The commercial opportunities made available by an expanding regional website are almost without limit. The pace of change is rapid and so is the ferocity of any commercial transaction. Thus to succeed, firms need agility, an open mind and the ability to re-invent themselves repeatedly. Most of all they need to be sensitive to the needs and requirements of their clients. Such qualities would be valuable in any kind of business. Yet, for online firms, they are not a luxury, but a necessity for mere survival.
This is true for a variety of reasons; the Internet is not only rapidly growing, but also changing equally as rapidly, which, in turn, changes the rules of engagement for any business which relies on it. The behavior of consumers, on the other hand, is constantly changing as well. Consumers are discovering new ways to shop and interact via the web, therefore making products and services available anywhere in the world.
It would be right to say, therefore, that no online business could have existed without the Internet or could have grown to where it presently is. The adaptation to ICT within Rwanda, in line with contributing to the realization of the vision 2020 ICT goal, set under the integrated socio-economic and ICT policy and strategies for accelerated development, has provided a platform for the growth of the sector, which will be looked into in greater detail.
The growth in Internet usage, which was at only 20 million users not so long ago, has more than tripled to register close to a billion users worldwide. But to flourish, most of the online firms have had to repackage their businesses over time. For example, eBay is no longer solely an auctioneer; Google has become more than a search engine, while Yahoo! is adding yet more services to its web portal. Amazon sells a lot more than books, and both firms now offer auctions. New features and strategies are being embraced as these firms compete and opportunities for new entrepreneurs with ICT acumen flourish in the e-commerce sector, particularly in emerging economies.