After observing the Kenya Coast, the South African market, and Zanzibar for 21 months, it was evident that the three locations had one thing in common.
These and other tourist destination sites across Africa have a booming curio business. However, many concerns arise over the elasticity and longevity of this business through personal selling.
Most curio shop owners prefer online and direct selling in order to reduce on the expenses of renting shops, and sourcing for clients.
All they do lately is the delivery of supplies to the target population. Mobile communication technologies supported by the internet offer a platform for marketing, money transfer, and products exchange.
Following a recent coverage of the Kenyan coast by Nation Media Group in December 2013, it was evident that people selling their merchandizes at the shore of Mombasa beaches have more complaints than proceeds.
Africans are well known for their appeals to governments when industrial or even domestic matters arise. In essence, many curio shop owners wanted the government to provide financing and marketing assistance for their supplies.
Instead of undergoing such magnitudes of trouble, curio merchandisers need to recognize that technology is inevitable. Cell phone entrepreneurship is probably the best solution to small-scale businesses along the African shores.
The curio business can be sustainable when people adapt to the changing business environment. Otherwise, people will not experience business returns following the irrelevant marketing techniques applied.
ICT keeps improving and curio shop owners must learn that it will be less costly to contact clients through the internet. In addition, it would save the costs of transport in case a merchandiser does not make sales.