S.O.E increases online shopping orders by 500 per cent

Samoa's state of emergency (S.O.E.) has increased demand for online shopping with local online trading platform Samoa Market reporting an increase in orders by over 500 per cent.

Etuale Scanlan, who established the online platform with his wife Angeline in 2016, told Samoa Observer in an interview that they’ve been busy since the declaration of the S.O.E. as there has been a mammoth increase in the demand for their services.

"Deliveries have definitely jumped tremendously. We used to do deliveries with an average of about 30-plus orders a day. But since S.O.E we've been having 200-300 orders a day with a lot more deliveries as well," he said.

"Most of our deliveries now are for people aged 60 above and with buses only allowing 20 passengers, people are finding it hard to get around. I think that's why people prefer buying online and having their goods delivered to them."

According to Mr Scanlan, the process to order goods on their online platform is simple. Normally, people order foodstuff, but now there's a demand for other goods such as building material and homeware appliances. 

Currently, 15 vendors have registered with Samoa Market with a lot of them getting on board when the S.O.E. went into effect.

"Just visit our website there you can view different products from vendors we have on board. There, our customers would have to add the products they want to their shopping carts, put in the details of the recipient, your billing details then make the payment,” he added.

“Once the payment is made, it has been automated so that when it comes through at any time, it will split and will be emailed out to the vendors and the family would have to choose between picking up the order or having it delivered.”

The majority of the orders on the online platform are for Ah Liki Wholesale and Farmer Joe, according to Scanlan. There has also been an increase in orders for building materials from Bluebird Lumber as well as furniture and electrical appliances from Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.).

Samoa Market has also worked with selected taxi drivers to assist with deliveries, as they struggle to make ends meeting during the S.O.E. period. The majority of the deliveries are for the rural areas, though there is a high demand in Savai’i but the platform is yet to extend to the big island. 

"We hardly have any deliveries in Apia, but are mostly for the Aleipata area like Salepaga, Lotofaga, Saleaumua and on the other side Safata and Manono," revealed Mr Scanlan.

"For our customer from Manono-Tai, we deliver their goods to them so they can take it on the boat."

A customer of Samoa Market, Fuamatala Fetuiaia, told Samoa Observer that the service offered by the online platform is ideal for her and her family.

"The platform has been really good. It has been of great help to my family during these times of difficulties. It has saved time and instead of sending over money, having the goods delivered directly to us has lessened our expenses. I'm really grateful to Samoa Market for providing such services," she said.

"My daughter who lives in New Zealand placed the order and it was delivered the next day. She had ordered goods for daily use such as rice, soap, flour and other foodstuff that we needed." 

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