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eCommerce taking off in Mauritius

eCommerce in Mauritius - eShopping, internet banking Mauritius, online buying in Mauritius

In Mauritius cyber – island, we are offered the facilty of internet and mobile banking by our local banks (Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) and State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) for instance)

However, no promising signs of eCommerce in Mauritius are yet seen i.e Purchasing of goods online at a local shop and the product being delivered at your door. In an island as small as Mauritius, with careful logistics planning we could expect delivery within 48 business hours. And online payment being made available through the secured gateways by MasterCard or Visa could be implemented as both are accepted by MCB/SBM.

3 years ago, in 2007, the eCommerce landscape in Mauritius was characterized by a lack of e-shopping culture and therefore no prominent eCommerce service by any Mauritian Incorporated company. Until one fine day, TADA!!!!!
The Wine Store (www.thewinestore.mu) sees the day.

The Wine Store - online shopping in Mauritius

As published on its website, the first eCommerce Shop offers:

    • Choice: a selection of more than 200 wines and 100 spirits from 15 countries
    • Price: very competitive prices plus regular Promotions
    • Expert advice: food pairing, our sommelier’s ratings, pre-mixed cases, discover our new products
    • Delivery: choose to collect your bottles at our nearest pick-up point or opt for a door- to-door delivery
    • Rewards: each purchase allows you to earn points to access various levels of our Rewards Program with exciting gifts for you to look forward to or special invitations to exclusive events

The initiator of the website is Scott Consumer Goods Ltd which is the importer of commercial consumer goods. Thewinestore.mu has the mechanism of online purchase of wine and spirits from an online catalog of wines and spirits imported from abroad. The payment mechanism is provided by an agreement signed between Scott and MCB. Home delivery upon purchase is available within a delay of 2-3 weekdays. Delivery is charged according to the rates of delivery company TnT (Rs. 125). As for Free delivery, there are pick-up points locations as described on the website’s customer service section: http://www.thewinestore.mu/customer_service.php

The eCommerce platform is powered by Open Source technology: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP.  The website layout is unfortunately table-based and apparently there is no Google Analytics tracking.  There is an interesting “Making of the thewinestore.mu” on Scott Website. However, for me, it’s more of the Photoshop process of deriving a logo for the website. IMHO a better logo could had been chosen incorporating a Wine design. Most importantly (or dangerously I should say), there is no SSL Certificate on the website, apart from the fact that there is no Privacy Policy.

On the Marketing aspect of the Website, no social media (facebook community, twitter.com, blog etc) adoption effort has been taken, Yet. However online banners on the Special Launch offer seems to be present in local websites:

Another campaign for promoting online purchase is: obtaining points by buying bottles on the eStore (for eg. buy 6 bottles to win 200 points).

To conclude, I would rather hesitate to purchase from such a website. However, Already, I am happy from the possibility of buying a product online in Mauritius and the product being delivered by a service. (yesterday I was surfing and comparing the possibility of a local supermarkets, why not offering online commerce eg. http://courses.monoprix.fr/magasin-en-ligne/courses-en-ligne.html )!

I suggest that thewinestore.mu, from a developer’s and internet marketer there are tons of improvements that can or should be done ! the site has taken birth in the Web 2.0 period which is fastly embracing the look of a semantic web platform (see HTML 5/CSS3). Fortunately, the infrastructure like payment and delivery seems to well set up. This is a good milestone achieved. The another milestone is the correct maintenance of the website and order processing.

Congratulations to the first eStore WebTeam/ Marketing Team and Best of Luck!

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The white Apple: A superb gift!

Orange Mauritius had a wonderful launch Ad video:

Today Feel reviewing that video again today and also my blog post on iPhone 3G in Mauritius. Well, as requested to Santa Claus, finally got my iPhone 3GS in end-December 2009 😀 😀 . Much of the credit goes to the Practical Training 2009.  Only my work colleague knew my dilemma between an HTC and iPhone, the latter more costly than an Android-powered device. I had some quick experience of Android SDK but zero on Objective-C and COCOA and No Macbook :(.

Well, but finally, my ‘beauté de technologie’ is the beautiful white version for performance reasons and for the evolved number of applications for iPhone!

The only problem that I had upon purchase is the defective charging adapter. The guys at the ‘Service Apres Vente’  at Orange did acknowledge that there was this problem cropping up. I got a new adapter and pouf no problemo since then.

Since then, many changes in my daily computing routine:

  • doing emails on iPhone
  • event scheduling on Google Calendar via iPhone
  • another application do display coming events scheduled when the phone is locked
  • a lot of photos and videos taking for events
  • enjoying the GPS tracker
  • Notes taking
  • a real HTML5 compatible browser
  • contacts synchronizing (Google Contacts and SIM contacts)
  • lots of music/ videos (some videos which I tried to process and video edit on corel videostudio) on iPod
  • enjoying Wi-Fi spots in the Réduit campus(though problematic sometimes) and Port-Louis Caudan

and many apps like:

  • Shazam – The amazing music discovery engine. This iPhone app permits you to identify music track being played and then store them or share them.
  • MxTube – Stream or Download YouTube videos
  • QuickOffice – I have my assignments or lecture notes on it. Great if you need to quick modify your project or have your lecture notes with you.
  • Games: Need For Speed, FIFA 2010, Rock Band (my favourite)
  • BabyScratch – a cool DJ Turntable

and many more to discover and talk on it yet.

Till now, having an iPhone was something that I had always wanted. I can’t stop talking about it or explaining about a cool feature that I have found about. In the future, looking forward to the another revolutionary device: Apple iPad. Many we would change our reading habit and prefer to have an iPad to carry lots of books/ magazine with you and in the morning have your electronic newspaper already downloaded upon purchase and to be read in the slim, shiny device.

I think the Apple Category tag gonna increase in size in the coming future 😀


Mauritius Going Green

Summer 2009, originally uploaded by VeNiVi on flickr

Rising energy prices and changes in the global climate have put ecology issues on the strategic planning of corporate executives worldwide. The phenomenon of “Going Green” is worldwide now and naturally in Mauritius also there are campaigns of Going Green – Maurice Ile Durable: Summer Time, Solar Water Heater, Fluorescent Lamps (Ampoule économique) , Electricity production for sale to CEB, Waste to Energy, Sale of Hybrid Cars, MCB Green Initiative, reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels and increasing the use of renewable energy via use of biomass, bio-ethanol, biogas – 35%, solar – 15%, wind – 6%, hydro -3%, cogeneration – 3% and waves 3%. Maurice Ile Durable was first announced by the Prime Minister of Mauritius as a long term vision aimed at promoting sustainable development. The project is spearheaded by Professor Joel de Rosnay.

There are also environmental issues involved in the use of Information Technology. On the 21 September 2009, The British Computer Society changed its logo:

british-computer-society

Before

BritishComputerSociety Logo

After

It is very interesting to note that The BCS has various Green initiatives. On www.bcs.org/greenit, we read that, in the near future, very soon there will be the ISEB Foundation Certificate in Green IT.

In Mauritius, we gonna have the world’s first Green Data Centre using Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC), the project which was presented during the Data Centre Strategies.

That’s great!

Interestingly, we also have a Green Mauritian blog! 😉