A new online shopping mall has just been launched in an event that was held on the 19th October in Valletta. By reducing the barriers of entry, TrolleyMania.com is aimed at all local businesses which want to venture into the world of e-commerce and start selling their products online.
Hon Dr Austin Gatt, Minister for Information, Transport and Communication (MITC) inaugurated the e-mall portal, a project that came to fruition after a public-private partnership between Government and Alert Communications to promote e-commerce.
Minister Gatt started by saying that such an important project should have been an initiative driven by the private sector and not by Government. Over the years and through multiple initiatives, Government has encouraged citizens to get connected to the internet and statistics shows that 69% of Maltese use the internet on a regular basis with 99% of them using it from the comfort of their home. Even though 73% from the local online population has recently made an online purchase, only 7% of purchases were made through local online retailers. “We want to change this scenario by supporting local businesses of all types and sizes in their online endeavours and this is precisely what we’re doing today” said Minister Gatt. Reference was also made to other ICT solution such as eLearning, eHealth and the new eID cards which, amongst other features, will provide a highly secure authentication and signing mechanism for citizens to access and use eGovernment and they will also enhance e-commerce.
Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Land Jason Azzopardi said that Government is committed to creating the ideal environment for SMEs by giving them the appropriate tools to work with. Trolleymania is one such tool. This specialised site is set to become our small businesses’ new way of reaching their clienteles, in a reality of a commercial world which is ever-changing. This electronic portal will hence help our SMEs reach a wider range of shoppers, while competing on a level playing field with larger businesses, without making the expenses one would normally incur to put one’s products online.
The costs associated with e-commerce are usually steep due to the setup required, including computer hardware, software, web design, secure payment infrastructure, delivery logistics, marketing and other resources. With TrolleyMania these prices have been slashed to a meagre €250 (excl. VAT) one-time setup fee, a €232 (excl. VAT) fee per annum and a transaction charge of 0.25% (excl. VAT) on purchases.
MITA’s Chairman, Mr Claudio Grech said that TrolleyMania.com aims at increasing the percentage of online purchases done through local retailers. There are currently 37 eShops of all sizes which are already fully operational on TrolleyMania with another 8 shops in the process of setting up. “The response from the local business community was very positive. Our initial target was to have 50 retailers by October of 2011, but we will surpass this target much earlier” said Mr Grech. Mr Grech said that meetings were held with GRTU representatives at an early stage in order to explain the concept of the eMall. “We also offered to waive off the setting-up fee for all GRTU members and provide free seminars for all their members on how they can market and differentiate their business online. Unfortunately GRTU turned down all our offers and instead suggested to have the eMall made up solely of very small businesses. Even though we do support micro-enterprises, such eMall portals need to have a critical mass of various sized retailers in order to attract customers” said Mr Grech.
The process of setting up an eShop on Trolleymania is done completely online. Merchants can register, choose a design template, add products in the product catalogue, select preferred methods for receiving payment (cash on delivery, debit and credit card payments, or both) and choose delivery options (own delivery or MaltaPost delivery).
Currently, TrolleyMania.com customers can browse through 4000 different products divided into 25 product categories. Besides the ability of viewing each product, customers can also compare similar items (from different retailers) with each other to help them decide in which product is best for their needs.
To start filling up your trolley, visit www.trolleymania.com