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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