Welcome to Jungle: Papua New Guinea’s online market scene expands

Welcome,

This year, Papua New Guinea saw the launch of Jungle, an online market place for businesses of all sizes. Jungle’s co-founders share with Business Advantage PNG the challenges they’ve overcome and their views on the future of online retailing in PNG.

Jungle employee Batsheba Kare. Credit: Jungle

Jungle was developed by co-founders Christopher O’Brien, Tom Bill and Demetri Allayialis to deliver a ‘world-class’ service that allows widespread distribution of products across Papua New Guinea at cost-effective prices.

Allayialis says that when he was travelling from Australia to PNG or from Port Moresby to other PNG cities, he used to see a lot of people carrying products back to their towns and then using shipping companies to send those products to locations that lack airports.

‘Competition is welcome in the space because, as O’Brien explains, it helps all players up their game and gets people used to the concept of buying online’

‘I just thought, it’s so difficult for half of the people in PNG to actually get good quality goods. And then you have all these small towns where, for example, the prices for a TV are three or four times higher than in POM, but the cost of shipping is not that much.’

Jungle, as Allayialis says, ‘wants to take the hardship out of it all and ensure people across PNG can purchase goods from the same areas at the same prices. We want to make it a bit easier for everyone.’

Vendors

All vendors who appear on the marketplace have been checked, and only businesses registered with the Investment Promotion Authority have a storefront in Jungle.

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Companies such as Brian Bell, NGIP Agmark, TE (PNG) Limited and many others are already trading through the platform.

Smaller businesses have also started to show interest in becoming Jungle vendors.

‘We are starting to allow them [to join], but the SMEs have to show they are a registered company and that they have been operating for at least 12 months,’ O’Brien tells Business Advantage PNG.

‘We encourage SMEs to apply. We want to encourage all those mums and dads who are doing crafts and trying to sell their Meri blouses,’ adds Allayialis.

It’s a matter of trust

Online market places are still a relatively new development in PNG. Competition is welcome in the space because, as O’Brien explains, it helps all players up their game and gets people used to the concept of buying online – trust is key here.

This is where Jungle attempts to separate itself from the pack. Its strength, according to O’Brien, ‘is bringing customers people who want to buy an item and showing them a great time, giving them amazing customer services and delivering their products at the right price and at the right time.’

Their philosophy is to always put the customer first.

Jungle has implemented Kina Bank’s online payment platform to facilitate transactions and has had conversations with delivery and postal services in the country to try to allow for accessible and on-time delivery of products.

Challenges

Bill explains the team is continuously optimising processes to deal with road infrastructure problems. He says infrastructure issues will need to be solved to keep up with the changes the ecommerce revolution is bringing to PNG.

Online market places in PNG present a unique challenge because for them to succeed and gain the trust of vendors and buyers, every aspect of the supply chain must run smoothly. This, in turn, affects customer behaviour and guarantees clients return.

‘It’s starting a sort of culture change,’ says Bill. ‘We call up every customer we have caught. We help them through the process. We make sure they get their package. We are checking every customer.’

‘We want to train people and teach each customer how to use Jungle,’ he adds. ‘It’s more than word of mouth.’

Comments

  1. Rengetsi Kauva says

    great idea ..👍👍

  2. Gregory Malcolm Kiama says

    Way forward. Great idea and fantastic marketing and product distribution concept.

  3. Jack Desse says

    Nerike lssakah international Export Limited would like to join your group.
    Our address is :
    jackdesse.krisa@gmail.com
    Request for a reply..
    Thankyou

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