When writing the article ' Are mobile-based addresses key to social and economical growth in informal settlements?' for the WBCSD , there are two main questions: 1) Is there a need for addresses that connect supply chains (delivery men) to people and businesses, and 2) if people are connected to a logistics network, what advantages will it give them?
This blog post will start to focus on the second question: If people have an address, what advantages will it give them? Ecommerce seems to be the most interesting trend; People, worldwide, start to use their (smart)phone to go online.
The example of Cellbazaar is amazing: 5 million users sell and buy goods through their mobile phone in Bangladesh. And it is not only Bangladesh, or Asia... Articles on Africa state as well that there exists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the next eBays and Groupons for a huge untapped local market.
These existing Ecommerce platforms now focus on local trade; people need to meet face to face in order to receive and pay for their goods. Transactions are still geographically limited. A reliable, secure, and cost effective delivery system could expand these markets even more. Perhaps the need for access to online stores could become the answer to question 1) Is there a need for addresses that connect supply chains? The need for Ecommerce could probably become so strong, that as a result it will trigger the need for a physical address.
So who will be first, the chicken or the egg?