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Artisans all across the Global South depend on their traditional skills and techniques to create beautiful textiles and products to sell to the tourism markets. However, low incomes persist in part because of the difficulties they face in finding open markets to sell their goods and strong competition from cheap imports. Lack of time, money and poor road conditions now cease to be an obstacle for artisans to get in touch with their clients. This inhibits the maintenance of product quality, social cohesion among the members, and the sharing of knowledge, product designs, and problem-solving strategies. Without direct access to local and international markets, artisans work through intermediaries who pay minimal prices for the products, then turn around and sell them for far greater.
Online artisan marketplaces, such as ezebee.com, are a great potential in allowing artisans in rural communities to improve and enhance their businesses. It also gives them an opportunity to open their products beyond their local community into the international community. By fully utilizing online marketplaces, artisans are able to contribute to the economic growth in their communities, improve their communities and at the same time afford comfortable lives for their families. This will lead to improved families, thereby leading to a better nation who is economically empowered.
ezebee.com is an online platform where artisans can connect directly with consumers and designers. This helps to reduce supply chain costs thus also maximizing returns to the artisan. Through the power of an ecommerce platform and a mobile device, artisans are given the ability to create personal online storefronts. Thus, the middle man is removed in which artisans are able to be their own bosses making sure a majority of the profits stay with them and within their community. Artisans are able to upload a profile, product images and descriptions to the website using a computer or their mobile devices. It is very easy to set up a show room and there are no special skills needed for design, marketing or website development. Consumers can then browse, order and pay for the designs on the website. When consumers make a choice that expresses their taste and values with something handmade and one of a kind, yet affordable, that arrives at their doorstep, shipped directly to them from the artisan, they are putting money directly into the hands of an artisan.
The use of an artisan marketplace helps artisans to explore information required for the running of their businesses. Use of social networks allows them to get feedback thereby helping them to improve their products and services for their clients. One of the main benefits of using ezebee.com is that they do not take commissions or charge any fees to sell on their platform; it is completely free. ezebee allows you to create a website where you can have everything in one place, such as your own social media, your own blog, your own shop and even a widget to your etsy shops too! The platform is international and available in over 140 countries and 9 different languages! This is a great way to get as many different artisans connected as possible!
ezebee was launched back in February 2013 when Frank and Ossian wanted to fix the issue that any small companies had when trying to go online. In the middle of the economic crisis, many businesses were turning to online selling but many struggled without the necessary time, money or resources. This is when Frank and Ossian came up with a solution. ezebee.com already has a high number of users meaning that there are many creatives ready to get connected with! Most of their users are European, which is a huge benefit for companies, such as Lusinia, working with artisans in India because now we have a platform to help us launch into the European market.