Positive Stakeholder Response to E-Commerce National Delivery System(Ends)

Chairman of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s (PSOJ) Innovation and Digital Transformation Committee, Christopher Reckord, says close to 500 persons registered for the first weekend of activities under the E-Commerce National Delivery System (ENDS), from March 26-28.

The initiative, a partnership between the Government and PSOJ, got underway as a pilot in Portmore, St. Catherine, and was expanded to Kingston, and Montego Bay, St. James on April 2.

It will enable registered quick-service industry and delivery stakeholders to operate until midnight during the hours of the curfew that has been imposed to restrict the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.

Customers will be able to choose from approved vendors and pay for their orders via a debit/credit card or a top-up voucher.

Mr. Reckord told JIS News that the ENDS project will have a positive impact on the country, especially the communities involved, based on the stakeholder response so far.

He pointed out that the initial interest was “overwhelmingly positive”, noting that feedback came from a wide cross-section of businesses, restaurants, pharmacies, small vendors, and corner shops.

“The number of bikers and riders is over 108; registered vendors – 15; small businesses – 23; quick service providers, between 8-12; [and the] number of employees, just under 400,” Mr. Reckord informed.

He further said that “if you add up the impact that all of those folks who would have been sitting at home doing nothing versus them [being] out there now earning a living and also providing some sort of a service and support for somebody else, the domino effect, I think, is very positive.”

Mr. Reckord said courier service providers not previously operating in Portmore, were inspired to come to the area and work when ENDS commenced in the municipality.

“Other components of the platform included reaching out to all the various courier companies that have some sort of e-commerce [arrangement] to get them involved. Initially, when we reached out to them, none of them had any presence in Portmore. But they rallied their groups and because Kingston was on lockdown, they were able to put their riders over to that area and service those customers,” he indicated.

Mr. Reckord told JIS News that the PSOJ tried to focus mainly on the pan chicken vendors, under the pilot.

“That was something that indicated inclusiveness and not just the quick service restaurant, because a lot of those quick-service restaurants already had their back-end ecosystems ready,” he said, adding that “we have to ensure how we bring… smaller operators… into the ecosystem.”

There were nine quick service restaurants incorporated into the programme, 15 independent vendors, and over 20 small businesses registered.

Mr. Reckord also noted that some persons who registered decided to stand down until the pilot’s conclusion.

Items being ordered through ENDS can be done via the website: www.ends.gov.jm.

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