PHP Marketplace is the creation of Deandra Wiltshire and Fred Bamfo whom after seeing their own business struggle to make ends meet through this pandemic decided to take a creative approach to one of their biggest problem. The impossibility of getting good quality digital traffic (actual shoppers) to small and medium size business sites.
As COVID-19 lockdowns and shut downs throughout the world were occurring, small and medium size business were caught in a terrible cross wind. Stay open (support your livelihood) and spread this deadly virus or shut down (cut off your economic means) and not spread this deadly virus. Complying to public health mandates, many business owners were asked to close down their businesses as covid cases rose throughout our city.
Many small and medium size businesses began the arduous process to transition into the digital economy and launched their websites. As owners of an online business, we saw a pending problem as many merchants put up websites and didn’t have the means or knowledge to drive marketing strategy to bring online traffic to their sites. Everyone rushed to build websites as the solution for small and medium businesses to combat the covid lockdowns and shut downs.
As many later found out, building and rolling a website is a small part of the challenge and the biggest one is putting together a comprehensive and most often a complex digital marketing and social media plan and strategy. The world of digital economy is controlled by a few e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Google and Walmart Marketplaces.
Small and medium businesses are simply not equipped to take on this endeavour and win in getting their fair share of online shoppers whom are algorithmically controlled on these e-commerce giants’ platforms that are designed to truly serve the big companies.
We decided to launch People Helping People Marketplace (www.php-marketplace.com) to help bring the same digital marketing/advertising buying power as the big companies currently enjoy with the e-commerce giants. Given our own experiences and challenges, we saw an opportunity to build a marketplace based on strength in numbers by giving businesses that signed on with PHP Marketplace, the opportunity to get an un-biased digital traffic, meaning not competing with the e-commerce platform sellers like Amazon, eBay & Google.
After seeing and hearing of many people having to close down their businesses and now understanding many will not survive the pandemic. We wanted to do something and hope this platform will act as a show of force and strength in numbers that small & medium size businesses are the heart of any economy and can rise again.
We hope to get this new service and platform out to all local businesses in the GTA to sign on and join PHP Marketplace in support of this initiative as we encourage consumers to shop local.