Ecommerce strategies for Africa
Case study: amazon, flipkart and snapdeal
I am not into copy and paste strategies in Africa but there are several lessons to learn by local ecommerce firms in Africa to stay up top of their game by looking at some of the strategies ecommerce giants such as Amazon, flipkart and snapdeal market places deploy to curb new retailers to sign up with them.
As e-commerce keep gaining grounds as the easiest and cheapest way to buy products, big companies such as Amazon who run an international market place keep looking for ways to expand into new markets and acquire new clients. Though this is a very capital intensive process, they keep investing more and more to dominate each market in which they enter using well thought out strategies such as:
Creating regional hubs
No need for a costly central fulfillment center in a big town, with the spread of the internet in rural areas customers turn to buy products online that they cannot find locally, this has led to an increase in customer demand from smaller towns. Amazon and Flipkart in India have created several regional hubs to ease delivery of goods. These regional hubs don’t only reduce the lead time; it also reduces the delivery cost. These cost reduction could be used for discounts, thereby attracting more price sensitive clients to shop online.
Educating business owners about your services
Since any ecommerce marketplace has a specific strategy on how to attract business owners to use their market place. It is necessary to consistently update and educate these business owners about your new features and services.
When Amazon decided to introduce its marketplace in a new town in India, Amazon used carts offering free tea, cold water and lemon juice to retailers, business owners, sellers and small and medium enterprises. Each Amazon cart has a well trained Amazon person who introduced local business owners about selling online on Amazon and the benefits of Amazon specific services such as ‘Fulfillment & Easy Ship’. Fulfillment is where Amazon handles delivery of product stored at its warehouses, as against merchants handling deliveries. Easy Ship is a delivery service wherein orders are picked up from sellers by an Amazon logistics partner and delivered to buyers
Local training centers
Flipkart, India’s largest electronic marketplace, has established training centers in small towns to help local merchants sell online. “A large focus area for us is the creation of a network of local partners who help sellers and facilitate their business needs like catalogue creation, manpower and training, packaging and lending,” said Ankit Nagori, senior vice president marketplace, at Flipkart.
Snapdeal has partnered with local trade bodies such as Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, Puducherry State Coop Handloom and Handicrafts Federation and Rajasthan Small Industries Corp to bring onboard local traders and manufacturers of artisan-based products.
These are some of the strategies employed by major e-commerce giants that are worth taking into consideration when developing an e-commerce business.
To know more about developing your ecommerce business in Cameroon: info@a54marketinggroup
Part of this article first appeared in http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/