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Ecommerce

  • Onyeka Akumah on Travelbeta, ecommerce and Nigeria’s tech space [Q&A]

    The first time I heard about Travelbeta launch by Onyeka Akumah was in July 2015 at the official launch of HouseMax in Lagos. Akumah described the platform as one that would totally transform the travel space in Africa. Few months later, the platform was officially launched and a few week later, it raised US$2-million. I recently caught up with Akumah to speak about the exciting travel company, startups and a range of issues they face in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Ventureburn: How has the market responded to the launch of Travelbeta? Onyeka Akumah: It's been exciting. Every day we keep...

  • Nitestay’s attempt to stand out in Nigeria’s highly competitive hotel booking space

    Even though ecommerce giants Jumia and Konga are still Nigeria’s foremost startup companies, attention is gradually being extended to other sectors as 2015 saw the launch of quite a number of well-equipped startups emerge in non-retail sectors. A sector that saw surge in the number of new companies is the online hotel booking space which used to be dominated by the likes of Mark Essien’s Hotels.ng and Rocket Internet-backed Jovago. But that’s not all. There is also Hotelnownow, SlimTrader also secured US$1-million to grow its online booking platform and several similar services are expected to be rolled out in the...

  • Banking on ecommerce growth in SA — Q&A with The Foschini Group’s Brent Curry

    Even though South Africa's ecommerce sector is estimated to estimated to make up only one percent of the total market for consumer goods, we've over the last few years seen many players bank on this figure to grow. Investors are confident to say the least. To give you an idea of how determined stakeholders are hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into online-only stores like Takealot, while traditional retailers are forced to restructure their entire business models in order to stay relevant. At the same time the latter group is constantly trying to perfect the omni-channel experience, where...

  • Africa Internet Group face shake-up with ecommerce MDs in Nigeria

    Major ecommerce backer Africa Internet Group (AIG) has quietly faced an overhaul of leadership of its online shopping plays in Nigeria. Already, the Rocket Internet affiliate has completed the replacement of the heads of Kaymu, Jovago, Easy Taxi and Lamudi. Interestingly, the heads of these companies are choosing to remain in Nigeria. In October, Marek Zmysłowski was replaced to ensure his new enterprise, Jovago, becomes the next big thing in online hotel bookings in Africa. And with the support of AIG, the platform is on its way to achieving that. But several weeks ago, news emerged that he had been...

  • Beyond insurance: How TopCheck aims to transform Nigeria’s financial services industry

    In a country where online sale of services is still arguably unpopular compared to retail and other services, TopCheck is attempting to achieve profitability by selling financial services to Nigerians. And the company is starting with insurance specifically car insurance. But the company’s journey did not start in any of the incubation centres or skyscrapers on Victoria Island, TopCheck’s was essentially created on the West African leg of the AMPION Venture Bus by Thomas von Pilar, and his co-founder. According to him, he had already been attracted to the West African market after conducting research. “I knew before that West...

  • SA drop-off point courier service Pargo grows to 1 500 pickup points in 2015

    Collection and drop-off point courier service Pargo has shown significant growth over the past year. Ventureburn had a chance to catch up with the founders Lars Veul (pictured right) and Derk Hoekert (pictured left) about the company. When Ventureburn spoke to the duo in February of this year, the company had 20 client stores in the Western Cape. Since then, Pargo has grown to around 500 pickup points around South Africa with access to an additional 1 500 points. They have partnered with the likes of Vees Video, Clicks, and Shell in order to grow their business. According to Veul, "There's a pickup...

  • CEO of Supermart.ng Raphael Afaedor on the state of Nigeria’s ecommerce

    The last time I spoke to Raphael Afaedor in person, he was still the co-founder of Jumia, his face and that of Tunde Kehinde’s had just been on Forbes and they were the focus of the foreign press including CNN. I was able to drag him aside in the hall where Jumia was celebrating its first year anniversary and when I asked him what was next for ecommerce in Nigeria, he said the focus will continually be on satisfying the customer -- even if he or she expresses interest in buying cows online. He subsequently left Jumia and founded...

  • Ecommerce in South Africa – a growing movement

    By Anna Malczyk and Lyndi Lawson-Smith Ecommerce in South Africa faces many challenges. From the consumer perspective, these include reluctance to pay delivery costs, confusion around payment and the need for a credit card, security, and the ability to return items or get money refunded. The reality from the ecommerce providers’ perspective is that many of their sites are inadequate in addressing these issues, but also add the burden of poor usability. Given that many major retailers haven’t yet gotten this right, there is little example for small business owners and entrepreneurs to follow. And even in the cases where...

  • ‘It makes all the sense in the world’ — former PriceCheck CEO on Naspers sale

    Last week emerging markets media and internet giant Naspers sold its award-winning South African price comparison site PriceCheck back to original founder Kevin Tucker and Silvertree Internet Holdings. Launched in 2006, the price comparison website was quickly snapped up by Naspers four years down the line. Under the leadership of renowned entrepreneur and ecommerce expert Andre de Wet, the platform has grown to become Africa's largest sites of its kind. It's grown its staff to over 40 members, expanded to Nigeria and is clocking in 25 million unique annual visitors. But why would Naspers let go of such a fast-growing company?...

  • Building customer loyalty in online retailing – a primer

    One of the toughest challenges that ecommerce businesses and online retailers face is earning customer loyalty. A face to face interaction at a brick and mortar store has a far higher chance of building a real connection with a customer than a fleeting online interaction does. Smart etailers and entrepreneurs realise that their customers are central to their success, and it is important to build a lifelong relationship with them. They also understand that earning their customers’ loyalty is no cakewalk and comes only with giant doses of ecommerce wizardry (cue Amazon). Developing a user interface that exceeds expectations, offering...