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Ecommerce

  • 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...

  • 7 ecommerce trends to watch out for in 2016

    Trends are always changing and ecommerce trends are no different. While this is a great thing, it also presents a challenge. Changing technology can improve and impress, which is why ecommerce store owners need to constantly be on their toes, and keep their eyes and ears open for what’s in the pipeline and figure out how it can help them better their products and services. One can say that technological trends are like fashion. Women’s costumes and men’s suits are always changing, and you need to keep up with the latest to stay relevant. This principle applies to ecommerce technology as...

  • Kaymu is the latest Nigerian ecommerce player to step into the physical world

    Online marketplace Kaymu has officially announced the introduction of Kaymu Village, a move that is largely described as an offline effort aimed to attract those that are still skeptical about making transactions online. "For a long time, customers who bought products through the Internet on Kaymu.com.ng could only complete their payments via bank transfers, cash on delivery and Kaymu Safepay. This prevented those Nigerian consumers who are not able to access the Internet from participating in online shopping and e-commerce. Currently Nigeria only counts about 67 million Internet users in a nation of over 180 million," the company said in...

  • Michael Jordaan’s Montegray backs ‘farm-to-door’ wine startup Port2Port

    Former FNB boss and South African venture capitalist Michael Jordaan has announced an investment into a local "farm-to-door" wine startup, called Port2Port. Figures on the investment, which has been done through Jordaan's VC firm Montegray Capital, are undisclosed. Serving as trustee for the Cape Wine Auction and co-owner of Stellenbosch-based wine farm Bartinney, Jordaan is a well-known wine aficionado. Among his many investments made over the years, Jordaan was also an early backer of the social app Realtime Wine, which closed down in April last year. Jordaan tells Ventureburn via email that it's Port2Port's entrepreneurial team -- co-founders Nicolò Pudel and...

  • Postbox Courier wants to help you save on import costs

    UK-headquartered courier service Postbox Courier has launched in South Africa and is dedicated to shoppers and businesses who purchase and import goods from overseas distributors. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the service claims it can save consumers up to 70% in overseas shipping costs. "We have found that many overseas retailers, such as Amazon, Zappos, Light in the Box, Aliexpress and eBay, either don’t offer international delivery on certain products or those that do, charge excessive fees or use unreliable delivery services," explains Co-founder of Postbox Courier, Gary Hamilton. Read more: WeChat set to launch on-demand courier service in SA Postbox Courier was...

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