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As the Covid-19 cloak begins to lift, certain consumer habits which were not as prevalent pre-pandemic seem to remain. This includes online shopping, and small businesses investing into e-commerce platforms to reach clients in the absence of opportunities to sell in a bricks and mortar store.
This is the view of Amanda Rogaly, who describes herself as the founder and “chief mommy” of BabyYumYum.co.za, a support platform for new mothers. She says a stumbling block for these micro e-commerce sites is being able to market their products effectively at affordable rates.
In response to this need, the company powered with Momentum Medical Scheme to extend its e-commerce space to other SMMEs, promising “competitive and affordable rates creating an opportunity to promote their brands and sell products from their shops.”
Rogaly says, “I can identify so closely with the plight of micro e-commerce enterprises who have incredible products, but lack the funds to generate the brand awareness they need to take their products to a broader audience or to compete with the larger retailers and mainstream brands.”
She says BabyYumYum grew from a blog she started as an “overwhelmed new mommy” in 2016 to support other mothers, into a multi-dimensional platform for all parents. Today, it is billed as the top parenting portal in South Africa comprising many business units.
“It was not an easy journey and an opportunity to promote my brand effectively to the ideal target market at a cost that wasn’t prohibitively expensive would have made the journey a lot easier,” adds Rogaly.
According to her the Virtual Parenting Experience (#VPE2022) platform is doing exactly that this year – levelling the playing field by offering e-commerce SMMEs an opportunity to showcase their brands to over 18 000 delegates.
Introducing a ‘captive audience’
This is based on an earlier Mastercard study on consumer spending which showed that 68% of South African consumers are shopping more online since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. So-called essential items have seen highest buying surge online, including baby products.
“Providing opportunities for small businesses to introduce a captive audience to their products is a rare opportunity which will go a long way in creating brand awareness and driving sales that they would not otherwise have been able to make,” believes Rogaly.
To make this opportunity even easier for SMMEs, Payflex are the official #VPE2022 retail e-commerce space partners. Payflex chief executive Paul Behrmann says, “Only a short four years ago Payflex was a small business, and we are so excited to be partnering with BabyYumYum on delivering a platform that allows small local businesses to showcase their products in the market online.
“Payflex still focuses its strategy on providing a buy now, pay later payment solution as well as marketing exposure to small businesses to help them grow.”
Rogaly concludes, “We are excited to be in a position that allows us to be able to extend our customised #VPE2022 platform to other SMMEs in South Africa so that they can reap the exposure and financial benefits too, resulting in a net positive result for all. It’s our way of sharing the brand love.”