By Emmanuel Otori
The emergence of e-commerce in Africa has seen online shoppers take advantage of the convenience it offers, as goods can now be delivered directly to their doorsteps while they also have the flexibility of selecting the payment channel either using their debit cards or payment upon delivery option.
However, as e-commerce continues to evolve and shape how business is done, there are numerous challenges that have been associated with making orders online.
These challenges, if unresolved over a long period of time, would make the trust the customer has completely diminished as the reputation of the businesses would also be affected which would reduce the demands and sales.
Social Media for e-Commerce
A major growth that e-commerce is experiencing in Africa is the transition from building enormous e-commerce sites to the use of different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and most especially Instagram to deliver products and services to online shoppers. The advantages of utilizing social media for e-commerce are numerous and a few include;
Social media platforms require no payment to utilize them.
Building followership on social media is relatively easier compared to making a website rank well using digital marketing.
Interaction between online vendors and shoppers is instant.
Online vendors do not necessarily need to have the product until an order is made.
No requirement of any form of maintenance for the platforms used.
No formal business registration is required to become an online vendor.
While the use of social media platforms for e-commerce has scaled e-commerce in Africa, a major challenge experienced by shoppers is trust. Online shoppers order products and receive a totally different order, a damaged order or one that is totally different from what was displayed on the platform. This has been seen with items such as confectionaries, fashion, hair extensions, utensils, electronics etc.
The inability of customers to get a refund or a replacement of the item ordered when it does not meet up with the specification is a big gap that is causing customers to reconsider when making a purchase on social media. Customers are well informed and are now beginning to compare the prices of items in a physical retail store.
Reputation Management Techniques for Online Vendors
Reputation management by online vendors is very important as it can help to build a real business from scratch and not a side gig as is done by most vendors. To build reputation, it is important to do the following;
Create a relationship with prospective shoppers by engaging in visuals such as posting a video of the person engaged in business as an online vendor. A lot of shoppers want to relate with a person they see and the ability to have a visual can help in building a reputation.
Stick to your terms of order and delivery. A product that should be delivered within 3 days should not exceed the expected day of delivery, and if there are changes, the online shopper should be informed.
There should be no hidden charges when engaging in e-commerce using social media platforms.
Conducting Due Diligence Before Making Payment
To avoid losing their monies to fraudulent vendors, shoppers are to conduct due diligence on the vendors
Read through the comment section of the vendors from 3 months, you would either find complaints or compliments.
Start with an order that does not cost much in order to understand the vendor’s mode of operation.
Insist on paying through an online payment platform such as Paystack or Flutterwave in order to be able to channel complaints appropriately.
To ensure customers are protected, it is necessary to have a system that ensures goods are only paid for when the customer receives them and confirms they are in good condition. This way both the buyer and seller’s interests are protected.
Emmanuel Otori has over 9 years of experience working with 100 start-ups and SMEs across Nigeria. He has worked on the Growth and Employment (GEM) Project of the World Bank, consulted for businesses at the Abuja Enterprise Agency, Novustack, Splitspot and NITDA. He is the Chief Executive Officer at Abuja Data School.
El Salvador Buys Additional 150 BTC as price Falls Below $50,000
Many in the cryptocurrency community are now calling the President of El Salvador a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as he has managed his country like a CEO would a company. He has now allocated his ‘company’s’ treasury into Bitcoin, as he aims to ‘Buy the dip’, anytime there is a price drawdown in the asset class.
Today ‘CEO’ Nayib Bukele took to Twitter to announce that his ‘company’, El Salvador, just bought an additional 150 BTC, adding to the 100 BTC the Latin American nation bought when Bitcoin’s price fell below $60,000.
He stated, “El Salvador just bought the dip! 150 coins at an average USD price of ~$48,670 #Bitcoin ” He further explained that he missed the bottom as Bitcoin traded as low as $42,874.62 according to coinmarketcap. He stated, “missed the f***ing bottom by 7 minutes.”
What you should know
This purchase puts El Salvador’s Bitcoin reserve at a total of 1,270 BTC, which is worth nearly $61.6 million at the time of writing. On the 26th of November, just 8 days ago, the President announced the purchase of 100 BTC.
The Salvadorean government game plan includes withdrawing unrealized BTC gains in U.S. dollars to fund various developmental projects while maintaining the overall value of the central reserve.
President Nayib Bukele first announced that El Salvador would be making their first major BTC purchase on the eve of the country’s Bitcoin Law going into effect on Sept. 7, buying 200 BTC when the price was roughly $52,000. The nation has seen added 1,020 BTC, with the nation buying whenever there has been a major sell off in the price of Bitcoin.
Nayib Bukele has proposed several initiatives in the country around Bitcoin adoption and mining. The government has started construction of the infrastructure to support the state-issued Bitcoin wallet, Chivo, and recently unveiled plans to launch its own Bitcoin City at the base of a volcano, funded initially by $1 billion in Bitcoin bonds.
Since the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender, the Salvadoran government has been investing gains onto various infrastructure development projects. In mid-October, the President announced that the $4 million from the profits of their Bitcoin Trust will be used to construct a new veterinary hospital in the capital, San Salvador. Early November, Bukele announced that the surplus earned from the state’s Bitcoin Trust account will be used for constructing 20 new schools.
However, Many Salvadorans have pushed back against the crypto initiatives, specifically protesting Bukele and Bitcoin. In September, residents marching through the capital city destroyed one of the Chivo kiosks and defaced the remains with anti-BTC logos and signs.
Superalgos is the go to hub for day traders – Luis Molina, CEO
The SA token is the native token of the Superalgos platform. It was recently launched on PancakeSwap, a decentralized exchange (DEX), under the ticker ‘SA’. The launch comes after four years of development with tens of thousands of downloads during the open beta phase as the community builds up liquidity pools for its native Superalgos token on the DEX.
Molina says, “Our token is a community token and it represents how much you have contributed to the project. The difference between the SA token and other tokens is that others use their token to incentivize security for their respective networks while we don’t need security for our network because our token runs on someone else’s network. What we do is we use 100% of the incentivization power of each token to incentivize contribution to the platform. In the first four years, the contribution was in the form of codes to the codebase to create these tools. We are transitioning to allowing people contribute trading intelligence in the form of indicators, strategies and also signals. The platform will be set up where people will be running bots which produces signals for traders and putting them in the Superalgos network for everyone to benefit.”
Molina concluded by telling us more about the Superalgos application and how traders can benefit from the #1 platform on GitHub. He also gave hints about his top five cryptocurrencies. Click here to watch the full interview.