The Konga and Jumia case: How it affects my friend who sells Tomato and Yam.

First I must say my reluctance to share post this was because I am determined to give my very best to every post here. My Facebook contacts have demanded that I publish it still if I think it’s unique enough. What’s unique about this is that I am about to tell you of a real small business in Nigeria. Konga and Jumia run aggressive retail models than I have ever seen. Small businesses like yours can benefit much from understanding how e-commerce and digital marketing helps you capture market share in advance.

Precious Ojewusi is a good friend on Facebook and she sells farm produce like Yams and Tomatoes. Recently they had a lot of harvest which she announced on her Facebook profile, she surely does a good job of making a “town crier” impression. She screams at the top of her lungs for buyers but I am not sure this works effectively. Precious asked me a question “Do you think I am ripe for a website?” This seems to me like a Tomato seller who is asking if it’s better to be on the streets talking to random strangers or have a store in a good spot where buyers can always find her.

Walking Blind

With the “town crier” approach, we cannot tell for certain how many sales actually come from a random advert. We don’t even have an estimate of the reach our business has since we pass by so many people before making one sale. For all we know, Precious’ profile is filled with some people who have 100% interest in farm produce, those with say 30-70% interest and those with nil interest.

If you were thinking about starting an online retail, you would probably first wonder “what do I sell?” Then you start wondering how and where do I sell my stuff. As a content writer, I am one of those people interested in what people are talking about. The reason for this is that, most people would follow pages or groups based on the 30-70% interest they have in what that group is talking about.

Why do people join the buzz?

No one follows a post, page or group where the discussion is about things they have 0% interest in. While having an 100% interest in a singular subject is highly unlikely. The best anybody can hope to get is between that 30-70% gauge. I chose these indices based on the fact that Facebook shows your posts to  12% of your audience  and with some consistence, you may convert this 12% into loyalists or you may double it (24%) by broadening the groups you cater for. Also attention span is as low as 6 seconds and this means that you may not keep too many people focused on your posts for too long.

So this eliminates the possibility of getting the attention of anyone who talks about your product less than 24% of their time on Facebook. While you may never be able to get anyone with above 70% interest because other pages and groups are also competing for the excess 24% attention they have. Let’s add a buffer of 6% on both top and bottom interest scales. Most people’s interests are triggered by “money,” people follow the money wherever it goes. Disclaimer, these are not exact measures but you get the idea.

The money and the buzz

As they say “follow the money.” The money on the other hand follows the buzz, the conversation drives the market. Whatever new product people are talking about is the hot sale. If a brand is the hot topic, then you want to be selling what they are offering. If everybody is talking about your product then your brand could easily fit in or on the other hand if everyone is talking about your brand, your products could sell. E-commerce is practically built on buzz, what or who is everyone talking about?

Despite the losses they are facing, Jumia and Konga have not stopped investing in their e-commerce platforms. In fact they claim to be interested in creating the best customer experience for their online shoppers. This may look foolish for the small scale retailer, but with the global drive for e-commerce it’s the smartest move to make. Market share will depend a lot on digital and e-commerce engagement in coming years.

Why then are a lot of people talking about these brands? What are they offering that could probably account for this conversation buzz? I did a bit of research of my own and found that Jumia and Konga ranked highest with on google searches. Initially I thought Payporte was a strong competitor because on the Google front page it ranked before Konga but  on comparing the metrics, it was  a total landslide.

Keywords “Jumia nigeria” and “Konga” have search times of more than 1,000-1,500 times in a month. That’s far above what most retail patforms can boast of.

Now Jumia has an offline presence already and a lot of their retail activities are offline. The question is, how are they still able to attract so much attention online. I will walk you through some of my findings.

1. Responsiveness:

Do you know that one of the major complaints Nigerians have is about delivery and quality of online services? Your business could be one of those that everyone hates and you do nothing about it or you could engage the negativity for good.
Both Jumia and Konga operate active social media pages that respond to customer complaints and comments.

2.  Affiliates:

The strong affiliate program ensures that the hype is always done far above what they could have done by traditional advertising or even PPC (Pay per click) advertising.

3. Massive Following:

Konga Facebook page alone has more than a million likes and follows. The chances of getting into the buzz is higher.

4. Promotional content:

The intensive and detailed digital ads are done to create the best first impression. Each post is aimed at creating a connection with events, products or personalities relevant to the sale being promoted. For example an ad for the “Nokia 3310 reborn” captures all that’s great about the product that is to be pitched to prospects in simple graphics.

5. Relevant Conversation:

Each platform does not just focus on advertising, they also engage conversations on issues that would be priority to their audience. The blog section does a good job of this.

These are few online retail strategies any small retail business can and should emulate as the digital marketing expands. Doing this to capture some part of the market assures you of sale prospects and continuous reach for your retail and distribution.

If you found this helpful and you want more resources like this, please subscribe to my blog. Do you think you have questions, drop a comment. The sharing buttons are just beneath this post, it won’t take more than a few seconds to share this post with other retail business owners and e-commerce enthusiasts. 

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