The Africa Internet Group, AIG, has identified trust as the greatest challenge facing e-commerce in Nigeria. The group which comprises Kaymu, Hellofood, Carmudi, Lamudi Nigeria and Easy Taxi Nigeria, made this revelation at the Fireside Chat held by iDea Nigeria, a Lagos-based incubator and accelerator for techpreneurs in Nigeria.
According to Obi Ejimofo, Managing Director of real-estate marketplace Lamudi.com.ng, the only way to build trust is through consistency. The challenge is to continue to innovate. “At Lamudi, we are constantly evaluating ourselves to improve the quality of our agents, our response time, customer feedback and so on. As a result, we came up with Dial4Home, a hotline which enables people speak directly to an operator who will guide them through their property search and more recently the mortgage calculator which calculates the mortgage cost on each property for sale on the Lamudi platform.”
For Sefik Bagdadigoglu, Managing Director of online shopping community Kaymu, the issue of trust is prevalent everywhere in the world and companies need to come up with ways to earn the confidence and loyalty of their stakeholders. “At Kaymu we are passionate about building and maintaining trust within our online community as such we provide cash on delivery as well as online payment solutions through Kaymu Safepay, which serves as an escrow service. We are constantly seeking ways to expand Kaymu in the e-commerce eco-system while impacting on people’s lives daily. One of the ways is by removing the distinction between online and offline. We have launched the Kaymu Village within communities, a physical location which accelerates interaction between buyers and sellers,” he said. He explained that they want to build inspiring stories, like that of Chioma Agha, one of the sellers on their platform who was selected to meet with Barack Obama and so they have created the Entrepreneurs Club which provides a platform for sellers and entrepreneurs to exchange ideas.
Adaora Asala, Managing Director of taxi hailing app EasyTaxi disclosed that a successful business is one that can preserve the trust of its customers. “A bad experience with one driver can have an adverse effect on all the other excellent drivers as such we constantly train our drivers in-house and through collaborations with partners such as Google and other government agencies to ensure they maintain acceptable standards at all times”, she said.
With food ordering site Hellofood, every order is a miracle, Guillaume Leblond Managing Director stated. “People can wait for a few hours, sometimes days to get their clothes or cars or property but with food, they want it hot and on time, hence we have had to pivot into logistics by owning our own delivery bikes to control the customer’s experience.
In addition we have a dedicated team offering solutions to restaurants to ensure that customers trust us to deliver their food few minutes from the time they ordered it,” he stated.
Speaking on the one thing every startup needs to get right, Leblond highlighted customer experience while Ejimofo pointed out the need to select a good team. For Bagdadioglu, it was ensuring the product provides a solution to a prevalent problem. On his part, Asala stressed the importance of building a solid operational infrastructure through teamwork.
Amy Muoneke, Managing Director of Vehicle Marketplace, advised startups to keep optimizing their products to ensure customers keep seeing the value in their offerings. “You need to identify your target market to ensure you are providing goods and services that are useful and relevant to them through the appropriate channels. For instance our target market are people who are actively working towards owning or changing their cars and so our resources are spent marketing to that sector of the market and we are constantly developing new ideas and innovation that allows the buying and selling of cars online via the Carmudi platform easier,” she said.
The event was hosted to connect startup founders in the Nigerian tech eco-system with AIG leadership for the purpose of sharing knowledge, business showcase, product feedback and co-creation.
Africa Internet Group, the leading internet platform in Africa, promotes sustainable online growth that benefits both businesses and consumers. Firmly rooted in Africa’s startup ecosystem, the group provides easy-to-use services and smart solutions across the African internet sector. AIG is invested in furthering regional entrepreneurship and innovation due to a huge passion for Africa, its culture and its people. AIG is the parent group of ten successful and fast-growing companies that operate in more than 30 African countries. Its network of companies includes Carmudi, EasyTaxi, Everjobs, hellofood, Jovago, Jumia, Kaymu, Lamudi, Vendito and Zando.
By Pita Ochai