All posts tagged e-commerce

mtn data sharing

MTN Group To Invest N65Bn Into Africa And Middle East Internet Holding

MTN Group today announced a partnership with Rocket Internet, one of the world’s leading internet incubators, to extend online retail and other essential digital services in the Middle East.

The agreement with Rocket Internet follows a similar partnership, concluded earlier this week, between MTN, Rocket Internet and Millicom International Cellular, to develop internet businesses in Africa through Africa Internet Holding (AIH).

MTN and Rocket Internet will create a joint venture to develop internet businesses in the Middle East, with MTN and Rocket as 50% shareholders in Middle East Internet Holding (MEIH).

Rocket Internet already has a presence in several Middle Eastern countries, and has rolled out a series of high-growth online businesses, including Easytaxi, Lamudi, Namshi and Hellofood.

“The agreement with Rocket marks yet another important milestone in our journey of pursuing digital business adjacencies as one of our key strategic priorities, to drive growth and value for our customers,” said Sifiso Dabengwa, MTN Group President and CEO.

The partnership brings together Rocket Internet’s expertise in developing successful global internet business models, and MTN’s leadership position and unique knowledge of the local telecom markets.

Commenting on the partnership, co-founder of Rocket Internet, Oliver Samwer said: “I am very confident that the strategic partnership between MTN and Rocket Internet is going to accelerate the online shift in the Middle East. With joint forces, Middle East Internet Holding will develop its already existing ventures even better and will launch new companies even faster and more successfully.”

MTN expects to invest approximately EUR300million over the next two to four years into AIH and MEIH. The investments are subject to regulatory approval, and the two transactions are expected to close during the first and second quarter of 2014 respectively.

“Through MEIH, MTN and Rocket aim to accelerate and further develop the nascent e-commerce market in the Middle East region,” added Dabengwa.

Source – MTN Group Corporate Affairs

Top 10 Growing Startups In Nigeria – StartupRanking.com

According to StartupRanking.com, a global web ranking service, these are the Top 10 gorwing startups in Nigeria. Designed to provide global web ranking stats for startups, the service employs a calculated use of social media and web traffic metrics to rank sprouting startups from all over the globe.

1. Konga.com

Online shopping for phones, electronics,fashion, laptops, blackberry, computers, baby items, books and everything else on Konga.com.

2. Jobberman

Jobberman.com – Job vacancies in Nigeria with latest jobs in Nigeria, all hot jobs in Nigeria, careers in Nigeria, vacancies and opportunities in Nigeria

3. IROKO Tv

Watch Thousands of Nollywood & Ghanaian Movies At Your Number One Home For Both Nigeria & Ghanaian Films Online; With a great Yoruba Films selection.

4. DealDey

Shop at DealDey.com, Best Deals, Deals Nigeria, Mega Discounts Nigeria, Discounts on Travel, spas, food, Buy the best Electronics, Mobiles, Clothing, Home etc.

5. ToLet

ToLet.com.ng is a property search website dedicated to rentals. We seek to become the number one online destination for property lettings in Nigeria.

6. Sturvs

Sturvs is a Nigerian content aggregator and blog network. It used to be a social bookmarking website where users could share news articles, music, videos…

7. VoguePay

Voguepay is an online payment processor whose vision is to offer buyers and sellers a secure and easy-to-use means of transacting business online.

8. Hotels.ng

Book hotels in Nigeria online or call 08148808800. Pay on arrival or pre-pay. Guarantee your room.

9. Paga

Paga is the fast and convenient way to send cash via mobile to your friends and family, all you need is just the mobile phone number of the recepient.

10. Evans Akanno

Creative design agency based in Lagos Nigeria. We grow businesses with professional website design, branding and online marketing!

Interestingly, Jumia came in at No. 11 on the list of 72 startups, and we will be watching closely for new entrants such as Nearest Locator, Genii Games and Easy Appetite. In the mean time do take part of the ongoing poll as we try to find out the best startup you would rather work for.

#MomoNigeria Recap – Policy, Scalability And Access [PHOTO]

Mobile Monday Nigeria went down exactly a week ago, 30th of September 2013, and it  took a unique turn with the partnership with Google Nigeria hosting Nigerian technology players with a focus to discuss the impact of internet in Nigeria.

The primary presentation of the evening was by Dalberg Global Development Advisors on Technology impact in Nigeria, and the event turned out to be one of the most amazing 2-hour meeting in local technology and internet business space with contribution from Simdul Shagaya (CEO and Founder of Konga.com), Jason Njoku of iROKO Partners, Ayodeji Adewumi of Jobberman, Femi Taiwo of INIT, Deepanker Rustagi of V-Connect and many more internet moguls touching down on the problems facing internet businesses – policy, scalability and access.

The Mobile Monday Nigeria team will make the Dalberg report available shortly and we’d share those with you. In the meantime, here are some photos from the event and you can catch the tweets from #MomoNigeria hashtag on Twitter.


Ahmad Mukoshy, Gigalayer’s Founder On Startup Branding [VIDEO]

We met up with Ahmad Mukoshy and this time we got him to talk about his startup, Gigalayer, in front of the camera. Gigalayer is a web hosting company he founded in 2007 at the age of 17 just after secondary school. In our chat with Ahmad, he talks about the decision to rebrand from Aimtech NG to Gigayaler, what he thinks about the local ecosystem, the future of technology in Nigeria and what made his year.

Perhaps in the Q&A session we had with him earlier will give some perspective on what he has gone through:

The main reason why I rebranded was because I wanted a more memorable name which is also internationally marketable, since I was looking at the future plans for the company. I tried my best to acquire the domain aimtech.com from a UK based company which has already folded, but the company wouldn’t sell the domain even with an offer of $2,500 (raised mainly for that purpose).

After about two years of battling to get the aimtech domain, I managed to get aimtech.net from a domain company in Hong Kong. I tried to see how the .net will fit into my business, but I knew .com was the big hit. So I went on a search for a better domain name until I got gigalayer.com owned by a folded web hosting company, I got the domain registered and acquired the twitter handle @gigalayer with the help of third-party auction and negotiations with the owner [You can read the full Q&A here].

For more on Nigerian founders stories, read about Sim Shagaya, Jobberman Trio, and Jason Njoku.

Catching Up With Microsoft Africa’s Developer Of The Month

Our developers’ stories won’t be complete if at some point, we don’t talk about the female developers who are contributing to the growth of the community. One such female coder is Bukola Akinfaderin who Microsoft Africa named as developer of the month.

Bukola is a tech guru, entrepreneur, coder and the founder of Jandus Mobile Solutions. Born in Lagos and raised in the U.S., Bukola has been in technology for 11 years and now specialises in mobile solutions to meet needs in Nigeria. Her most known app is Jandus Radio. Here is our chat with Bukola.

Can we meet you? (name, family, educational background, career path)

My name is Bukola Akinfaderin. I am the CEO of Jandus Mobile Solutions LTD. I was born in Lagos and traveled to the US at age 12. I received a Bachelors in Computer Science in 2002 from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Information Systems from New Jersey Institute of Technology. After which I worked in Information Technology in Corporate America for 10 years.

What language do you program with?

Java, PHP, C#, MYSQL, HTML5

How did you get into programming?

I have a background in computer science but mostly self taught through online tutorials and programming books.

Tell us about your app?

Jandus Radio is a mobile application that allows you to listen to Nigerian radio and other African radio stations on your mobile phone anywhere in the world. I originally created it for diasporans to be able to get easy access to news, music, entertainment and current affairs back home.

jandus

How is your app doing in the market and what are you doing to make it better?

We are doing very well, over 200,000 downloads cross platforms. We continue to partner with radio stations, brands and OEMs to further our marketing efforts.

How has it been like, being a female developer?

I suppose it has been the same as a male developer. People normally judge the end product and are not aware if it was a male or female who produced it.

 Have you been facing challenges or enjoying some benefits as a female developers?

I have not faced any challenges yet but also I am not aware of the benefits of female developers.

 Congratulation on being the Microsoft Africa developer of the month. How does it feel to be chosen?

It was exciting to see the responses on my selection. I feel quite happy and honored to have been chosen.

 What is your advice to aspiring female developers?

If you have a passion for coding, pursue it. Do what makes you happy even if you are the only one doing it.

 How do you see the future of software development for ladies?

I hope to see an increase in women pursuing  developer opportunities in Africa. It’s encouraging to see some progress in these areas already.

caban

I have another application called Caban for property search in Nigeria. I will continue to build on this opportunity as property search is still quite a frustrating process in Nigeria.

Traclist To Hold Fashion Sales At Co-Creation Hub – May 25

Traclist, a social platform that gives users access to a wide range of products from many different stores in Nigeria is now ready to host its first Fashion Sales event taking place at the Co-Creation Hub. The platform allows for store owner reach a wider audience by having a place to share inventory on the web.

Just before you go wondering what has tech – or the CcHub got to do with fashion sales, Traclist is one of the startups that was incubated sometime last year, and has been doing pretty well so far.

Traclist, thus invites you as they host you and merchants in a special sales day experience, with a collection of fashionable items from both local and foreign brands. Here’s the opportunity to buy shoes, shirts, clothing and a lot more at special offers – up to 50% discount.

All you have to do is show up this Saturday, at the Co-Creation Hub’s rooftop, 294 Herbert Macaulay Road, Sabo, Yaba Lagos, for May 25, 2013, from 10am – 6pm.

 

E-commerce Case Study: How I Made N839,547 In 3 Months Online

Editor’s Note: Tito Philips, Jnr. is an unusual Nigerian who is passionate about rebuilding Nigeria through entrepreneurship. He is currently empowering entrepreneurs about starting up an e-commerce business in Nigeria. He blogs about business and entrepreneurship at naijapreneur.com

I wrote here about the rise of e-commerce in Nigeria and how you can profitably take part; you can consider this a follow-up article as I will be sharing with you my own experience of how I made close to a million naira within three months of owning a shop online.

How It All Began

I started by selling my business consulting and internet marketing services through my blog naijapreneur.com. Then in January 2013, I came across Kaymu.com.ng they were still trying to break their way into the Nigerian e-commerce terrain.

It didn’t take me long to see the market potentials of such a platform where sellers can be connected to over 60 million Nigerians online. I instantly became a Kaymu evangelist. This is partly due to my passion for entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and my successful experience withe-marketing.

My 1st Month Selling Online

I own a boutique business where I sell both male and female clothing and shoes. So I decided to create my own shop online to test run Kaymu and listed the shoes on the platform, this was in February (and if you are wondering why I listed only shoes and left out the clothes, well, shoes are far easier to snap than clothes.) Before the month ended, I was able to sell one shoe – despite five 5 orders, only one buyer followed through to pick up and paid N3,000 cash.

My 2nd Month Selling Online

Towards the end of February, I decided to expand my shop on Kaymu to sell in another promising category other than fashion, phones and tablets. Since I didn’t sell phones and tablets, this was made possible by one of my e-marketing clients who proposed a partnership – I help sell their phones and tablets online and earn commissions on every sale.

Because of this collaboration, in March I sold one Blackberry Z10, an iPad4 and a Tommy Hilfiger shoe for a total of N223,000. Not bad.

My 3rd Month Selling Online

April was the best month ever, all of the marketing initiatives where falling into place and people were becoming more confident in the brand due to the number of successful deliveries and safe transactions recorded. So in April, I sold 7 Smart phones and 5 male shoes for a total of N613,547!

Why It Pays To Sell Online

Besides the number one obvious reason – that you get to reach a whole lot more people through an online shop – the most significant reason for me is the 24/7 operational nature of an online shop. There’s practically no closing time online, you can be making sales while you sleep.

Reducing overhead costs is one other reason why selling online is so super smart. You don’t have to bother about shop space, on the internet there’s unlimited shelf space for unlimited items. I mean, I expanded from just selling male shoes to selling smart phones and tablets and it didn’t cost me additional rent.

My favorite reason: growing your brand has never been easier. Online, you connect with millions of people you may never have been able to sell to offline.

Over to you

You’ve read my story and as many naijapreneurs have come to know me for, I hardly share what I haven’t personally applied. My own approach to marketing is simple; “don’t tell people what you will do, show them what you’ve done. Why? Because results sell faster than words!”

If this isn’t sufficient prove that Nigeria is in the early days of a heavy e-commerce boom, then you can choose to ignore this article. But if you are among the few wise ones, you will get in now while many are still contemplating and begin to reap the rewards of selling online. Here’s an invitation, click here to start.

Learning From Founders Chapter One: Sim Shagaya’s Story

Eons ago, I mentioned that I will be sharing Nigerian technology founders’ stories here. My first founder is Sim Shagaya, founder of DealDey, Konga (both strong contenders in the Nigerian ecommerce space) and E-motion Advertising.

In this interview, we discuss starting up a technology business in Nigeria, the competition, funding, building a team, and the future of technology (among other things). Because I’m nice, I snuck in a few Easter eggs in the MP3 recording of our conversation.

There is an edited transcript below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. (I’d like to know if you did …or didn’t)

IN THE BEGINNING

You have E-motion, DealDey and Konga. How did it all start?
The first business was E-motion, that started in 2007. I was much younger and I didn’t know as much as I know now. I have always been intrigued by technology so back then, I probably was spending much more time just sort of browsing and reading than I do now, while now I just spend more time sort of doing. I think like many young entrepreneurs today, you are just trying to figure out what you want to do and trying to understand your environment so you don’t make too many mistakes. But I do know that even now, even though, there is lots more work and many more challenges and the things we are building are kind of in the lime light so if you fail, you fail in front of everyone. In spite of all these things, I’m a much happier person now.

Why were you qualified to start a business?
I really wasn’t. I had tried to start a dating site called Alarena, I tried to start a job site called Job Clan, I tried to start a classified site called Gbogbo. I tried to do all these things and they just weren’t working. The timing was just wrong. And then of course a streaming media business called iNollywood, and all these things were just way ahead of their time.

And now that’s what everybody is doing.
Yeah, I know. I think part of it is just reading the times as much as finding the opportunity. Anyways, after all these things, I literally was at a point where I was like, ‘Okay, I’m just going to go back to school, get a PhD and teach, and I’m done.’ But at the time, I had a wife and a child and I was like ‘okay, I need some kind of income stream’, so I figured that billboards were like real estate business, you build something and then you just charge rent. So, I wanted to set up a couple of them in Abuja and this would just be kind of my income stream. I put up two digital billboards in Abuja, and what was supposed to be ‘set this up and then have somebody kinda manage the cash flow so I could go back to school’ (I had started applying to universities) just quickly grew.Very very quickly and I couldn’t finish my application. So here I am.

You started this many businesses, but I have never heard of you having a cofounder. Do you have one of those?
Yeah, in E-motion, I definitely did. I had one and I think it helps. I don’t think anyone can do this sort of stuff alone and even for Konga, I don’t have one, not for not looking for one. I looked for one pretty hard but I didn’t end up finding. But that said, there are about two or three colleagues of mine that I must give credit to that were here from the beginning when it was just four of us in a room with diapers stacked. I mean in some sense, I had those co-founders, but just in a very different kind of way.

Konga Day 1

Konga’s first day

ON COMPETITION

I keep on trying to separate DealDey from Konga.
Yeah, many people do.

How do you draw the line between two separate companies that seem to offer similar things?
There is a Chinese wall between the two, and they are both kids. Let the kids compete. They even compete on some level.

I noticed that. How can you compete with yourself?
They are different retailers and even in brick and mortar retail, you have a high street retailer and you have the discount, out of the way outlet mall. They are both tools for brands so if you are Ralph Lauren, you sell high street and what you can’t liquidate on the high street, you pass off to the outlets to kind of get your capital back.

You have deals on both Konga and DealDey, how does that work?
I think one of the big drivers of ecommerce is the savings that you get. So, whereas DealDey is really fashioned around the discounting experience, Konga looks at discounts more as promotions. The other really big difference between them is, if you are familiar with TV shopping  like the home shopping network, DealDey is more like that kind of retail. TV shopping is a potent form of retail where you have one thing, this is what it is, 20 people have bought, call and buy. And I think for Nigeria, Dealdey sort of fills that space of TV shopping. The other thing about DealDey is that it is discovery commerce. You don’t come there looking for something, there’s no search tool even. You come there and you’re like ‘uh, wow, that’s interesting’ versus the Konga retail experience where you are actively looking for something.

When you think of the competition in any of your businesses, do you take steps to actively combat them?
Competition on some level serves a purpose. It sometimes brings out the best in you and it also forces you to distill what is most important to you. Competition in the outdoor space was completely different from this life I am living now. In the outdoor space, when you have a billboard, you have monopoly on that radius. But I think that for us here, we have had to kind of get very comfortable about where we are going and why we are doing this.

We look at competition but only from the point of view of ‘how can we make things better for our customers’. I don’t think you can live as a hermit and ignore everybody else, but we try not to be reactive or let competition drive what we are doing because what will end up happening is that some of the good things you are doing, you will undo to try and copy somebody. I think everybody has to chart their own way.

That said, I think the best businesses, the greatest businesses that have been built in Nigeria, whether they are MTN or DSTV, across all sectors, its always been very strong collaboration between a very well aligned and incentivized local team and very capable foreign expertise. There are some exceptions to that but I think by and large, if you look at the banking sphere for example, the purely foreign operations are at the margin and I think that speaks to the fact that you have to have this close collaboration between local and foreign and it cant be collaboration just on an employee level, it has to be collaboration in the fact that if this enterprise, this journey goes well, everybody shares in the spoils. And that’s why we’ve set aside 10% of the equity of this business for employees, they are all aware of that so as you join, after six months, you are evaluated and you’re given a grant. There are many people now who are shareholders. What is the point if only one person does well?

What is your take on advertising?
There are different forms of advertising and you have to do all. You have to do digital, you have to do banner, you have to do radio, you have to do TV. We are doing all of them, but the most important form of advertising is word of mouth.

BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

I have noticed three things that stand out for ecommerce businesses: the technology, the logistics and the client relationship. So far, you seem to have the last two on lock, but I’m not so sure about the technology, especially for Konga aesthetically. What’s going on there?
Really? Well, it’s going through vast improvements. We are constantly iterating and releasing. I mean, I think we have had to learn a lot of this stuff and I think another thing with me technologically is that we didn’t buy an out of the box platform like Magento. We are building this thing, and while this is an advantage, it looks like we are slow out the gates in the beginning. It’s like Usain Bolt that the first ten meters, he is slow and then he starts building up. But that said, I think the technology is about to increase and improve rapidly.

All from local talent?
Yeah, local. And we work with Indians. We are going to be doing some really interesting things with interfaces over the next few weeks. Really really interesting things.

How do you balance all your businesses with your personal life? Where do you find time for you?
Well, I love what I do so for me, it’s back to this work/life balance thing. While I’m here, I don’t really feel like this is work, it’s just life. The other thing about me is that I really value my family. Without them, you can’t really get very far. When I’m not here, I’m at home.

I guess it helps that you have people on ground that help you?
Exactly. That’s the biggest part. That’s the most difficult part of my job. How do you find the best people you can find?

How do you find them?
You look for them everywhere you can find them. Some of the people have come to us. You go give a talk at TED and somebody runs up to you afterwards and says ‘I have to join you’. A number of people have said they have to join us and some people have joined us from competition, we’ve not poached one person. Also, we interview here for head, intellect, as well as heart. This has to be somebody I can spend a lot of time with and whose heart is really passionate about what we are doing. Beyond that, there are other things you have to do. We’ve been to INSEAD, reached out to MIT, some of these schools to try and pull Nigerians back and motivate people to come back. It’s a lot of work. There is also a bit of frog kissing.

Yeah, till you find the right ones. So, you’ve had bad experiences with people?
In the minority, yes of course. Not because they are bad people but just because they didn’t quite understand the scope or the scale of the wok or the energy required. They didn’t just really kind of understand it.

Is there any minimum requirement to join your team? You mentioned you went looking at INSEAD and MIT, and those are top schools.
We have also been to Lagos Business School at the career fair. We are going to be touching Yabatech and Unilag. I think one of the key things about businesses that we are building is that it can’t just be populated by Ivy Leaguers, there is a role for everybody here – for the repatriates, for the expatriates, for the Nigerians.

When you started these businesses, aside the need to make money and sustain yourself and your family, what were the other driving forces?
It’s what I enjoy. It’s what I’m good at. Some people play the violin, some people run, some people play football. I like tech, I like building tech businesses. It just makes me happy. And then also I think it’s about leaving a mark and about helping our community and Konga is taking that direction.

Because we have a pool of people who want to go into technology entrepreneurship too and they just don’t know how to go about it, do you have any advice for people who want to startup?
I think there are some basic things you need and then everything from there – school, your environment, whether you went to some Ivy League institution or not – all of those are secondary. I think the primary thing is hard work. You have to be willing to work harder than you think you can; you have to be willing to push yourself beyond the limits that you think you can physically push yourself to.

I also genuinely believe be good to people. Be good to your investors and your friends, and your family and those around you because all too often, I have found good luck, or some will call it karma, but I think its just when you try and be good to people around you, roads open and somehow, goodwill just comes to you.

And be willing to fail again and again and again and again and let the only bloody constant about you be your stubborn willingness to just get up again and again and again and if you fall yet one more time, get up again.

I was wondering how you could have started like five things before and they all sort of failed
I learned something from each, every single one. There is not one I didn’t learn a lesson from. You just have to keep getting up. And have no ego. I think half the time we don’t come out and farm under the sun because we are afraid of what people will say if we fail. But if you don’t fear what people say, then, i mean, look at Elon Musk. That’s what I love about that guy. Not only does he build businesses, he goes after the most daring goals. I mean, who tries to build an electric car company and a space company at the same time. And then he does it but more than that, when those rockets take off, the whole world is watching your work and the dragon spacecraft exploded three times. Seriously, it was on the forth time it got to orbit. Three times! And the whole world is watching and you do it again and it explodes again and you do it again and each attempt is tens of millions of dollars. He took all of his savings from PayPal and put into that thing, everything. At one point, he was borrowing money from friends. Everything he made from PayPal, he would have lost. He literally would have become like me and you from being worth like hundreds of millions of dollars, and not because he lost it in an alimony battle in a bitter divorce or because somebody robbed you, but you yourself, you took your own money to go and do something that seemed like a pipe dream.

I guess that’s another quality you have to have. You guys have to be crazy.
You have to be. Going back to Elon, he describes entrepreneurship as staring down a chasm, chewing glass, and in many ways, it feels like that. Like last year, at the beginning of Konga and what was happening in the competitive landscape, and the noise, people were telling me ‘don’t do it, don’t go, these people are too strong.’ There are moments when you think ‘maybe I shouldn’t’, but you go, you just have to go.

ON FUNDING AND PROFITABILITY

I know you’d have made  money from the businesses you owned before, but Konga and DealDey are funded right?
Yes.

By the same people?
No. different people.

So who has DealDey and who has Konga?
Dealdey is myself and Kinnevik of Sweden. Konga is myself and Kinnevik and Naspers. Naspers are amazing. We knocked on every door to find money, we couldn’t find but Naspers came to us.

Has there been any one moment when you felt you were going to lose it all?
No matter how good your intentions are and how strong you think you are, you need funding in this game. I think the biggest time of anxiety came when, at a certain time after our first round of funding, we had started exhausting it but we had to keep accelerating. It’s like you see a cliff but you have to just have faith that when you get to that cliff, a bridge or a ramp will appear. And Naspers came through. Of course, when your team sees you, you look like nothing is worrying you but between October 2012 and January 2013, I grew quite a few gray hairs.

Are you profitable yet?
No.

How long do you think in your estimation?
It depends on competitive dynamics and how quickly Nigeria as an environment grows but I think profitability will probably come in 3-5 years.

ON THE YOUNGER GENERATION …AND THEN SOME

Young Nigerians, like folks in their 20s, I think you guys are really amazing! My generation has nothing on you guys, you are so creative, so daring, you don’t care about government. Look at the music and the creativity and the energy, look at what you guys are doing. It’s amazing.

So there are people you look up to, like mentors, but are there people who look up to you? Do you have any people you mentor?
I think those relationships are important without explicitly making them sort of a give and take.

I know that you love your work and its part of you and what you do, but minus ecommerce and technology, what other things interest you?
Hmm, I like poetry, I read a lot of poetry, like a lot. I used to write a lot but now with Konga and KPIs…I love tech. I love nanotechnology, just futurism and what will be. When I think of Konga, I think of 20-30 years from now when there are robotic vehicles delivering things. I think that’s where we are going to go, like all these Google automated vehicle technologies are going to work. Yeah, I love technology.

2Face Contributes Wedding Shoe And Cap To Kaymu’s Charity Aunction

The Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions enters stage two with a significant donation from one of Nigeria’s living music legend, 2face Idibia. The artiste who sang ‘African Queen’ recently got married to his African queen and longtime sweetheart, Annie Macaulay in a spectacular wedding ceremony that took place both in Nigeria and in Dubai.

The Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions is a commendable initiative from Nigeria’s e-Commerce community for buying and selling online, Kaymu, as the initiative launched last month with donations coming from DJ Caise, DJ Obi, DRB, Lynnx, and Eku Edewor-Thorley.

To help raise money for the Lagos State Motherless Babies Home through the Kaymu Celebrity Charity Auctions, 2Face or 2Baba as he’s popularly called, gave up one of the most significant items in his life; the cap and shoe he wore for his traditional wedding on March 8, 2013 in Uyo.

The items were donated immediately 2Face returned from Dubai where he had his white wedding. The coffee color branded cap and shoe with the inscription “2Baba” is now being auctioned on Kaymu and can be won by any of 2Face’s fans through bidding. 2Baba who is known for his generosity and kindness has once again demonstrated it through this special donation.

According to Efe Omorogbe, 2Face’s manager, “2Face is very supportive of this initiative and he’s counting on his fans and well meaning Nigerians to help him raise money for the less privileged kids through their bidding”.

How do you participate?

  • Head over to Kaymu.com.ng to start bidding for the item of your favorite celebrity (You need to register here for free)
  • Share, tweet, like, spread the word to your family and friends –help make a difference!
  • Get involved –click here to start bidding!

Social Media Marketing Strategy 101 For Nigerian E-Commerce Companies

The e-commerce buzz in Nigeria is in full swing, and with this evolving industry has come the need for full scale and effective online marketing initiatives to push the right products to the right customers via the right channels without spending your entire company budget. Developing such a strategy is just one of the reasons why there is an opportunity for yours truly, and many other online marketers, to make a living today. I’m going to share the basics that differentiate an effective campaign from the rest.

Before the entry of social media marketing into the traditional educational curriculum, as can be found in some schools in Nigeria today, understanding just what exactly ‘social mediamarketing’ really meant took a lot of reading, trying out different things in the dark, makingmany mistakes and eventually perfecting strategies as a result of recurring events. So, what have I learnt in this journey that will define a proper social media marketing strategy?

Social Media Marketing simply means driving users/customers/traction to your business in order to expose your brand/products to your target audience while generating revenue via existing social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and several other similar platforms, using organic and paid ads.

My definition incorporates some key elements that many brand and marketing experts around the world usually miss; they are the Key-5s including brandaudienceplatforms,goals and optimization. These are very important points to note when employing a socialmedia marketer for your brand. At any point, if he/she doesn’t have the right ideas that will encompass and effectively define how each of these highlights will be achieved, then don’t hire the person or organization.

I currently work at Konga.com and we recently launched Konga Mall, a platform that will bring businesses online with the advantage of a storefront, warehousing, a payment gateway and delivery. Within one week of getting the buzz out around the Konga mall via social media, Konga Mall had already eclipsed the total number of malls that had signed up to its closest competition in Nigeria. How did we achieve this? We had to decide on the Key- 5s from the onset and this was our experience.

We have come to understand that success in social media marketing first starts by understanding your brand: knowing what you do, what your brand strengths are, what your brand weaknesses are, where you want to position your brand and what the overall timeline is to achieve the goals set for the brand. With this in mind, we understood we had an advantage over every other online mall with the number of fans we had built on all our social media channels. So, we played with our strengths, defining a strategy that was going to use our many fans to get the word out.

The next step would be to define your audience: what age group most defines who you are trying to attract, what particular level of education (primary, secondary, graduate level or post graduate level), what income range (low disposable income, medium income, and high disposable income) would define the people you are targeting for your products. At Konga mall, the focus was C-Level executives, business owners and generally entrepreneurs.

Once we were done defining our audience, we had to focus our resources/strategy on those platforms that attracted these individuals the most. I have seen brands that have missed this absolutely. One interesting campaign was targeting 65 year old Nigerians using a substantial amount of paid Facebook adverts and expecting results that never came. At the end of the day, they complained about the insignificant ROI for huge resources they had used up pushing their campaign when the real problem was the wrong channel/platform they chose in executing the campaign.

More so, you need to describe your goals for your Social Marketing Strategy. Breaking yourgoals into stages will be your KPI to understand at every point in time whether or not thecampaign is heading in the right direction. This is key in also presenting the success of your campaign or points to learn from to key decision makers of your business.

Finally, once all the top four keys are executed and you have started out with all yourstrategies, you will need to look at optimizing your campaign after a trend has beenestablished. Usually, I’ll say you can understand the first trend of events after two weeks of kick starting your campaign. However, a proper trend can be established at the end of six weeks after the campaign begins. Optimizing your campaign will help in spending wisely while looking at focusing more resources on parts of the campaign that show better ROI.

For any social media marketing expert that is willing to get the best for his/her efforts in growing any business online, you will need to do the following:

1.     Successfully understand your brand

2.     Define your audience

3.     Pick the right platform that focuses on your audience

4.     Strategize with a proper understanding of your KPIs/goals and

5.     Keep optimizing until the campaign ends

About the Author: Onyeka Akumah is currently the Vice-President of Marketing at Konga.com - Nigeria’s Onilne Megastore. He is also a top marketing expert in Nigeria who has an in-depth knowledge of executing effective online, mobile and traditional marketing campaigns with a strong flair for operative public relation strategies. He has worked in executive roles at three of the biggest e-commerce start-ups in Nigeria and a first-class graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Information Technology from India.