Cloud and app store support play a critical role in ensuring the success of e-commerce platforms in Africa.
This was the opinion of Lulu Haangala Wood, co-founder and CMO of Afrishop, an e-commerce hub that offers quality, convenient shopping and affordable logistics for the African market. She spoke at the Huawei Cloud & AI Forum at the AfricaCom 2020 online event, part of the Africa Tech Festival from November 9-13.
Afrishop launched its offering with the support of Huawei Cloud, providing convenient online shopping and affordable logistics and courier services. Afrishop’s goal is to create a more convenient and affordable delivery service for consumers looking for quality products from China.
In its launch and development, Afrishop was supported by the infrastructure of the Huawei Cloud and Huawei AppGallery, the app store on Huawei smartphones.
“We are available in the Android and Apple application stores, but our competitive advantage has been that we are available in the Huawei application gallery on Huawei phones, which are widely used in Africa,” said Haangala Wood. “Having that partnership from Huawei to push our app in the app store really helped us, and we saw a huge increase in downloads.”
He said that a good supply chain management system had been necessary for African consumers for a long time. Afrishop set out to provide convenience and affordable delivery in the last mile, right at the customer’s doorstep.
“We offer B2C and B2B services for customers who want to purchase individual parts, as well as fulfill bulk orders,” said Haangala Wood. “Our main services are online shopping and supply chain management, and our solution is faster, easier and more convenient than other platforms. Our client has access through both our application and our website, because applications are not yet widely accepted in all African territories. “
Haangala Wood said Afrishop had seen 10,000 downloads in its first week and had continued to grow for the past nine months. The platform operates in Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Angola.
“Influencer marketing has been a big part of our strategy, as well as offline marketing through traditional media, which is still relevant in the African market,” said Haangala Wood. “However, our core has been digital marketing. With our current app, distribution and listing in Huawei’s app gallery are zero cost.
“We continue to improve our application and we look forward to continuing our great partnership with Huawei Cloud,” said Haangala Wood. “Covid-19 did hit us, but we are excited to see more people looking to e-commerce as their preferred shopping channel.”
The Huawei Cloud & AI Forum is an event regularly organized by Huawei for the African ICT industry. The theme of this month’s event is “New Value Together”, with the goal of establishing an open and cooperative platform for customers and partners to explore new opportunities for a smart future.