The life of a micro retailer in frontier markets is often less than envious. High uncertainty, limited capital, often topped with harassment. But what is a micro retailer? Micro retailers are often classified as enterprises employing fewer than 4 people, with a monthly turnover of less than $2,000 a month. They are generally independent, stock a small selection of stock keeping units (SKUs) and operate out of fixed locations or remain on the move (e.g. hawkers).
Some companies have built their distribution systems around them (e.g. biscuit sellers in Lagos), others have chosen to ignore them. Whether you are in agriculture, consumer goods or even pharmaceuticals (they might be selling a single antibiotic tablet), these traders matter. Below are a number of issues to consider when dealing with micro retailers.
Published Strategic Marketing Africa Q4 2015