September Newsletter 2020/03

  1. One Kiosk Africa – connecting Nigerians with their local neighbourhood store

One Kiosk Africa is a Nigeria B2B ecommerce startup that uses geolocation to connect customers online with their local mom-and-pop stores. Each store gets its own page or catalogue on the site to advertise their goods — with a focus on FMCG categories. The startup targets micro-retailers but also works with supermarkets and wholesalers.

Logistics: Orders are shipped from mom-and-pop stores and verified independent drivers take care of deliveries. Covid-19 has forced the company to expand its delivery services, and more recently the company also started working with Gokada and Bolt for package deliveries.

Make-a-list service: One Kiosk Africa introduced the make-a-list service — where the startup will do your shopping for you in the market — often at two to three outlets in a market. The popular service is driving growth and costs around $7 (N2,700) per transaction.

Nigeria challenge: The company believes that their strategy can succeed as they leverage the proximity of micro-retailers and delivery drivers to customers, and tap into the lower inventory holding cost of neighbourhood stores.

FMCG ecommerce: The FMCG ecommerce sector in Nigeria is gathering steam, with big players such as Jumia and Konga revising their strategy to serve customers better. E-grocers such as Supermart.ng are also adopting geolocation style services, and players such as Succor.ng and Rensource Energy’s Merchlist.co have entered the space.

2. Metro Cash & Carry rolls out small-format stores in India to focus on neighbourhood stores

Metro Cash & Carry is tweaking its expansion strategy by targeting kiranas or neighbourhood stores. The new store format will be half the size of previous Metro stores, covering an area of 20,000-25,000 sq ft. The wholesale chain currently has 27 stores catering to kiranas and the hospitality sector.

Territories: The German wholesaler will target markets in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and will open the new stores in smaller towns such as Tumkur and Hubli.

Ecommerce: The company has launched an ecommerce platform for deliveries and orders are fulfilled within 24 hours.

Remodelling: It has also introduced a remodelling programme for kiranas — converting stores into supermarkets and growing their sales by 40-50 percent, according to the company.

3. Zuzela’s sales app is connecting South African spaza shops with suppliers in the township

Zuzela is a Port Elizabeth based business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce startup that connects spaza shops or micro-retailers in South Africa with brands and distributors on a sales app. Zuzela is making it easier for spaza shops to purchase products at affordable prices — increasing product visibility and price transparency in townships.

Products & Delivery: Products on the platform are organised by suppliers, and Informal traders can place their order on the app, collect their goods, or receive delivery directly from suppliers and brand owners. Suppliers charge a delivery fee ranging from R30 ($1.71) to R100 ($5.68) and also set a minimum order value to qualify for delivery.

Brands: National brands, smaller FMCG companies, and suppliers that lack the necessary infrastructure and “line of sight” in townships can benefit greatly from the app. 

4. Other news

Digital payments India: PhonePe plans to enable digital payments for over 25 million SMEs and kiranas in India within the next year. Fintech companies in India are increasingly looking at kiranas for the next phase of their expansion and installing technology solutions at offline retail points. The COVID-19 lockdown has forced companies to adopt a hyperlocal strategy and source essential goods from neighbourhood stores to deliver to customers.

Group-buy Indonesia: KitaBeli an Indonesian group-buying startup is looking to expand to tier 2-4 cities after receiving funding. The social ecommerce startup enables consumers to buy essential FMCG goods in a group — within their social circle. The platform allows users to connect with their friends — form a group — and receive discounts for bulk purchases.

Mobile warehouse: Sokowatch, a Kenya-based business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce company, mentioned in an interview with Techcabal, that tuk-tuks are an important part of their strategy to service more than 16,000 dukas or micro-retailers in East Africa. The startup has a fleet of more than 200 tuk-tuks that function as mobile warehouses — to service outlets on-demand. The vehicles also require less space to drive and park on East Africa’s congested city streets.

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