By Shola AdeKoya
Konga.com was founded in July 2012 and started purely as an online retailer selling baby and beauty products. Its growth was rapid, rising 11 times in its first year and 4 and a half times in its second year.
In 2014, Konga opened Seller HQ – Konga’s Marketplace.
Through the platform, business owners could display and sell their items on Konga.com. Since its release, Seller HQ has witnessed a phenomenal growth, with customers now able to find nearly any sort of item on Konga.com, ranging from fashion and phones to computers, kitchen appliances, toys, automotive parts and health products.
Currently, orders from the marketplace account for over 70 percent of total sales on Konga.com with over 30,000 sellers registered and trading on the website today.
Engine of commerce
Nigeria is one of the fastest growing e-commerce market, exhibiting an impressive annual growth of 25 percent. This is without a doubt a major source of revenue for the country’s economy as several small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa now rely on tech tools and platforms, such as the Konga Marketplace, to promote their businesses.
According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), tech driven businesses make up approximately 8.4 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), recording a 16.4 percent growth in 2014.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also claims that over 93.4 million people currently access the internet on a regular basis.
Konga’s vision to be the “engine of commerce and trade in Africa” has driven it to take advantage of the increased internet usage being seen across Nigeria and Africa in general in order to build an ecosystem that incorporates the many elements involved in e-commerce.
This plays into Konga’s ultimate mission of bringing Africans together. Using a seamless value chain, the Konga ecosystem is made up of 4 basic elements: the customers, the sellers, its nationwide delivery and franchise network – Keep On Shipping or KOS – and a secure payment solution – KongaPay.
So what exactly does this ecosystem look like?
Customers: Konga.com currently has about 1 million customers, with the website receiving an average of over 300,000 visits every day. The key attractions for customers include the wide variety of products available on the website, the affordable prices and an effective after-sales service conducted by Konga’s customer care personnel.
They are available 24/7 to support via live chat, phone, email and social media in order to resolve any customer enquiry or issue. With over 500 staff and an international in-house technology team, Konga has positioned itself to handle its increasing number of customers with speed and efficiency.
Sellers: Konga currently has over 30,000 small businesses selling on its website. The company supports these businesses by allowing them to leverage on its robust database to reach millions of customers spread both throughout and outside of Nigeria. Followed by 2 million social media users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ and boasting a high and ever-increasing rate of daily traffic to its website, Konga engages with customers and sellers alike in order to effectively promote Nigeria’s rising digital commerce environment.
Delivery and Franchise Network: Konga’s logistics network – KOS – has a fleet of over 200 vehicles, which comprises of vans, trucks and motorcycles. These value-driven assets are complimented by the many pickup points and distribution centers located in every region of Nigeria. In an attempt to empower sellers and partners, Konga launched its “self-fulfil” delivery model in 2015.
The new delivery model was designed with merchants in mind, enabling the sellers operating on the website to deliver any item that a customer purchased directly to them. More recently, Konga implemented a same-day delivery service available to all of its customers living within the boundaries of Lagos. KOS logistics also began offering shipping services to businesses other than Konga, which are offered at very affordable rates.
KongaPay: The backbone of Konga.com is its safe and secure payment system. It works with all of Nigeria’s banks in order to ensure the customer’s funds remain secure throughout the order through delivery life-cycle process. The application accomplishes this by ensuring that the customer’s money is held in escrow until the sales transaction is completed successfully.
By doing so, KongaPay allows customers to effortlessly pay for products purchased on our website while also being assured of total security at all times. It is also the first non-banking payment system to integrate the use of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) in order to validate payments. In April 2016, KongaPay became available for 3rd-party merchants and customers, offering them a number of unique features such as recurring payments, QR codes and API capabilities, among others.
These 4 elements of the Konga ecosystem have come together to make Konga.com a powerful force for economic growth in Nigeria and Africa at large by empowering businesses, who in turn are given a greater ability to grow, create jobs and improve the standard of living throughout the continent. Trade and commerce are among the top contributors to the economy of Nigeria, as well as many other African countries.
With this in mind, the internet has emerged as a powerful tool that makes it possible for people separated by time and space to trade through e-commerce platforms, including Konga.com, which has quickly risen as the leading online marketplace for Africans.
The Konga story continues, with the company pursuing its ultimate goal of connecting Africans with one another and the rest of the world through the combination of commerce and technology.
Lagos-based Shola AdeKoya is the Chief Executive Officer of Konga.com Online Shopping Limited. The original version of this article was published in the IT Pro Portal.