Accelerator Unzipped 8: eCommerce

With the emergence of smartphones, people can shop from anywhere and anytime. Now you can search for almost any product or service online, without having to go anywhere physically. From the business viewpoint, eCommerce is much more cost effective compared to traditional commerce method. It can give you unique marketing opportunities, broaden your brand, generate user data, increase your reach and more! That’s why week 8 focused entirely on eCommerce.

The module began with a lecture by Tania Habimana who engaged the entrepreneurs on several key factors. From the anatomy of online shopping, third-party marketplaces, customer service, sizing & packaging to adding the trust element for potential buyers.

“Package inserts are a great channel for liquidating merchandise – Hard to move merchandise can be converted to a marketing expense and used to bolster your relationship with current customers” says Tania.

Threads then welcomed multiple guest speakers and industry experts. Enabling the participants to optimize their own online stores with real-life case studies. From practical tutorials on setting up the perfect online store with Shopify partner uAfrica.com. Here the entrepreneurs learned how to practically build their eCommerce platforms and make the most of uAfrica’s programs such as logistics integration, and much more.

The tricks and bolts of international logistics & operating retail throughout Africa as well as expanding into the United States and the United Kingdom with KISUA founder Samuel Mensah. The class then welcomed Soko founder Catherine Mahugu who shared her experience of opening an eCommerce website that worked with over 2100 artisans in East Africa and exported to the rest of the world within stores such as Nordstrom, Reformation, People Tree, United Arrows and more.

Catherine shared how her experience on the ground in Kenya, landed her a seat at the table with Jack Ma, eCommerce Giant Alibaba’s founder, and she explained how Africa was well placed to take advantage of the growing worldwide eCommerce space.

The session followed with a User Interaction and User Experience workshop hosted by experts Nazeer Osman and Yazeed Osman from USLF, here our entrepreneurs learned about how they can structure their website for sales optimization, the power of using automated marketing systems as well as the opportunities that CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management) softwares offer to fashion entrepreneurs.

“There’s a lot of data you can capture from users visiting your website. Use this data to improve their user experience. ” says Nazeer Osman.

That’s it for Week 8 of the Business of Fashion Accelerator program in South Africa, Threads – stayed tuned for next week’s module on Marketing and Business Development.

 

 

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.