I have always appreciated the convenience of online shopping and the great saving opportunity that one gets. I plan to avail this opportunity to many people.
Budget Breakdown (approx)
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One evening on January this year my mother came home with a brand new smartphone, she was excited about it and couldn’t wait to open the box and get her new phone set up so that she could start enjoying the new smartphone experience. Apparently, she had seen the phone some time back, asked about it from the shop, after being satisfied that it is what she wanted she started saving up slowly to buy the device and finally the day had come. I was so happy for her but on the other hand I said to myself I wish she had told me earlier before she bought it so that I could search for the best deals and prices on that particular phone from different shops and enable her save big.
I have always appreciated the convenience of online shopping and the great saving opportunity that one gets from e-Commerce platforms as you shop. However not many people know about the saving advantage that comes with online shopping as you can compare prices from different sellers on the platform, catch up on offers and discounts and finally shopping from the comfort of your home or workplace. So later that evening I went online on the leading e-Commerce platforms in Kenya and after a few minutes of searching I got incredible deals available. I got prices as low as Ksh. 9,000 on the same particular phone that she had bought for Ksh. 13,000, now that would have be a great saving! However I kept that to myself as I knew that it would pain her to realize that she could have saved about Ksh. 4,000 in one purchase.
That story about my mother sparked this idea and opened up my eyes to see that there is no platform available locally in Kitale that would enable people find products that they need and compare the prices among different sellers. Moreover, if you were to try to compare by yourself, that would require you to move around visiting every shop to know their prices, something that would be very tedious to anyone and this is the reality in many towns. Seeing this gap and the opportunity that it presents got me to me set my eyes and goals on starting an e-commerce and business listing platform.
MY SKILLS AND ABILITY TO MAKE THE BUSINESS SUCCEED
I am a big fun of technology and a great fun of e-commerce. Throughout my study it was my dream that I would venture into e-commerce industry and try to make sure that as many people as possible, both business people and consumers are able to enjoy the advantages and opportunities that come with the platforms.
I am a graduate in Bachelor of Science in Microprocessor technology and Instrumentation from the University of Nairobi, being an IT and embedded system course. This field of study enabled me to learn a lot about IT, information systems and software and gave me a great appreciation of the same.
My passion for this project backed with the skills I acquired from my educational background and research on e-commerce platforms enables me understand the technical side of developing and running an android app and managing an e-Commerce platform. I’m also privileged to have participated in the Ready to work program by Barclays bank. The job as a student ambassador of Ready to work program in the University of Nairobi also taught me a great deal in marketing, and social media marketing. This will come in handy as I will need to talk to the various shop owners to get them to list their businesses and post their products on the platform.
I already have the android e-Commerce mobile application and the web admin platform for the application fully developed. All that is remaining is a few modifications and it will be ready to go live once funding is available.
An e-commerce and business listing mobile application in Kitale is a great opportunity. First, there does not exist any other similar platform locally, it is only the big players like Jumia, Kilimall and Masoko among others but these are mainly based in Nairobi so there is no opportunity for local businesses to list and sell their products on those platforms or for local residents to buy from local shops through those platforms.
Secondly, it is an increasing and loved trend that businesses are turning to selling their products online because of the many potential customers that one would reach through their phones or other devices, hence businesses will jump on an opportunity to take their businesses online for more sales. This platform provides exactly that.
Thirdly, imagine the convenience of seeing every available product sold in your town, being able to search for a specific product and the advantage of being able to compare the products prices and quality from different sellers, all these from the comfort of your home or work place all on your phone. Not forgetting the fact that you would be able to find a product that you never even thought was locally available. That is a big advantage to consumers that will come with this application.
TARGET MARKET AND HOW TO REACH THEM
My target is the local business people and shop owners mainly dealing in fashion, electronics, smartphones, kitchenware, hardware, furniture, beauty products and a few others but not necessarily the retailers dealing with consumables like bread,milk, cooking oil,sugar etc as those are readily available in the local area shop. My second target is the local residents with smartphones or access to smartphones as these are the people who will make this whole process make sense, they are the consumers and buyers of the products that will be listed online on the app. Connecting buyers to sellers.
Making these e-commerce platform work and exploit the available opportunity fully lies in getting as many businesses as possible to register, list and post their products on the platform and finally to get as many people as possible to download the app and be able shop through the platform. I will sell and pitch the advantages and the many gains of using the platform to both the potential customers and shop owners to convince them to get on board and I have no doubt that I will make it work. I will visit every shop that I can and get them to register on the platform. I will also engage on social media to reach users and even face to face engagements in town and anywhere I meet a user and convince them to download and use the app.
Moreover, because of the advantages and convenience that the e-commerce platform will bring to both the sellers and buyers I believe the app will also be able to sell itself and increase the number of users. Since the seller will want more sales they will willingly recommend the app to any person that visits their shop and that is something that I will really encourage them on, again when a customer enjoys the convenience of shopping on the app, they will most likely recommend the app to someone else. Day by day, week by week the platform will grow, buyers will enjoy the experience and businesses will grow due to increased sales.
Revenue and income will be generated through the businesses and shop owners that register on this platform. Every business that is willing to register and sell its products through the platform will be required to make monthly payments in order to get access. Users of the app, the buyers, will not be charged for using the app or access. After they download the app they are free to shop.
Once I verify the business permit, get the contact details of the person running the business and get monthly access payment, I will open and account for them and add them to the platform where they can log in individually, post and sell their products on the application.
The first month one will be required to pay Ksh. 2,000 and for the subsequent months it will be Ksh. 1,500 each month. Being the admin, I can control access so failure to pay I will only deactivate the seller and activate them once payment is made and they can easily resume from where they left without losing content or having to start afresh.
My estimate is about 50 sellers registered on the platform within the first three months after launching the app, which could even be more, counting from there means a minimum of about Ksh. 75,000 every month and Ksh. 900,000 annually. Remember that this is considering the minimum meaning the revenue will be much higher considering growth in number of sellers on the platform.