It seems an increasing number of startups in Nigeria are finding it more lucrative to put their products and services under the e-commerce umbrella. Recently, Flutterwave announced that it was launching Flutterwave store for merchants in 15 African countries including Nigeria.
Agritech startup, Farmcrowdy, has also joined the list with the launch of its platform for online purchase of agricultural products. The online platform called, Farmcrowdy Foods, allows people to order for fresh farm produce and obtain it from Farmcrowdy’s network of farmers.
The service can be accessed through Farmcrowdy’s web platform, as well as through its mobile app on android. I used the android app, and here is what I found.
How the Farmcrowdy Foods app works
After downloading the app from the Playstore, I completed the registration process. The registration process is kept very simple, and a major requirement is your phone number.
This very simple and little initial requirement brought a premonition that the app is very simple and easy to use, and that is a good one.
The app has a very de-cluttered interface and is straight to the point. After inputting the OTP code that was sent, I was directed to another interface where I completed the registration process and logged into the app.
The dashboard that depicts the marketplace is clear and easy to navigate. Currently, the range of produces available is from grains and tubers, fresh fruits and vegetables, and seafood to oils.
It has a relatively wide range of produces to select from. But the list is not exhaustive and could be made to include more fruits as well as some livestock products.
when you click on a food category, it opens a list of other items available within the category. These items can be selected and moved to a shopping basket before the checkout process.
After shopping from each of the 5 available categories, I clicked on the ‘Basket’ option at the lower portion of the dashboard.
All of my selected produce had been arranged and the total fee I would pay was also attached. By selecting checkout, I was directed to a payment portal that was powered by Paystack and prompted to enter my card details to conclude the purchase.
Some Pros and Cons
Some people might find the prices of some produce a bit on the high side. This means the store services the elite members of the public, not necessarily for everybody. Since the prices are set and the quantities encourage bulk purchases, Farmcrowdy’s food store does not cater to people who only want to make small purchases.
Another not-so-exciting feature of the service is the delivery time. For purchases, Farmcrowdy says it will deliver in 2 working days. First, that means that for purchases that are needed immediately or on that same day, the Farmcrowdy store is not an option to consider.
That also means that weekend purchases are not encouraged, because they will take a longer time to arrive. Shortening the delivery time will be a plus for users of the service.
On the good side, produce presentation follows the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get principle. It stimulates the visual experience that users would have gotten in a physical market. Yams, tomatoes, peppers and others are presented with clear images and described in the common local parlance that people are used to.
Depending on the drop-off location selected by the user, the foodstuff can be delivered to wherever the user wants it.
What Other users Said
There were some negative reviews on the Playstore which I looked out for in using the app. Gabriel Onojason said, “been trying to log in since I downloaded the app. It asks for my phone number. It said code would be sent to use in verifying my number. The code has not come until now.”
Some other reports have it that the app failed to open for use. However, I did not encounter any hiccup with the registration and the usage of the app.
The foray into e-commerce comes months after Farmcrowdy acquired Best Foods, a meat processing company in Nigeria, for an undisclosed amount.
Since 2016 when Farmcrowdy launched, it has made strides in the Agritech industry. In 2019, the startup struck a partnership with the Oyo State Government to support 50,000 small-scale farmers in the state.
With about 25,000 farmers in 14 states since its inception, Farmcrowdy has found a way to bring its network of farmers and their products together in the e-commerce venture that is Farmcrowdy Foods.
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