E-commerce has seen a lot of embrace/usage over the years, but the increasing activities of people on social media platforms have seen the emergence of thousands of social commerce players (businesses that sell on towards social media).
In response, EDeyShop (launched in April 2020) created a solution that enables businesses intelligently source for customers on Whatsapp. The company has a Whatsapp Bot named Cynthia that made the process a bit of fun.
Using EDeyShop to search for products
I visited the website, which has an appealing mix of blue and white colours interface. On the site, the products are not listed out like you will find on platforms like Jumia. Users are encouraged to search for products using the website or Whatsapp. I opted to search on Whatsapp, and added the bot’s contact to my phone.
I searched for drinks in Ojota, and Cynthia responded with a curated list from EDeyShop’s registered merchant as well as from others on the web, but there were no vendors from Ojota listed.
The results also had no Whatsapp link attached to any of the vendors.
I did another search for Ankara in Ikeja, and got interesting results. Because Ankara is a broad keyword, I got results ranging from Ankara to face masks to stores selling Ankara fabric. The list also had vendors who were located quite far from Ikeja.
For instance, Okota is 21.5km away from Ikeja and a vendor from Ojota appeared on the search result.
The startup has about 200 vendors registered so far. The distances between the location of interest and the location of available vendors would be a challenge to would-be users.
EDeyShop does not have provision for delivery services yet, and customers have to pick up products themselves or possibly arrange for delivery with the vendor.
Most of the vendors who showed up in my search for Ankara had the links to their respective Whatsapp pages attached. This made it easy for me to follow up immediately and reach out to the vendor.
In place of Whatsapp Business accounts, some of the links went to the personal accounts of the vendors which made me question how established and structured the business really is.
To complete the purchase, you can either have to buy on the EDeyShop platform or finish the discussion with the vendor via a phone call or Whatsapp chat if the link is included.
It seems EDeyShop is not affected whichever way users want to finalize the deal because vendors pay to be listed on the platform, and do not pay commission on their sales.
Getting more customers on EDeyShop as a merchant
Vendors can join the platform from the Become a merchant option. I tried it out and found that there are two plans available for vendors currently. The plans are Lite; and Pro. Vendors can manage their online shops from the EDeyShop’s android app.
The Lite plan costs #1,500 per month, allows a vendor to list a maximum of 100 items, and add 1 address. It provides inventory management and offline record of sales.
The vendor’s products are listed for Whatsapp and Web search, and the vendor is provided with a dashboard to manage the reports, and list items.
The Pro plan allows the vendor to list up to 1000 products and manage customers. According to the EDeyShop website, it costs #5000 per location per month, however, it also allows people to manage multiple locations. More than one person is allowed to manage the Pro account.
What the e-commerce company really sells is trust and the feeling of proximity. Whatsapp has a homey feel that is not associated with e-commerce platforms like Jumia and Konga.
Finding a vendor for what you want on Whatsapp makes the vendor/business feel a lot closer to you. Being able to reach out to them instils a level of confidence because the seller can be traced.
You should check out here: EDeyShop.
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