There are a growing number of ecommerce companies adopting an against-the-grain business model. Instead of the standard method of orders being placed via a dedicated app or website and a courier service making the deliveries, these companies are taking a simple, low tech approach. Delivery Ka Speed is a South African fast food delivery service which uses Whatsapp as its ordering mechanism and electric scooters to save fuel costs. Google Maps has not adequately mapped out certain areas so local drivers make it possible to deliver to these places.
Why is it important?
There are many low-income informal communities in countries around the world who do not benefit from the convenience of on-demand delivery. Many of these residents use Whatsapp as their primary means of communication. They live in areas where addresses are not recognised by Google Maps and they are still heavily reliant on cash. This business model addresses these constraints and allows these communities to enjoy the many benefits of on-demand shopping. For businesses, it enables access to a demographic that has been overlooked for ecommerce.
What can businesses do about it?
The low income segment of society is of considerable size and there is a demand for ecommerce solutions for the products and services they use. Retail businesses can consider serving this demographic as an additional source of revenue. For entrepreneurs, this represents a business opportunity. The recent Facebook outage, however, demonstrates that it’s wise to include other forms of ordering that don’t solely rely on third party platforms. eButler is a local grocery delivery platform with up to 25% discount on popular brands which customers can order through both Whatsapp and its own website.
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By Faeeza Khan
Image credit: Artem Podrez