For a British startup we designed a reputation ranking system based on a payment gateway
Social media platforms such as Facebook Groups and WhatsApp are rapidly emerging as informal marketplaces in African markets such as Nigeria and Kenya. Expanding the conventional definition of e-commerce, these enterprising merchants engage and build communities of followers who are also their customers and advocates promoting their goods and services. Both B2B and B2C segments are active, though product categories vary in traction.
The Problem: A merchant’s reputation was the sum total of their performance over time and managing this critical aspect of establishing trust remotely online in a market accustomed to the face to face bargaining in the open market was considered the “double edged sword” of operating in the digital space. Further, merchants used a variety of communication platforms with the same prospective customer as the relationship developed from simple interest in purchase price through to completing the sale with home delivery.
Exploratory and Indepth Research: For informing product development and market entry strategy we conducted 16 indepth interviews with both merchants and their customer. In addition, we visited key offline markets and shops for a market survey to gather insights on e-commerce. Our representative sampling included experts from formal e-commerce platforms. The final selection of end-user profiles for indepth interviews was made after an initial exploratory exercise.
Our Solution: A platform agnostic solution that integrated all elements of the merchant’s activity related to the customer acquisition lifecycle, from response rates to initial contact all the way through to successful transaction completion. This was then used to rank merchant reputation with iconography that could be shared by the merchant on her various pages and social media profiles.