Tag Archives: informal retail

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in […]

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Snapshot of the Dynamics of the Urban Informal Retail Trade in Nairobi, Kenya

Latiff Cherono quickly made up this diagram during a brainstorming session with Francis Hook and myself on the ways and means to further disaggregate the general category of “Informal wholesale and retail trade” that the Kenya National Statistics Board uses to lump together the second largest sector providing employment in Kenya after agriculture. In urban […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, urban, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Implicit Assumptions commonly held about Informal Markets

“Informal Economy” always means illegal, shadowy, gray. High volume of low value cash transactions imply poverty, ignorance, lack of sophisticated money management. Operating with a lack of infrastructure and institutions implies ignorance, lack of ambitions and aspirations, and motivation. Lack of cash implies lack of purchasing power – particularly in rural settings. Lack of formal […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Research Question: Why is the informal retail sector so persistent and resilient?

Retailing in India is currently estimated to be a USD 200 billion industry, of which organised retailing makes up 3% or USD 6.4 billion. By 2010, organized retail is projected to reach USD 23 billion and in terms of market share it is expected to rise by 20 to 25%. (Sinha et all, 2007) These […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, Ghana, global, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Marketing, Perspective, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Risk, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Indian Strategy for the African Consumer Market

One of the most high-profile events Kenya has hosted since independence begins this week when heads of state from across Africa and the Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe jet in for the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD). It will be the first time that Ticad has been held outside Japan and […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Emerging Markets, India, Informal & Flexible, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Risk, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The hidden cost of doing business #informaleconomy

This looks like its a low cost business operation with low barriers to entry. All you need to do is find a decent tree under which to display your wares. The reality is that these entrepreneurs have numerous fees and costs that they must pay in order to do business, regardless of how informal it […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Economy, Expenses, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Risk, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What marketing 101 can teach development practitioners and academics

The entire universe of people with an unmet need that you expect your solution to fulfill is not your target audience. The fundamentals of market analysis include the basic calculations that allow marketing managers of all stripes to calculate (guesstimate) their potential market size, and thus a realistic assessment of its value. That is their […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frugality, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Perspective, Retail in Africa | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Purchasing Patterns in Cash Based Markets and Informal Economy

When cash flow is irregular and not always unpredictable, both in amount and frequency, such as it is for the majority earning a living in the informal economy, buyer behavior is not quite the same as for mainstream consumers with access to credit cards and regular paychecks. I’ve quite often made reference to how operating primarily […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking bulk and profiting at the margins

Michael sent me this information from Nairobi last week. He’d spotted informal retail within the context of a mini-supermarket – known as traditional trade in the jargon of consumer product distribution and retail. He adds, “So 500 ml of Rina cooking oil retails for 120KES, 1 litre for 195 KES. What the owner of this […]

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Introducing Mama Biashara

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) released a women’s report with some eye opening figures. Simply put, African women lead the world in being their own boss. Mama Biashara’s business activities may perhaps be more driven by livelihood need and few alternatives but she’s not sitting around looking for a handout either. Pillar of the informal […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business, Economy, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment