Over the last one week, I have asked some heads of Nigerian large companies on what they expect to move their household consumer goods to ecommerce platforms like Konga and Jumia.
The main thing I am hearing is that they expect to have a dedicated space in these platforms which will be under their controls. In other words, they want a clearly defined and dedicated digital store, just as you have in physical malls. They will hold the digital key and can brand as they want in that space. Consider something like konga.com/brand-name where that page showcases exclusively what that brand offers with no other brand therein.
My probing is not scientific. But if you are building an ecommerce business, I will recommend that you consider a structure where companies can create dedicated malls in your platform. Their goods will not be mixed with others. When people go to their corners in your platform, they see only products from the specific brands.
One of the leaders noted that pricing and brand protections are key factors. They do not want to degrade their brands by lumping some products in the same search outcomes or categories. By giving them a space, they own their spaces and will not be mixed with other brands. One told me that they do not sell in some physical malls because they wanted to be classy. But by going digital and be commoditized, they lose identity.
I do not know what will work. Nevertheless, I do not see any risk asking the big brands to pay a special fee to give them a dedicated page while making sure their products do not mix with others if they so desire. Getting ecommerce right in Africa will require many phases of experimentation. Apparently some do not want their brands to appear alongside a local soap brand.
Yet, these companies do want to expand and are very ready to go online provided someone will handle the logistics while they drive the online sales.