Adekola has around 18 years enterprise information technology architecture, design and management experience gained working within the global supply chain logistics, e-commerce and consulting sectors.
HumanIPO: Why did you decide to launch shopistry.com.ng and what market is it targeting?
Adekola: Shopistry is much more than just a site. As the BrandNubians e-commerce software as a service (SaaS) business unit, it is designed to provide cost effective robust e-commerce solutions to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.
It simplifies business and technical challenges, such as technical development, integration for payment gateway, delivery logistics for SME businesses opening them up to a new channel of revenue hassle-free.
It is bridging the gap for SMEs who cannot afford to pay significant development, infrastructure and payment gateway integration fees.
There are so many e-commerce sites going live in Nigeria weekly. What makes Shopistry.com.ng different?
Being an end-to-end e-commerce service provider, Shopistry quite importantly allows SMEs to build sustainable long term direct relationships with their customer base using their own portal on the Shopistry platform, thus, all branding and customer relationship is the SMEs’.
Obviously this direct relationship with the customer is requisite for long term strategic
business success. This is what a marketplace cannot give an SME business, since this is good for short term sales revenue rather than revolving door customer patronage.
How can small startups and other businesses really benefit from it?
The value proposition is straightforward.
Significantly reduced cost and technical barriers for entry into the e-commerce channel, thus making it easy for SME to rapidly expand nationally and internationally.
In addition Shopistry offers tailored e-commerce solutions ensuring that contextual business processes and models have been pre-integrated into the solution as opposed to making it a one size fits all “badly” solution.
Our rich feature list is testament to the fact we see e-commerce as a real business with real requirements such as customer management, financial reporting, stock management, promotions and discounts all pre-integrated based on business context into our eCommerce sites.
Have you worked on any other e-commerce project before?
We currently have a very successful product B2C e-commerce business unit called BrandNubians.com which has been providing quality fashion products to the entire Nigerian country for close to a year.
Our streamlined technology solution and efficient processes allow us to deliver all orders successfully in 90 per cent of geographical Nigeria within the next business day.
Mobile optimisation is always an issue because a large number of internet users in Nigeria do so via mobile handheld devices. What plans are there to capitalise on this?
Mobile optimisation is not an issue for us. As part of selected service packages we render full mobile sites for our SME customers. In addition all our portlet templates are pre-optimised for smartphones as part of development and testing processes.
What strategies are you implementing to safeguard businesses from hackers, and visitors from phony transactions?
Security will always be one of our paramount concerns and we adopt a full lifecycle approach to it, continually evaluating and preventing security threats before they occur.
We utilise enterprise tools like SSL, daily enterprise portal scans, robust checkout and payment gateway security to ensure the security and authenticity of all transactions across our e-commerce platform.
What's the maximum number of businesses that Shopistry can support?
Maximum? We have a scalable solution as such can scale to support thousands of e-commerce portals without a blip.
We leverage a robust private cloud based solution that provides us a robust infrastructure architecture able to scale significantly on a utility basis.
Studying the e-commerce market, what do you think the sub-sector still needs for development?
E-commerce in Africa is still infantile, thus there is still a lot of scope for development.
Key noteworthy areas are consumer online trust, international logistics, cross national payment gateway solutions and traditional general SME business operation costs.
When will Shopistry be fully launched?
The service is in soft launch with our electronic and fashion e-commerce solutions for three months, after which we will launch mainstream with all our service offerings.
How many companies are on board now?
We are working with circa 35 companies as part of the soft launch.