Stocktake: Cutting grocery spend for Africa’s consumers
A Kenyan online, community, bulk-buying platform for groceries aims to cut grocery spend by as much as 60% for consumers.Monday, 25 Apr 2022
A Kenyan online, community, bulk-buying platform for groceries aims to cut grocery spend by as much as 60% for consumers.
Tushop raises $3m to scale community group-buying in Kenya
Tushop, the Kenyan social-commerce platform that enables communities in Nairobi to buy groceries more cheaply, with free delivery, has secured $3 million in a pre-seed funding round, led by 4DX Ventures, a Pan-Africa Focused Venture Capital Firm. This is with participation from JAM Fund, Breyer Capital, Chandaria Capital, TO Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, FirstCheck Africa, and DFS Lab. Wasoko (formerly Sokowatch) also joined to make its first strategic institutional investment into Tushop, signalling confidence in the team’s ability to capture the community group-buying opportunity in Africa. The oversubscribed round included additional participation from a number of angel investors. Tushop is a community group-buying company based in Kenya. Its mission is to enable Africans to spend no more than 10% of their income on food. Tushop sources directly from suppliers, leading to lower prices of groceries compared to local retailers, by cutting through middlemen in the supply chain and passing the savings on to the consumer. Community group-buying saves consumers up to 60% on groceries compared to buying in supermarkets, dukas, or at “mama mbogas”, while providing the added convenience of free delivery. Kenyans on average spend 46% of their income on food (compared to 6% in America, 22% in China, and 16% in Brazil); and while community group-buying is still nascent, the market has enormous potential, as Africans spend $260 billion annually, on food.
Innovocean on track to begin OOH roll-out at V&A
Innovocean, a joint venture between Tractor Outdoor and Reveel, was awarded the exclusive advertising rights for the V&A Waterfront and aims to create new digital opportunities for brands, using futuristic technology paired with aesthetic designs and new signage infrastructure. Ben Harris, Tractor MD explains: “By integrating mobile location data with heatmaps overplayed across the mall environment, Innovocean was able to better interrogate which zones saw the highest footfall, and plot our roll-out accordingly.” Harris adds that every single DOOH screen will be fitted with a camera and state-of-the art facial recognition technology, whilst adhering to all data privacy laws. “This will allow us to tell advertisers not only how many consumers were exposed to their advertisements, but also the gender and age category that those consumers fall within. The technology even allows us to gauge and report on the mood of a consumer, based on their facial expressions — something which is now possible, thanks to the recent relaxing of Covid laws that required masks to be worn when outdoors.”
South Africans less exposed to QR code fraud
Quick Response or QR codes saw a rapid uptick in usage during Covid as consumers looked for a simple and truly contactless method of payment. Unfortunately, news out of the US spoke of how scammers were covering QR codes with stickers bearing QR codes they had generated at parking booms, restaurants and other places where static QR codes were being used to commit QR fraud. Instead of scanning and paying the legitimate merchant, unwitting customers were being directed to scammers’ webpages where customers were asked to input their card details. South African consumers, who are generally pretty savvy when it comes to mobile payments, have also shown some caution when it comes to using scan to pay options in new environments, such as tipping car guards in some of our larger shopping centres. Fortunately, as Brett White, CEO of Zapper explains, the South Africa QR environment is fairly mature and enjoys an excellent security track record. “Shoppers should always be wary of engaging with brands they don’t know or trust, but if they are using a trusted app to scan the QR code they should be fine. Most popular local QR payment apps have built in security measures to ensure that the QR code you are scanning to pay is legitimate. If you are scanning a code with our app, we’re not going to invoke our payment experience on a QR code that we don’t trust or understand. If you happen to scan a known but unsupported QR code, the app will inform you that we don’t recognise the QR code and we won’t allow you to proceed with a payment. If you scan an unknown URL based QR code we will redirect you to the website – but do be wary of the authenticity of the site, especially if the site is asking you to enter card details into a web form,” he says.
Amazon is raising fees for sellers on its marketplace as it passes on inflationary pressures. From May 12, fulfilment fees for Amazon Marketplace sellers in the UK and the EU will be hit with a “fuel and inflation surcharge” of 4.3%. The levy applies to Fulfilment by Amazon sellers that use Amazon’s logistics network for delivery. Amazon imposed a similar 5% fee rise in the USA this month. The increases come despite Amazon’s total net profits having almost tripled to $33.4bn (£26bn) over the past two years.
Supply chain disruptions in China continue as harsh Covid lockdowns remain in place in affected areas. Apple is the latest brand to be affected. Considering how half of the 200 Apple suppliers in China have facilities in and around areas subject to lockdown, experts foresee that the disruptions will only further threaten the tech giant’s global supply chains. For starters, highways and ports in China are jammed while countless factories are left idle, in what is considered the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country since 2020.
Eyes are on the tech platforms and their earnings reports over the next couple of weeks, with Alphabet’s search business expected to fare ok, compared with social platforms feeling the pain from Apple’s privacy changes. Google is treading that thin line between keeping on the right side of privacy laws while maintaining some status quo with its data collection. In Europe, after a wrist slap from the French data watchdog, the tech giant has tweaked its cookie consent messages (and we all know that consent pop-ups are a bone of contention).
*Additional sources: AdWeek, Total Retail Report, Kantar, Onclusive, CMO Council.
The relentless news cycle of unyielding disaster and economic woes is staggering and almost unreal at times. How will future generations decode these past couple of years of pandemic, plague, and now floods?
This week in numbers
In South Africa 60% of people believe bots will succeed where humans have failed with corporate sustainability. According to a new study by Oracle and Pamela Rucker, CIO advisor and instructor for Harvard Professional Development, consumers and business leaders across 15 countries, including South Africa, found that people are fed up with the lack of progress society is making towards sustainability and social initiatives. They want businesses to turn talk into action and believe technology can help businesses succeed where people have failed. The global study found that 98% of people believe society has not made enough progress on sustainability and social efforts; and 87% of people in SA are frustrated and fed up with the lack of progress made by businesses.
QUOTE of the week:
“Should brands trend on popular social media platforms? Should their campaigns even need to go viral to achieve brand objectives? It’s time to look at brand strategy and brand values,” says Craig Hannabus, Strategy Director at Rogerwilco, on Retailing Africa.
Main image credit: Innovocean.
*Stocktake is a weekly roundup of current FMCG retailing and brand news, curated and edited by Retailing Africa Publisher & Editor, Louise Burgers. Keep the industry updated and send your announcements and news to: email@example.com.
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