While the frenzy around shopping on Black Friday and the entirety of the holiday shopping season is often dominated by the big brands everyone knows about and which are traditionally known for offering various discounts, who says that the small shops should be left behind?
Indeed, that is the thinking behind Goby, a new e-commerce experience that has rolled out in Kenya over the last few days and which is now available to all Kenyans to give a try.
The experience is two-fold.
You could be a local entrepreneur who’s looking to cash in on the holiday shopping craze by offering customers of your existing business discounts on whatever wares it is that you sell. Or you could be just starting out but with not much in the way of resources to go about executing your entry into the online marketplace.
Even better, like most of us, you could be just out there looking for good deals on good products you may not necessarily find on the sites of big-name stores. You know, the kind of deals and products you would occasionally run into while browsing Facebook or Instagram.
Whichever the kind of person you are, you are on Goby’s radar.
For the seller/merchant
For the sellers, all that one needs is the Goby app which is available on the Google Play Store.
The entire experience, at least on the part of the seller, is mobile-centred. One can only enlist their business on Goby via the mobile application, at the moment. As is the case with anything mobile, that experience is a breeze. A few minutes in and you’ve listed your business and can go about adding items.
The best part is what comes after. The application’s backend, which is what the seller has access to after registration, incorporates an order management system which makes most of the tasks the seller needs to handle easily. They can see when customers make orders, which at this point are then marked as pending. Those orders that have been processed and handled are marked as such while those that for one reason or the other are cancelled, can be viewed from the “Cancelled Orders” tab.
From the dashboard, a seller can view their revenue based on the sales they have been able to make. Sales numbers are reflected in real-time and, according to the people behind the app, a seller’s money is available to them almost immediately. There is no 1 week or 1-month wait.
Sellers also have the ability to communicate with their customers right from the app. No need to copy numbers then fire up a messaging application in order to be able to do so. The message is then delivered to the customer as a text message. Sellers can also send broadcasts to customers.
The one thing that a seller needs to have in mind is that there is a Kshs 300 per month fee which kicks in to take care of their online store’s hosting. This fee can be settled through the “License Payments” tab in the app via M-Pesa.
For the customer
For the buyer looking to save a few coins, the Goby app, currently available only on Android, won’t be where you start your retail journey either this month during the Black Friday sales window or in subsequent months as you shop for whatever it is that you need.
What you need is simply a link to the particular store you want to shop from and you can use a browser of your choice on a device of your choice (mobile, desktop) and you are good to go. From being able to sample the items as displayed on the particular shop’s Goby storefront to checking out and paying via mobile money (M-Pesa).
Here is a number of storefronts powered by Goby that you can sample this Black Friday (best viewed on your smartphone):
Check out more deals here.
Or you can hit the link below and register your own shop from your smartphone and start selling something on your own.