Digital Down Low: December 2nd
Online sales in Africa reach new highs despite recession
- According to TechCrunch, Africa’s two leading e-commerce startups, Jumia and Konga, topped their 2015 Black Friday merchandise sales in Nigeria—even as the country weathers currency volatility and recession. The shopping spree of the continent’s most populous nation has become a de facto test event for each venture’s business model. Collectively backed by over $400 million in VC funding, both Konga and Jumia are competing to bring online sales to the masses in a region still lacking many of the requisites for doing e-commerce.
- Even so, the development of digital shopping is barreling forward while reshaping the consumer landscape in Africa’s largest economy. “Black Friday as an event in Nigeria was actually brought by e-commerce. It’s now become a big adoption campaign,” said Jumia CEO Sacha Poignonnec. “The buzz around online promotions is leading many Nigerians to participate in their first Black Friday sales as they simultaneously make first e-commerce purchases.” While Nigerian Black Friday’s deepest discounts fell on November 25, many online retailers started promos the week before and are extending sales into the December holiday period.
- Konga launched its Yakata—or “utterly falling”—sales campaign on November 18, offering large markdowns on items ranging from microwaves to gaming consoles. The site significantly exceeded its 2015 Black Friday numbers. “Last year we did over 1 billion Naira ($ 5 million) in sales for the period. This year for Yakata and the 25th we did 3.5 billion Naira in sales and processed 155,000 total orders,” said Konga CEO Shola Adekoya. While Jumia was not able to provide its exact 2016 Black Friday sales figures, the company expects that it surpassed 2015’s order volume of 140,000 and confirmed 7.5 million website visitors compared to last year’s 2.3 million. To handle the increased Black Friday volume, both Konga and Jumia have been expanding their online, payments, and logistics capabilities since 2012, when both were founded in Nigeria.
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Snaps acceptance letters
- According to Mashable, schools are keeping with current cool-teen culture, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is accepting new students in the hippest way it knows how: through Snapchat. As a UW admissions counselor tells local WBAY, in addition to traditional acceptance letters, this year’s accepted students also receive congratulatory Snaps sent straight to their smartphones.
- Jena Richter Landers, a UW-Green Bay social media specialist, says students will often send back “excited selfies” after they’ve viewed their acceptance Snap. It’s also become the first place where students learn they’ve been accepted, as most still have to wait on admissions packets sent through the mail.
- “They would definitely get a snap before they’d get their mail packet,” Katelyn Santy, who works in the university’s admissions office, said. “Students get the snaps pretty immediately because it’s a place where they are they spend a lot of time there.” The university said it is able to see when a student sees its message and so far students are excited.
Businesses of all sizes are spending with Facebook to acquire new customers
- According to Marketing Land, a new report from Borrell Associates, nearly 80% of local businesses have a Facebook page, and 62% are buying Facebook ads. It also estimates there are in excess of 2.5 million US businesses paying for ads or boosted posts on Facebook, spending on average $1,500 per year.
- The survey population consists of a mix of US businesses, a subset of which qualify as small businesses. However, some of the respondents represent larger-spending advertisers, with annual media and marketing budgets of more than $100,000.
- Among the survey population, 85% reported having a presence on at least one social media site. Of those, 96% were on Facebook, followed by Twitter. Interestingly, Snapchat is not on the list (it may not have been one of the choices). The report also explores social media adoption by vertical and advertiser category. For example, 94% of auto dealers said they had a Facebook Page, and 82% were buying ads. In addition, 92% of cable TV advertisers had a Facebook presence, and 78% were buying Facebook ads. Social media is ranked by Borrell survey respondents as the third “best source” of new customers, with referrals (word of mouth) and websites as the top two sources. Interestingly, paid search advertising and SEO did not appear on the list.