The Next Frontier In Digital Integration and How Small Businesses Can Harness The Growth Potential: Introducing MadeIn!
Intra African trade currently stands at 15%, the lowest across the globe. With the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the plan is for the seamless flow of goods and services amongst the participating countries, leading to increased trading amongst countries.
There’s a wave of hope and excitement about what this would mean for the future of MSMEs across the continent as result.
With the reduced tariffs and other barriers to the flow of goods and services, the biggest hurdle for small businesses would be building visibility around their product offerings.
Consumers on the other hand would have an increased appetite to know what’s available on the market across the board and the quality of the said products.
At the intersection of these two opportunities lies a nascent sector that is yet to be fully tapped.
According to a recent GeoPoll survey, 32% of shoppers in Africa buy their products through social media. Interesting numbers from business.com show that social proof is a real metric for businesses with an online presence as 77% of people read online reviews before buying a product.
With more people spending their time on social media than anywhere else on the internet, the rise of social commerce as a digitisation trend is reshaping how brands and consumers interact with each other online.
At Spurt! We are always looking to amplify solutions to critical and specific problems in Sub Saharan Africa. As we continue to center the work of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa, we are also committed to helping these businesses harness all possible avenues that will aid their growth.
We recently launched an initiative called MadeIn! That will be at the forefront of helping small businesses with uniquely made in Africa products connect with their consumers online.
MadeIn! will utilise Instagram as the platform for sourcing reviews from different consumers of made in Africa products across the continent. The reviews will follow a 10 step checklist that will look at the following critical information: the name of the brand under review, its country of origin, the type of product, availability, quality among other critical areas all consolidated with a unique MadeIn! Score that will give users a wealth of information about the product.
Why Is MadeIn! Important?
With over 170 million active social media users in Africa, there’s more synergies and benefits to be realised from digital initiatives like MadeIn! In a recent interview with the UN’s Renewal, on why digital trade is the next big thing in Africa, the newly appointed AfCFTA Secretariat Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene, underscored the importance of leveraging existing digital platforms to enable small businesses to access distant markets.
While bringing much-needed visibility to Made in Africa consumer products, MadeIn! Will also enable businesses utilise customer feedback to improve their products while creating an avenue for improvement of their customer experiences through continued online engagement.
The platform brings forth a much-needed opportunity for co-creation amongst different stakeholders. A great emblem of success for the initiative would be the number of reviews from as many people as possible from different parts of the continent.
As the next generation of MSMEs realise the full advantage of integrated markets, reviewers who are passionate about bringing the best of the best consumer products to the foray will play a critical role in building these businesses.
Don’t just sit there, African businesses are waiting for you. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can be part of this.
You can check out the MadeIn! Reviews through our official Instagram page here.