In the realm of e-commerce in Africa, achieving customer satisfaction is a paramount goal for Jumia. Yet, this pursuit can be challenging when the success of our platform hinges on the capabilities of vendors and sellers. Amidst Jumia’s various marketing initiatives, one campaign stands out as a game-changer, not only for customers but also for the sellers themselves: Jumia’s Black Friday.
Nonetheless, the journey to making Black Friday a transformative event for sellers in Africa has been laden with hurdles, each requiring innovative solutions.
Empowering Sellers Pre-Black Friday
A fundamental challenge was ensuring that sellers were well-informed about the upcoming Black Friday event. It was vital to convey how they could benefit, how to enrol, and the standards they must adhere to. To address this, we took a multifaceted approach. In addition to hosting a physical vendor conference before the event, we introduced a virtual option, ensuring accessibility for all sellers. Focusing on specific product categories allowed us to communicate the category-specific value that Black Friday could bring.
To further assist sellers, we provided a dynamic “hunting list” updated regularly to highlight the most sought-after Black Friday products. This strategic information aided sellers in deciding which products to prioritize and how enticing their offers should be. Beyond submitting offers to the unified Black Friday promotion in the seller centre, we empowered sellers to create campaign promotions tailored to user preferences.
Harmonizing Partners for Maximum Impact
Another significant challenge was managing the diverse array of partners, including competing brands in the same categories. How could we ensure that, for example, two electronics or beverage brands with opposing objectives achieve maximum sales during Black Friday?
Our approach involved engaging in open dialogues with partners to understand the uniqueness of their products and their business objectives. By discerning their target customer preferences, such as price-conscious shoppers or style-focused consumers, we could tailor their presence on our platform accordingly. This customization included offering various visibility options, from homepage features to dedicated catalogue pages. Partners could also choose supplementary displays through banners and widgets.
With an understanding of each brand’s visibility preferences, we analyzed the shopping patterns of their potential customers during Black Friday to optimize exposure and conversions. We carefully rotated the offers from competing brands with similar objectives, ensuring each brand reaped the most benefit from Black Friday.
Meeting the Operational Challenge
In the face of a surge in order volumes induced by Black Friday, we grappled with the pressure to match operational capacity. To counter this challenge, we expanded our distribution hub and scrutinized the performance of warehouses and delivery fleets, identifying underutilized assets. This optimization occurred alongside forecasting efforts, ensuring sufficient stock levels and the smooth flow of inbound and outbound items.
Our data-driven approach, rooted in previous and ongoing Black Friday order activity, allowed us to promptly scale up in areas like human resources and equipment when required.
The Impact of Black Friday Improvements on Sellers
The improvements we made have made it easier for sellers of all sizes to understand the benefits of Black Friday and enrol in a simpler, more tailored manner. Notably, we have seen a surge in the number of sellers joining Black Friday while it’s already in progress, yet still experiencing substantial boosts in sales.
Sellers have witnessed remarkable increases in revenue during Black Friday, with many of them sustaining a significant portion of this upswing even after the campaign. More critically, they have gained valuable insights into the correlation between visibility packages and sales, allowing them to strategically promote their offers.
For small-scale sellers in Africa, Black Friday has opened doors to reaching larger volumes of consumers without hefty investments in advertising or distribution scaling. Additionally, it has minimized errors caused by sudden spikes in activity, subsequently reducing returns.
In our quest to empower sellers, we strive to synchronize on-platform experience improvements with on-the-ground order fulfilment activities. Our team considers the build-up to Black Friday and the aftermath of the campaign, ensuring that sellers seamlessly enter this period, excel during the event, and sustain their success afterwards.
By Robert Awodu, Regional Head of Public Relations & Communication, Sub-Saharan Africa