Digital Marketing App to boost sales for Kisumu entrepreneurs

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Kisumu entrepreneurs were all smiles as innovators launched a digital App to boost sales of their products and services.

The App baptised ExclussApp is an online marketplace has been designed for juakali artisans and skill sets to showcase, and sell their products, such as furniture, jewellery, pottery, paintings, clothes, among others.

The initiative was developed by Fablab Winam in partnership with GFA Consulting Group and GIZ Kenya.

“The platform will provide artisans with marketing services, enhance their competitiveness, and expand their market reach, ultimately contributing to their economic empowerment,” Martin Oloo, Founder Fablab Winam

He noted that the user-friendly platform was designed following engagements with the entrepreneurs who reported challenges with access to market for their products.

 “We have adequately sensitized the artisans as part of the research and understanding of their needs. A lot of the features are their suggestion and this is their thing. Globally, there are no E-commerce apps meant for this sector and this a diverse group,” said Tairus Ooyi, a Software Engineer and Lead Developer.

Value for money

Ooyi said that the app is optimized and can operate in any application, any feature mobile phone or smartphone, allowing users to easily opt in and post their products.

He said the app boasts of salient features like Easy Onboarding which involves a simple and easy setup process which allows artisans to quickly showcase their work and establish their online presence.

“We want the artisans to post the actual products they have made without editing, downloaded or photo-shopped from other websites or the internet. This is a very important aspect that the customers would like to interact with this platform,’’ he said.

He added: “We are working in collaboration with the Jua Kali Associations to ensure that whatever product a seller has uploaded meets certain standards verified by our Quality and Assessment team before it is posted live for the buyers.”

We want the artisans to post the actual products they have made without editing, downloaded or photo-shopped from other websites or the internet. This is a very important aspect that the customers would like to interact with this platform

Tirus Ooyi, a Software Engineer and Lead Developer

The app has a Streamlined Storefront Management where the artisans can manage their inventory, pricing, and promotions directly through the app.

To improve on quality tests, the innovators are looking forward to bringing onboard the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other government agencies.

To ensure a smooth buying experience for the customers, ExclussApp has developed a safe and Secure Payment Process by partnering with a licensed and regulated financial provider-Central Bank of Kenya.

“The customer’s money is held until he gets his purchased product and that is when we release it to the seller,” Ooyi clarified.

The Curated Product Browsing section easily allows customers to discover unique items through intuitive search functions and personalized recommendations.

As mechanics, once you are online, anyone who needs your services can easily contact you. Many of us will get an opportunity to get exposed as most of us don’t have smartphones

George Ong’uono, Chairman Somali Juakali Artisans

Kudzai Maraire Mubaiwa, Team Leader GFA Consulting Group  said; “As part of our e Sky Project, we look into strengthening Kenya’s intermediaries in the ecosystem. We have singled out 15 local subsidies within the country whom we can support with the equivalent of about 10,000 Euro (Sh1,437,589).”

She said that they are keen on digitizing specific products or developing a particular product that will solve a difficult problem. The app will help the juakali and support their market linkages.

The artisans she observed will be able to do their work and trade at any time any day of the week. The partnership will aid in creating business startups and SMEs in the local community for business empowerment.

George Ong’uono, Chairman Somali Juakali Artisans group lauded the partnership with Fablab which will enable their products to get easy online markets.

“As mechanics, once you are online, anyone who needs your services can easily contact you. Many of us will get an opportunity to get exposed as most of us don’t have smartphones,’’ Ong’uono indicated.

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