索马里“触感”电子商务一炮而响

文章发表时间:2017-11-23 16:13:12

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Somalia's 'touch and feel' e-commerce hit

索马里“触感”电子商务一炮而响

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When Saed Mohamed, a young entrepreneur from Somalia, pitched his online shopping business Muraadso as part of an East African start-up competition in 2015, he was prepared for rejection.

赛德·穆罕默德是一名来自索马里的年轻企业家,在2015年开创了名为Muraadso的网购业务,这是他在东非初次开展的部分业务,并且他已经做好心理准备接受退货。

And rejection is what he got.

正是从退货中他得到了宝贵经验。

Abdigani Diriye, head of the Somalia-based accelerator, Innovate Ventures, which oversaw the competition, was not impressed.

索马里总部创新事业部负责监管市场竞争,该部门负责人Abdigani Diriye对此并不满意。

"We had a few applications from e-commerce start-ups and they just weren't really doing it for me," he told the BBC.

“我们接受过一些电子商务创业公司的申请,他们并不是真的在为我做这件事”他告诉BBC。

But Mr Mohamed and his team were not about to give up.

但是穆罕默德和他的团队没有打算放弃他们的创业。

"We have had a lot of rejections and we have learned to be persistent. We wouldn't take no for an answer," he says.

“我们收到很多退货申请,也从中学会了如何坚持,但是我们不达目的决不罢休”他说。

They did eventually get on the programme and ended up winning it.

他们最终按计划开展业务并取得了最后胜利。

"The irony is they went on to become the most successful start-up we took on," joked Mr Diriye.

“出人意料的是这个团队是我们接管的创业公司里做得最成功的一个”Diriye先生开玩笑说。

But the business they were pitching - a online store selling mainly electronics - "failed miserably" at first, admits Mr Mohamed.

穆罕默德先生不得不承认,他们创业的一家主营电子产品的网店起初做得很失败。

Users can see goods before they buy by visiting one of Muraadso's three offline stores

购买之前,购买者可以到Muraadso三家实体店中任意一家去体验。

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It seemed Somalia wasn't ready yet for online only. Perhaps this isn't surprising given that less than a third of its 14 million people are able to access the internet and few have bank accounts. It's an uphill struggle to get any online business off the ground.

这样看来索马里还没有准备好只接受网上购物,这也并不为奇,因为索马里1400万人口不到三分之一的人可以连上网络,开立银行账户的人数也很少,这让网购业务落地生根困难重重。

So he looked to how Western retailers were combining offline and online sales to revive the flagging brand.

因此他调查了西方零售商如何融合线下和线上销售,让几近消失的品牌重返市场的。

"The hybrid model is the thing right now. Amazon has opened a physical store and Walmart and other traditional retailers are acquiring e-commerce sites," he told the BBC.

“这种混合模式正是我们需要关注的事情,亚马逊设了实体店,沃尔玛和其他传统零售商正在申请电子商务平台”他告诉BBC。

Muraadso did the same and "sales sky-rocketed," he said.

他说:”Muraadso沿用这种模式,销售量大幅增长了”

Opening bricks and mortar stores in three different cities meant that potential buyers could go and touch the goods first before committing to buying them.

在三个不同的城市开立实体店,意味着潜在客户在选购商品前可以去实体店先体验一番。

The site offers traditional home deliveries and flexible ways to pay, including cash on delivery.

网店提供了传统的送货上门服务和货到付款等快捷的支付方式。

Amazon opened a physical bookstore in Seattle in November, 2015

Many purchase are made via mobile money transfer service, Zaad, which operates in a similar way to Kenya's famous M-Pesa platform.

2015年9月,亚马逊将一家实体店设在美国西雅图。很多购买者通过移动支付平台Zaad来交易,Zaad支付平台类似于肯尼亚流行的M-Pesa支付平台。

Zaad has an 80% market share in Somalia, charging no fees to send or withdraw money, but making its money instead from offering extra services and mobile airtime.

Zaad支付平台占索马里市场份额达80%,在支付或提现时不收取任何手续费,只收取额外服务费和移动通话费。

"The hybrid model wasn't a concept that I was familiar with, but Muraadso started implementing it late last year and they have been growing ever since, going from a three-man team to employing dozens and looking to raise another round of funding," says Mr Diriye.

Diriye先生说“我对这种混合模式不熟悉,去年年底这种模式开始应用于Muraadso,从那以后规模不断扩大,从三人团队增加到十几人的团队,并有望筹集新一轮的融资。”

E-commerce in Somalia is nascent, and across Africa generally, online shopping remains niche, says Matthew Reed, a consultant at research firm Ovum.

目前在索马里电子商务初具雏形,并逐步向整个非洲扩展,网上购物依然难以普及,Ovum咨询顾问公司咨询员马修·里德如是说。

"Many people are still living on desperately low incomes, so e-commerce is really just for the middle classes. And there are other big challenges for e-commerce firms, not just in Somalia," he says.

他说:”许多人仍处于收入水平低端,电子商务实际上只针对中层收入的群体。这对电子商务公司是另一大挑战,不止在索马里是这样。“

Terrorism, drought and famine have hampered Somalia's technological progress

恐怖主义、长期干旱和饥荒是限制索马里科技发展的因素。

Chief among them is lack of infrastructure - both decent roads that enable quick and efficient deliveries, and the telecoms infrastructure that allows people to access the platforms in the first place.

其中最重要的原因是基础设施不完善-道路设施破旧不堪,缺乏快速高效的交通运输以及缺乏电信设施,无法使人们在第一时间登入网购平台。

But things are changing.

但是这种状况正在发生改变。

Millions in Africa have bypassed traditional telephone landlines and leapt straight to mobile - the oft-quoted "leapfrog" effect. According to mobile body the GSMA, there will be 725 million unique mobile subscribers on the continent by 2020.

几百万非洲民众没有选择使用传统的固话方式,而是直接采用移动通讯-这就是人们常说的”跳蛙“效应。根据全球移动通信系统协会介绍,到2020年大陆上独立手机用户将达到7.25亿。

And Somalia is benefiting from this improved connectivity.

索马里正得益于日益完善的网络互联互通。

In 2013, fibre optic firm Liquid Telecom connected the East African country to its 17,000km (10,500 mile) network of cables that already crosses 11 other African countries.

在2013年,光线公司Liquid Telecom将东非国家连接到已覆盖非洲其他11个国家的17000米光纤网络中。

"There is increasing connectivity, mobile is increasingly widely available, and more of that is data-enabled with the increase of 3G and 4G networks," says Mr Reed.

里德说:“随着网络联通日益增加,移动通信工具越来越被广泛使用,并且多数通信工具是通过3G 和 4G网络的普及来实现数据传输功能的。”


原文地址:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41497345


Flora Wang | 从业3年

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