27 Jul

MallforAfrica and DHL launch MarketPlaceAfrica.com, a global e-commerce site

DHL-MallforAfrica

MallforAfrica and DHL are giving African merchants a global stage. This week the online retailer and delivery giant launch MarketPlaceAfrica.com: an e-commerce site for select African artisans to sell wares to buyers in any of DHL’s 220 delivery countries. The site will prioritize fashion items — clothing, bags, jewelry, footwear and personal care — and crafts, such as pictures and carvings.

MallforAfrica is vetting sellers for MarketPlace Africa online and through the Africa Made Product Standards association (AMPS), to verify made-in-Africa status and merchandise quality.

“We’re starting off in Nigeria and then we’ll open in KenyaRwanda and the rest of Africa, utilizing DHL’s massive network,” MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan told TechCrunch about where the goods will be sourced. “People all around the world can buy from African artisans online, that’s the goal,” said Folayan.

Current listed designer products include handbags from Chinwe Ezenwa and Tash women’s outfits by Tasha Goodwin.

Read more: MallforAfrica and DHL launch MarketPlace Africa global e-commerce site

06 Oct

DHL and MallforAfrica team up to further cross-border e-commerce

World’s international express services provider DHL Express has announced its partnership with MallforAfrica, the award-winning global e-commerce company, which will facilitate selling of made-in-Africa products to customers in the United States.

Businesses can do so via the eBay platform powered by MallforAfrica. Through this partnership, DHL locations will serve as drop-off points for products destined for consumers in the United States. This will be the first time businesses in Africa can sell their locally manufactured products directly on eBay.

DHL Express currently handles inbound express delivery for MallforAfrica and has enabled its customers importing from the US to receive their packages seamlessly in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana. This is a watershed partnership for African businesses as it allows them an avenue to trade on the global stage.

“We have been partners with DHL Express for many years and have tremendous trust in their ability to ship to our customers,” said Chris Folayan, CEO, MallforAfrica. “Both companies have a common goal of seeing African e-commerce businesses thrive on the global stage. We want to contribute to the future of e-commerce growth, African cross-border sales and most importantly, improve the lives of African artisanal arts, designs, crafts and more.”

MallforAfrica is Africa’s largest e-commerce enabler, providing Africans with a platform through which they can purchase items directly from over 200 international online retailers, such as Macy’s, eBay, Ralph Lauren, Net-a-Porter, Carters, GAP, and FarFetch – brands that, would otherwise be inaccessible to the African consumers.

By managing every aspect of the order and return cycle, the MallforAfrica app offers its customers a simple, secure and convenient solution to online shopping directly from the best brands in the world.

“We are proud to be playing a crucial role in connecting African artists with American customers through MallforAfrica,” said Randy Buday, Regional Director West and Central Africa, DHL Express. “We look forward to supporting local artisans across Africa sell into America.”

Read more: DHL and MallforAfrica team up to further cross-border e-commerce to the United States

29 Aug

eBay opens U.S. platform to Africa with MallforAfrica.com partnership

allforafrica.com

Americans can now buy African goods on eBay through the company’s partnership with MallforAfrica.com.

Starting this week, products from select vendors in six African countries are available on eBay’s U.S. shopping site. The collaboration starts in style, with opening merchandise categories of fashion, art, jewelry, and clothing.

For the new program, MallforAfrica selects the sellers and handles payments on its proprietary platform. DHL is the shipping partner. Online shoppers can browse the entire collection on eBay’s Mall for Africa Store.

The new online channel expands an existing relationship between the two e-commerce companies. In  2016, they launched the eBay Powered by MallforAfrica platform allowing U.S. vendors to sell in Africa.

“A year ago our focus was about how we could work with a partner to overcome shipping, payment, and trade barriers to offer eBay’s selection in Africa,” Sylvie de Wever, eBay’s General Manager of Latin America and US exports, told TechCrunch.

“If you think about our purpose, which is connecting millions of buyers and sellers around the world and creating economic opportunity, it makes sense to open up the American market to sellers in Africa,” she said.

To start, the program taps goods from merchants in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Burundi, according to de Wever. “We’ll be adding more sellers and more countries,” she said.

On the selection of African vendors, “The main criteria are that the products be made in Africa and quality―making sure it’s a quality product that we can ship within the categories selected,” said MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan.

To ensure both, MallforAfrica created a new association, the Africa Made Product Standards(AMPS), to verify made in Africa status and merchandise standards. Initial vendors include African art and craft site Qeturahand accessory brand Eclectic Chique.

Both MallforAfrica’s Folayan and eBay’s de Wever underscored the partnership to sell select African products on eBay is not charity. “This is very much about expanding the reach of African sellers, enabling their platforms, and allowing them to earn and compete globally,” said de Wever.

Folayan sees value for the continent in connecting African sellers to the global digital market. “We’re going to help Africans get on the e-commerce roadmap and make sure people see there are amazing products coming out of Africa,” he said.

“The end result is not just artisans getting known, it’s about giving them a platform expand their businesses, to make money, to send their kids to school, to impact their families,” he added.

MallforAfrica was founded in 2011 to solve challenges global consumer goods companies face when entering African markets. With a unique payment and delivery system, it serves as a digital broker and logistics manager between U.S. retailers and African consumers. The venture has backing from UK private equity firm Helios Investment Partners and alliances with companies such as clothier Hawes and Curtis and department store Macy’s.

While digital sales revenue in Africa is expected to exceed $75 billion by 2025, there’s no reliable estimate of the potential marketplace for online African goods in the U.S., according to Chris Folayan.

Still, he’s optimistic. “We know this will be a pretty big market,” he said, noting demand at two levels. “There’s this wave of interest in African centric designs in mainstream fashion. You’ve seen brands such as Chanel and Dolce Gabbana elevate that. Then you have Africans in the U.S. who want to reconnect with their heritage.”

In addition to being one of the most educated demographics in America, Africans have become one of the fastest growing immigrant populations, according to data from Pew and the U.S. Census Bureau.

eBay’s new partnership has another interesting tech angle: the ability of e-commerce to leapfrog government trade policy.

The last major legislation expanding trade between the U.S. and Africa dates back to 2000. E-commerce partnerships don’t wait for congressional approval.

“We’ve seen people all over the world want to trade, regardless of regulation” said eBay’s Sylvie de Wever.

 

via techcrunch