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Msoko empowers you to trade and grow

What you need to know.

Msoko was born to empower entrepreneurs dive into the ecommerce world even with minimal knowledge about this industry. We know all the essentials of ecommerce that every online retailer needs to know because venturing into it.

Ecommerce, or electronic commerce, refers to transactions conducted via the internet. Every time individuals and companies are buying or selling products and services online they’re engaging in ecommerce. The term ecommerce also encompasses other activities including online auctions, internet banking, payment gateways, and online ticketing. Our therefore is to create a one stop shop which allows for all the aforesaid transactions on one platform, that’s Msoko for you.

Gender-based Marketing

Gender sensitive Marketing

Remember that men and women have different purchasing habits, whatever the reason, whatever the season. Men, for instance, tend to spend more than women. According to study findings “men reported that they’ll spend $100 on their significant other, while women said they’ll spend $50. And when it comes to how much men and women expect their significant other to spend on them? Men expect to receive gifts totaling $5, and women expect $50.”

Keep these distinctions in mind when implementing your Marketing campaigns. For example, if you’re sending marketing emails or newsletters for Valentine’s Day, make sure to segment your list by gender and send different emails to each group.

If you have any data on your site visitors, tailor your landing pages by displaying different recommendations and content for the two genders.

African stuff now available for sale

Top 10 Beads Shops in Nairobi

Beads are a way of life in Africa and every visitor encounters beads sooner or later. Beads are an integral part of African history from time immemorial. Beads were worn during rituals, traditional ceremonies, for beautification, status symbols, for talisman purposes and for trade.

  1. Kazuri Beads (Clay Beads)

KAZURI, which means small and beautiful in Swahili, began as a tiny workshop experimenting on making ceramic beads made by hand. At Kazuri you can get this unique opportunity to tour the workshop and watch at first glance the entire process where each bead is shaped from clay by hand, kiln fired, hand glazed, fired again and strung to make a necklace or bracelet. Founded by the late Lady Susan Wood back in 1975 to create employment for struggling single mothers, Kazuri now employs 350 local women. The workshop has a shop that offers a diverse range of ceramic beaded products including; jewelry, cups, plates, vases, key chains, and so much more.

  1. Kitengela Glass (Glass Beads)

Kitengela Glass has a magical ambiance filled with glass sculptures and mosaic pathways. You’ll get to learn more about the art of glass blowing and glass bead making where scrap windows and bottle glasses are renewed, refashioned into stylish pieces of functional art and design. From their workshop, you can purchase a wide range of finished products including, stained glass mural, vase, mirror, soap dish and a whole lot more.

  1. Marula Studios – Ocean Sole (Plastic Beads)

Thousands of flip flops wash up on Kenyan beaches and waterways, Ocean Sole offers practical and sustainable solutions towards recycling plastics through social enterprise. Their shop Marula Studios is located in Karen that sells products made from plastic and rubber marine waste. Every single Ocean Sole product is handcrafted to protect the oceans and teach the world about the threats of marine debris. Marula studios has diverse flip flop animal souvenirs on sale that vary in size and design. Become a part of the solution donating towards their cause while visiting the shop.

  1. Banana Box: (Paper Beads)

Banana box has two shops in Nairobi, one at The Junction and the other at Sarit Centre Shopping Mall. The shops offer a wide range of gift items by working with Kenyan craftsmen for more than twenty years. They offer exclusive fairtrade products, only made for Banana Box made from recycled scrap metal, plastic and glass products and also offer unique paper products made from elephant dung.

  1. MatBronze Wildlife Art (Bronze Beads)

Located on the leafy suburbs of Karen, Matbronze offers a wide selection bronze gifts, souvenirs and sculptures which are hand-made. The gallery is one of the largest displays of wildlife art bronze collection in Africa. The sculptures are cast in bronze and are tasteful finished, some of the pieces include; birds, small footprints, lion track trays to life size leopards and so much more. Matbronze have a cafe set in their gardens that offers refreshments and light lunches.

  1. Maro Designs (Horn Beads)

Maro Designs is an all women company lead by Marie-Rose Iberl, she designs contemporary African jewellery from natural cowhorn and cowbone as the main material and includes recycled cotton, glass and metal. Each piece of jewelry is of high quality as each bead is hand-made to make unique pieces of bracelets, earrings and necklaces with a dramatic off centre.

  1. APDK Store – Bombolulu (Wood Beads)

Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) is a Kenyan charitable organization that has a store along Waiyaki Way that provides employment and numerous other benefits to adults who are physically challenged. The artisans are renowned to produce recycled products especially from wood that includes; cutlery, nativity sets, animal sculptures and much more jewelery, wood, leather and soft furnishings. They offer appealing and useful wood items made from FSC wood.

  1. Taste of Turkana (Grass Beads)

Located in Westlands at Viking House, Taste of Turkana is a shop that supports a Turkana Women’s Group in Lodwar. The shop primarily focuses on selling baskets of all sizes, from small pencil holders, fruit baskets, to large laundry baskets. The baskets are simple and have patterns that can match your taste.

  1. Utamaduni Karen (Diverse Beads):

Utamaduni was established more than 20 years ago and offers an unparalleled shopping experience for its visitors with over 19 shops showcasing different cultural and ethnic communities in Kenya. The main entrance hall comprises of wood carvings, antique furniture and jewelry items. Other shops include themed shops representing some ethnic communities in Kenya including the coastal communities, maasai, kisii amongst others, there is also a children’s shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and other related items. Utamaduni makes a perfect stopover where you can indulge in some seafood or grab a snack lunch enroute to other attractions in the area including; Giraffe Centre, Nairobi National Park, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Mamba Village, further up to Karen Blixen or Ololua Forest.

  1. Maasai Market (Diverse Beads):

The maasai market brings together an array of different artists and craftsmen to showcase their products. There is a diverse selection of arts and crafts, beadwork, musical instruments, wooden carvings and so much more. The market is located at different locations in Nairobi on the following days;

  • Tuesday – Westgate Shopping Mall (Westlands)

  • Wednesday – Uchumi Capital Centre (Mombasa Road)

  • Thursday – Nakumatt Junction (Ngong Road)

  • Friday – Village Market (Gigiri)

  • Saturday – High Court (Nairobi CBD)

  • Sunday – Yaya Centre (Agwings Kodhek Rd, Hurlingham)

AR-powered virtual try ons in the fashion industry

This year, the fashion industry got crazy about virtual try-on. Having a smartphone in hand allow their customers to see themselves in the latest pair of shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, make-up or even a tattoo. Let’s check out some examples!

What is virtual try-on?

In short, a virtual try-on is the way a customer can “try-on” a product through mobile or other devices equipped with a camera. Thanks to the underlying AR technology, future customers can see themselves in a beloved product on the screen of their smartphone. 

The concept of virtual try-on has been present on the market for some time now. We owe its recent boom to the filters which we know from social media (yes, those funny add-ons to our pictures on Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger), which have helped to develop better facial recognition, machine learning and 3D modeling on images and video. 

The filters turned out to be a great way to test out new palettes of eye shadows, glasses, earrings and other small accessories.  

Why are AR try-ons so cool?

From the users’ perspective, using augmented reality is simply fun and entertaining. Retailers offering products online should also know that enabling their customers to try-on products virtually is beneficial to their business. What are the most important AR features which support product discovery and sales? 

1. Try before you buy – with a virtual try-on, a customer can actually see the product and see if, let’s say shoes or jewelry, fit well with the planned outfit.

2. Try in any location – virtual try-on allows customers to see the product on themselves without showing up in the store.

3. Save time – did you ever see customers stressing out to try-on some sunglasses at their own pace? With virtual try-on, they can do it peacefully at home and make the order whenever they’re ready.

4. Match it with different outfits – checking how the new accessory looks with various outfits is a bonus of virtual try-on, especially in the case of shoes or jewelry. 

5. Consult with friends – virtual try-on allows customers to take pictures and share them with friends, which is often a helpful step on the purchase path.

In addition, fashion brands are deciding to add augmented reality to their businesses as it helps them to offer better customer service, observe customers’ preferences, customize products and build up interest around the product.

Examples of AR-powered virtual try-ons in the fashion industry

As I mentioned earlier, companies are deciding on new technologies for multiple reasons. Let’s look at AR applications of top fashion brands from head to toe!

Michael Kors: virtual try-on of sunglasses on Facebook

World-famous fashion brand, Michael Kors, used Facebook’s AR ads in the news feed. Actually, they were the first to test out this new functionality. Facebook users could simply click the ads’ “tap to try it on” button to superimpose a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses on their faces. From there they had a straight way to purchase the sunglasses directly in the Facebook app. 

Read more: https://www.mobilemarketer.com/news/michael-kors-is-first-to-test-ar-ads-in-facebook-news-feed/527504/

Warby Parker: prescription glasses try-on via mobile app

In contrast to Michael Kors, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) retailer of prescription glasses, Warby Parker, decided to use a virtual try-on tool in its iPhone app. Via the app, customers can pick frames and see how they look with an augmented reality (AR) overlay. The AR feature was developed with Apple’s ARKit, which the iPhone maker introduced in 2017. Warby Parker’s AR is available only on the iPhone X or newer models.​

M·A·C Cosmetics: virtual makeup within YouTube video

Customers who follow their favorite cosmetics brands on YouTube got the chance virtually try on their latest make-up directly on this video platform. M·A·C Cosmetics was the first one to test out the new AR functionality on YouTube. Their viewers could try on different shades of M·A·C lipstick presented on video. After trying on lipstick, they could click the SHOP button to visit M·A·C’s website to purchase it.

More at:  www.blog.google/products/marketingplatform/360/immersive-branded-experiences-youtube-and-display-ads/

L’Oréal Paris: virtual makeup try-ons on Amazon

Going a step further, L’Oréal Paris announced that with ModiFace (an AR and AI company acquired by the cosmetics brand in 2018) they will provide virtual try-ons on Amazon. Earlier, L’Oréal Paris launched AR-powered try-ons on their webpage and in a dedicated mobile app which allows their customers to virtually try on over 100 products, including hair colors, eye shadows, and lipsticks. What’s more, the L’Oréal Paris mobile app – Makeup Genius – guides their customers step by step through tutorials presenting trending looks and brings lots of fun to the shopping process.

More at:  www.lorealusa.com/media/press-releases/2019/june/modiface and www.loreal-paris.co.uk/virtual-try-on

Diamond Hedge: trying jewelry with a mobile app

The global diamond seller launched a virtual try-on of their gemstones directly on their webpage. By taking (or uploading) a picture of a hand, their customers can see themselves in rings decorated with different shapes, cuts, and colors of diamonds. 

More at: https://www.diamondhedge.com/

Gucci: virtual try-on of the Cruise collection through a mobile app

Gucci demonstrated a new, AR function in its application. The new feature allows buyers to try the Ace sneakers line. Gucci’s main goal was to present the latest footwear models to customers as soon as possible. The application tracks the movements of the feet so that we can view virtual footwear in real-time and at different angles.

Read more https://www.designboom.com/technology/gucci-wannaby-app-virtually-try-shoes-on-using-augmented-reality-06-26-2019/

Nike: measuring and trying on shoes with AR

Last but not least, we have Nike Fit. The application prepared by Nike is designed to scan the foot using AR technology. The application allows customers to find the right shoe size and visualize how the item will look on the customer. This solution is becoming very trendy these days. 

Read more: https://news.nike.com/news/nike-fit-digital-foot-measurement-tool

So far augmented reality works really well with small fashion accessories, shoes, and makeup. Larger pieces still have to wait for the improvement of 3D modeling and adjustment techniques, so the customer can see himself in well-fitted jackets and trousers, but that won’t be long. We are already seeing intense development works on AR in smart mirrors and other devices.

Augmented reality has proved to be a great way to engage customers, improve the shopping processes and deliver a customer-first experience in the fashion industry.

Check the state of mobile-first eCommerce. Download the report >

Online trade will make you rich

Make Money Dropshipping.

A traditional ecommerce store requires you to hire employees, store products, maintain inventories, and more.

It’s apparent just how expensive and tedious the entire process could be.

But with dropshipping you can sell your desired product(s) online, minus the hassle that comes with offering traditional order fulfillment services.

There’s no need to hire folks, and you don’t need any investment either.

Quite simply, here’s how a typical dropshipping business model works:

  • You create a website on the internet and upload pictures of your products with their prices.
  • The customer buys the product and pays you online. You keep a margin for yourself and forward the order to the manufacturer/supplier you’ve partnered with.
  • The manufacturer/supplier delivers the product to the customer to complete the order.

Source: ecommerceceo.com

As is discernible from the above infographic, dropshipping requires you to act like a mediator between the consumer and the supplier.

Dropshipping is very easy to start, sustain, and yield significant profits.

There are multiple benefits of dropshipping, including:

  • There is no substantial investment at the start (no need to rent or hire)
  • You don’t need to pay for a warehouse (since the manufacturer stores the product)
  • You don’t have to deliver the product, and hence you don’t incur transport expenses
  • Direct contact with customers help you build your brand image

There are plenty of dropshipping success stories out there to look for inspiration.

Let’s take an example Msoko.You can use Kenya’s top platform like Msoko to connect with the suppliers that align best with your business goals.

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