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Friday, May 15, 2015

The Secret Strategy Jumia used in Getting 270000 Active Customers


Jumia  has achieved a huge growth rate in just three years.

 She has recorded 26 million dollars in net revenue between January to June 2014.

 Do you know what?

She currently has over 270,000 active customers across its seven operation in Nigeria, Cameroun, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Morocco.

How Jumia Sky-Rocketed its Growth


One of Jumia co-founder, Tunde Kehinde was dissatisfied with the existing e-commerce platform in Nigeria. So he decided to partner with Raphael Afaedor to create the e-commerce platform in 2012.

 To create this  spectacular company they knew they had to find a pressing pain point.

This For Raphael and Tunde were the inability for Nigerians to order goods online from the comfort of their homes and get same delivered to them where they so desire.

However, they understood that setting up a great company takes more than knowing your potential pain point and solving it. 

They knew it also requires the constant provision of excellent service.

No wonder, Tony Allesandra said; Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.

So inherent in Jumia success has been its strong customer care service- a point buttressed by Jerry Fritz who said; ‘You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied’

Jumia knows that failure to understand customers’ needs is a recipe for disaster. Hence, they've worked tirelessly to satisfy the cravings of their customers.

With that said, let’s look at what Jumia did right, that helped them get over 100,000 customers within the space of three years.

Strategy #1: Put Customers First

Jumia has been able to achieve this level of growth in 3yrs due to the fact that they put their customers first. 

They understood the role customers play in  achieving long-term success.

How did they do this?

1)   Fast Email Response Rate

The company’s email support team are up and doing.

For example, I once had an issue with two clippers I bought from their site. In order to resolve the issue, I sent an e-mail across to them which they promptly replied.

They sent a short mail informing me that the issue would be resolved in the shortest possible time.

And to my surprise, within two days, they had come back to retrieve the item from my location. And not only that, they also provided a replacement within the space of one week.

This is not to say there are no hiccups here and there, but to be honest with you, they worked hard to resolve them.

So through their  efficient e-mail support system they've been able to put most of their customers at ease; since customers know that their hard earned money will not go down the drain.

2)      Prompt Call

Another awesome reason why I love Jumia is because they are able to call customers within 5-30 minutes of purchase.

They call customers to confirm order details and pricing. By so doing, customers easily become evangelists of their platform.

 It also gives customers comfort knowing that the delivery guy will be able to reach them promptly.

So in essence their prompt calls help build customer loyalty.

Excellent Listening Skills

Benard T Ferrari in his Book the power of listening said something interesting: ‘The key to good listening is to develop a filing system in our heads, and to ask questions that get those folders and cabinets adequately filled.’

 To achieve this one has to listen.

As he said, ''A really good listener embraces the unexpected, even actively seeks it out…. Like Sherlock Holmes, he never loses the ability to be surprised.''

For members of the Jumia customer team, they are trained to answer customer calls and are patient with customers espousing the philosophy that customers are king.

3)      An Open Chat Platform

In order to respond to customer inquiry quickly, Jumia installed the Open chat app that enables them respond to customers on the go. 

Through this means, customers who have regular access to the internet need not expend money on airtime to get their issue resolved.

This is different from the multinational company- MTN, whose open chat application is poorly serviced.

I  spent over 3 minutes trying to converse with  a customer care representative on the open chat platform to no avail.

Takeaway

To cultivate loyal customers, you have to listen to them.

To this, you need to make it easy for them to contact you - be it is through your dedicated phone line, open chat app or efficient mail response system.

Be Honest

Honesty is like Dettol in an injury. It may sting at first, but it heals with time.

So Don’t just focus on an immediate gain.

Jumia at present suffered a net loss of about 33 million dollars, but most of this is as a result of their expansion drive.

 However, despite this challenge, they have been able to show honesty in their dealings.

They have provided a platform that has given opportunities to buyers to write reviews of product purchased without trying to doctor it.

This honesty gives buyers a good idea of what item to purchase.

Secondly, Jumia tells the truth about their partners by informing buyers that certain items though delivered by Jumia are not fulfilled by them.

 This gives buyers an open choice of making purchases from other sellers on the platform while understanding the attendant delay that may result when this choice is made.

Strategy # 2: Engage in Content Marketing

Content marketing involves solving the pain point, sharing the joy and boosting the morale of your target audience all aimed at meeting your organizational goals.

It involves using infographics, videos, text and images to capture the attention of your audience.

According to Michael Brenner: ''Content is the atomic particle of all marketing across paid, owned and earned culture. A culture of content starts with an obsession of customer''. Source



This is why Brian Clack said, ‘The best ‘native advertising help build an audience into a long term business asset, and that’s a good worth spending on in conjunction with owned content creation.’ Source

So considering how important content is to driving leads, Jumia, set up a blog on their website to cater for the needs of their customers. This way they are able to answer customers pressing questions like:

-How to Make an Order on Jumia
-How to Get the Best Deals
-How soon will an Order Get to Me

Aside from that -they have also adopted social media where they share featured article that drive leads and funny stories that drive engagement- as you know content mix is an important component of any content marketing strategy.

Also videos are shown to help guide customers who prefer video compared to written guides.
Through content creation Jumia has been able to generate tons of backlink that reference key articles that solve consumer challenges. This in essence helps engender authority in the eyes of people and Google.

Solving problems through content creation creates more satisfied customers and less cost is spent on hiring more Customer care representative.

How Then Can One Deploy Content Marketing in Business?

1)      Determine Relevant Keywords

 As a business owner it is best to determine the relevant keywords to their business before creating content.

You need to ask yourself:
-          What words will my customers use to find me on the internet?
-          What questions are they likely to ask?
-          What are the obvious challenges they are likely to face when using my product?
Once you are able to get keywords relevant to these question, the next step is for you to do keyword research.

Doing Key Word Research

 One free excellent tool you can deploy is Google Keyword Planner Tool.
If you have a challenge using the tool you can read this guide on deploying keyword planner.

The guide will take you through the process of doing your research, and also how to find other relevant words you were unable to dig out from your brain but words which your customers or audience will use to find you or your competitors.

Another tool you should use is UBERSUGGEST. Uber suggest will enable you find long tail keywords  customers are mostly keying into search engines.

Having a bucket list of these long-tailed words will give you the edge to create strategic content.

2)      Deploy Survey

Survey helps you know your customer better.

It also let you know who your competitors are. According to Peep Laja of Conversion XL in a Kismetric article, It is best you, ‘Survey people who still freshly remember their purchase and the friction they experienced in the buying process.’

He also recommended that you talk to your recent first time customers who have no previous relationship or experience with you that might affect their response.

For me however, this should be dependent on the kind of survey being conducted:  a survey on how to improve on service rendered can be done at any time.

How Surveys Can Generate Content Ideas

Another thing to take note of -- is the importance of using Open-ended questions. Though open-ended question are sometimes- time consuming, and difficult to analyse, they however give us better result.

Here is an example:

Which questions do you have but couldn’t find answer to on the website?

This particular question is so important that by including it in a survey you are sure to get tons of topic idea for your content creation process.

Another sample question that gives tons of content idea is:

What content do you want to see next?

This section in essence has shown you how important survey is to content creation process.
However, though Jumia has made use of open ended questions in their surveys, most of the open ended questions were geared towards their affiliate as against customers.

3)      Do Guest Post

For an upstart company, there is need for you to connect with influencers. To do this you should look out for other sites that run complimentary services to your business.

For example if you are in the diaper business, you could send out a pitch to businesses that make ‘Baby walker.’

Before sending the pitch you should endeavour to build relationship.

However, if your article solves a huge paint point of the target site you are pitching, a cold pitch can still be effective.

Why Guest Post?

Guest Posting enables you to reach out to new audience who may crave access to your product.
The only requirement is the time/money needed to write an outstanding post that will send leads back to your site.


#3 Strategy 3: Reward Your Evangelist

Just like in the bible, evangelist move from one place to another sharing good news.
This can also be seen in business where Evangelists help businesses receive multiple referrals and hence they need to be treated properly.

As a business owner, looking out for your pilot evangelist can seem dizzying and difficult. While this may appear so; there are a few steps you can use to simplify the process.
They include:
1)      Use Free Trials

I Am sure you guys have heard of Shopify?

It was through free trials they were able to gain over 150,000 shop owners.

They simply allow new users to build their online site with a suite of amazing tool, without paying a single dime for 14 days.

And here’s the catch: by offering users the tools for free-users find it difficult to shut down their beautiful shops, and are hence compelled to subscribe.
Other firms that have deployed free trials strategy include:

o   Buzzsumo- for finding amazing content
o   Get response for e-mail marketing
o   And FreshBooks for account book keeping.

However, free trials are mostly adopted by soft

2)      Adopt Vouchers

The use of vouchers can easily be replicated on most platforms:  be it an e-book, a course, or an item you’re selling. And this is one strategy Jumia has deployed to build a team of evangelists.

They do so by offering free vouchers to new sign-up and from time to time they also give out massive discount vouchers.

For example a few days back I was offered a voucher to mark my birthday.
 Can you imagine what I will tell people not already using the platform? Your guess is good as mine.

3)      Set Up an Affiliate System.

Who doesn’t love shopping while earning money! Not me for sure. This is why setting up an affiliate system for interested customers can skyrocket your sales.

Though this is an amazing way to skyrocket sales- Jumia has a lot to do- especially Jumia Nigeria.

The affiliate managers has to be up and doing as the customer end of this platform has not been really efficient.

However, their offline counterpart has done a fantastic job.

The support managers have been efficient.

One outstanding Lady, Jumoke Osuagwu, has been a breath of fresh air to the South-South region of Nigeria- where her amazing leadership quality has helped the J-Force gang to up their game.

As I celebrate her, I hope their online team will be able to put in more effort to service the needs of their web-based affiliates.

4)      Training
To make your evangelist promote you efficiently, trainings are paramount.

And I must say kudos to the J-force team who train new and existing member regularly on how to deploy the latest techniques to increase sales.

Apart from these training, travel rewards are also offered to members. Rewards like this help spur them to achieve more.

Conclusion

People need to understand that putting your customer need at the forefront is important for customer growth. 

The reason is simply because a satisfied customer will surely share their experience to someone else, which make leads acquisition cheaper.

What specific strategy are you focusing on for growing your online business? And what do you think is Jumia competitive advantage over other e-commerce stores in Africa?

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