Digital shopping in Botswana, although new and growing at a snail’s pace, is the future, says Thebe Ditshego Director of Botswana’s first fashion e-commerce website, Fly Franchise.
To switch from the tradition of brick and mortar shopping Batswana need to be educated and make clients relate to the products they are selling, observes Ditshego. And this needs not be an uphill battle since more Batswana are online now.
Initiatives such as hotspots by Botswana Fibre Network will also aid digital shopping as a viable business proposition. “Digital shopping is definitely growing, even retail stores like Sefalana are on board with it, in this era of technology no one should be left at the rear” emphasised Ditshego.
He said that Fly Franchise is the ultimate solution as they are the first in terms of fashion e-commerce. The company experiences monthly growth through paid advertisements on social networks and referral marketing.
He regards social media as an invaluable tool for marketing as shopping is now social. Fly Franchise is an e-commerce store that sells footwear, beanies, sweaters and t-shirts. They anticipate adding more products like handbags and accessories to their website to have variety.
The e-commerce platform operates by having a customer visit their website and confirming what they prefer and an automatic email is sent to Fly Franchise to alert them of the purchase. After the client places an order it takes a maximum of two working days in Gaborone and three working days in Botswana as a whole.
Customers then pay on delivery if they are satisfied with the product. At first customers could pay through PayPal but it became complex and they had to switch to cash on delivery.
They currently have a partnership with Pick n Drop Transport, a delivery service provider to deliver to customers.
To ensure that their products are readily available, their website has a stock management capability to alert when stock is running low. To stay relevant they intend to always study consumer trends and keep satisfying customers’ needs through their website and be a household name, and become a franchise as their name implies.