From time immemorial, conversation and commerce have lived together happily like husband and wife. If you’ve been to a market, and I don’t mean online marketplaces, you’ll realise this is true.
In a market, especially a typical African public market, you’ll most likely hear a lot of noise. The noise could be coming from several grinding machines but much of it are human voices – buyers haggling with sellers over prices of items.
This is how a market works. It’s about conversation. It’s in plain sight but surprisingly, it took the guys running Balogunmarket.ng, an online platform for Balogun Market traders, about 8 weeks to find out.
After 8 weeks of running Balogunmarket.ng and realising they were making no headway, they listened to the traders at the famous market and, alas, they found the answer.
Quickly, they pivoted to conversational commerce, using WhatsApp as an enabler, and the story has changed since.
…Of course not.
BuyChat, described as the “commerce enabled Whatsapp” for Informal Markets In Africa”, is built to operate like a typical African market – buyers can haggle over product prices, and maybe cuss at each other!!!
BuyChat will list countless number of stores, shops, restaurants and what have you. Buyers simply need to search what they want (they could even find a store not too faraway) and buy.
The app will also allow customers book short stays in Hotels, book local flights, find popular brands and do so much more, in chat. Payments will be facilitated by SimplePay and delivery done by Delivery.ng.
Developed after receiving angel investments from Lagos based private
investment firm “Niche Capital”, the app is presently in private Beta. Public Beta will start on October 15, 2016. You can hop in!
This is BuyChat. This is the future of e-commerce!