Over the last 25 years, digital commerce has become an indispensable part of the world economy. In 1995 Amazon sold their first book online. Today, more than a quarter of humanity shops online spending US$5.7 trillion every year. The rise of digital commerce has been aided by an exponential growth in smartphone adoption, fast and cheap data, mobile payments and social media. Providing customers with an option to buy online is an absolute necessity for most businesses.
The digital commerce journey at Mindsprint started in 2017 with the launch of three e-commerce sites in the US. We had two key objectives – reaching new customers digitally and using commerce as a means to delight our trade partners and distributors. The sites were fairly successful. However, we soon realized that B2B e-commerce was not just about commerce but also about providing a variety of services to our distributors digitally.
While dealing with the distributors of a global agri major in West Africa, we learned that they were facing daily challenges of dealing with multiple sales representatives, innumerable follow-ups in the order and delivery process, manual payments and credit management, and lack of knowledge about the products they sell. This led us to implement a very different kind of digital commerce and service model to improve the distributors’ day-to-day lives and empower them to do business more efficiently, conveniently, and profitably.
We launched Olam Markets in West Africa, a first-of-its-kind mobile app, designed to transform food distribution from a laborious, analogue process into a simplified, self-service ordering and account management process, powered by core digital commerce capabilities. First launched in Ghana in 2019 and rolled out in Nigeria, Cameroon and Senegal by the end of 2020, the app covers snacks, culinary, rice, wheat flour, semolina and pasta businesses for the agri major.
Pre-Olam Markets, if distributors needed their account statement it would take 5-7 days. Now, with the app they can get it at one tap or click. Also, with each step of the ordering and delivery process streamlined and available on the app, distributors are spared the humdrum of follow up calls for order status enquiries.
In 2022, over US$2.1 billion were transacted on Olam Markets across 4 countries. With ongoing feedback from distributors, Olam Markets is constantly evolving. We are looking at introducing new capabilities, like accepting cashless payment, and exploring how ecosystem players like banks and logistics aggregators can participate to solve unmet needs for distributor financing and cost-effective deliveries. Our goal is for distributors to one day run their entire business digitally through Olam Markets alone!
Following the success of our services oriented digital commerce model in the US and West Africa, we built further capabilities of B2C e-commerce with the launch of a site for a consumer retail healthy snack brand in Singapore. This capability was built on a brand-new concept of experience driven e-commerce, showcasing the brand’s positioning around sustainability and traceability.
Mindsprint now has 10 digital commerce apps and solutions running across seven countries for our clients with distributors giving us recommendation ratings of over 96% in Nigeria and Ghana.
The success of our digital commerce story has centered around the core pillars of:
Most importantly, these successes are attributed to our executional excellence, strong collaboration and being laser focused about where, whom and how we launch and scale.
So if you’re thinking…
“ I have a good range of products and SKUs but unable to sell beyond the core products ”
“ I have a long tail of customers with whom I want to stay more engaged and get their orders online”
“ I want to have an online presence and create a differentiated experience for my customers ”
“ I want to increase my customer reach without adding manpower ”
Think digital commerce. Think of Mindsprint.