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The Effect of eCommerce on Intra-African Trade

The Effect of eCommerce on Intra-African Trade

The Effects oF eCommerce on Intra-African  Trade

 

According to a report, just over a fifth of the population in Africa uses the Internet compared to two thirds in Western Asia. The African continent even though endowed  with  evenly distributed natural resources, has a relatively impoverished groups of people compared to other continents, many of its inhabitants are located in rural areas, where the benefits to be derived from ICT and e-commerce have not been felt. The sparse nature of ICT infrastructural development in most countries of the continent has resulted to the major differences in the sizes of the overall economies, in the level of expertise available, and other development issues.

The obstacles to e-commerce are many and varied.
Legal Frameworks: Most countries are yet to institutionalize legal frame works   that will handle issues concerning Intellectual Property Rights, and Consumer Protection in the digital arena, digital signatures and contracts on the cyber space.

Financial Environment: e-commerce is yet to take its proper shape in Africa due to skepticism on the use of Credit cards for online transactions and payments. Major gaps exist in most African countries. While some economies in the African continent have embraced the cashless society as experienced in developed countries, many economies are almost entirely cash based. In such cash-based economies, credit cards are virtually non- existent and central bank clearing facilities are very limited.

Information Infrastructure: there is high cost of equipment and connectivity of e-commerce as relates to physical goods or teleservices in the African continent. Limited bandwidth adds to the problem of providing off- line teleservices and online teleservices as such services demand high quality fast network access.

Transportation and Delivery System: The placing of an instant order (and perhaps the equally quick debiting of appropriately quick delivery of the goods. While this is eminently feasible for virtual goods such as music files, it is far from that when it comes to physical goods. Airfreight is risky, infrequent and expensive in Africa; customs clearance procedures are long and complex; local warehousing facilities hardly exist.

Human Capacity: brain drain has become a major setback in the attempt to bridge the digital divide among countries in the African continents and the western world. The right people required for effective implementation of e-commerce must be ICT compliant, deeply oriented towards the digital economy and conversant with web languages and technologies. Most people who have these skills leave their countries in search of greener pastures in Europe and America. And undoubtedly these challenges have marred the positive results e-commerce is projected to have in Africa.

Yeah, there are many issues to be redressed and proper energy must be channeled towards exploring e-commerce to Africa’s advantage considering its resources and potential as a continent. In spite of her challenges, it is imperative to highlight some positive effects e-commerce has brought to the continent: In the past five years, Africa has had the most rapid Internet growth rate in the world. In places like Kenya and Nigeria, consumers and sellers have enjoyed convenience in online transaction: The rapid growth in internet connectivity has led to consumers and producers seeing the advantages of e- commerce with convenience forming the major enticing factor for online businesses. Furthermore, people living in Africa can also now buy and sell goods from anywhere on the globe by placing orders and paying over the Internet. Also, product advertisements, shipments of these goods can now be done electronically providing a leeway for African entrepreneurs to tap into the vastly larger markets for their    goods

Trade in Online service: Online Forex trading, online airline ticket booking and reservations, online banking services, online taxi/bus booking services, online auctions and supplies have become fully operational in African countries facilitating efficient trading by providing timely access to vital business information. The massive deployment of globally accepted electronic payment cards (MasterCard, Visa card etc.) by African banks and fintech solutions providers has bridged the gap in trade and payment methods between the continent and the western world.

It is observed that the global growth rate of e-commerce is rate of 25.8%. Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya are the top three countries that shop online which has contributed immensely the growth of their economies. E-commerce has come to stay and the Africa continent cannot work in isolation. There is urgent need for a paradigm shift in our approaches to business and methods of business transactions, to conform to the modern way of transacting business, which is more efficient, timely and globalized. Investments in ICT infrastructure and appropriate legal framework to guide and protect the emerging e-commerce in the continent have therefore become inevitable. For effective development and utilization of e- commerce potentials in Africa, the following issues have to be addressed should be made affordable and available even the remotest parts of the region literacy training programs among producers and users (consumers) effectiveness and use of Electronic payment systems to boost their level of confidence on the system.

local content to ensure easy maintenance of the systems. countries should be well branded and recognized globally transportation) should be   highly efficient and less expensive. Monitoring and  taxing of  transactions legal framework to build trust remove or avoid trade barriers Chambers of Commerce, Cooperative societies, and NGOs in Africa can bridge the economy of scale on the technology required for e-commerce by setting up online malls showcasing a pool of their members’ sites, products and services. With the following measures, it is certain Africa would enjoy the complete benefits of e-commerce and manage the risks well prepared and better.

How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Online Marketing Strategy

How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Online Marketing Strategy

How to Spy on your competitor’s online marketing strategy

In business, “spying” is understandable and acceptable. It means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor. This will help you with your business goals and allow you to plan out your next move. In today’s world of vast technology, spying means checking what your customers are digitally doing right and introducing such rewarding measures in your business. Below are some ways to spy on your competitor’s online marketing strategy:

1. Use social listening to monitor your competitors
Social listening tools can be used in a variety of ways, from market research to discovering relevant influencers from your niche. And another great way to use them is, of course, to monitor your competitors and their online mentions. Many social listening tools let you monitor pretty much the entire web, not just social media but also blogs, forums, news sites and other online publications.

Below are steps you can do with social listening:
Set up searches of your competitors’ names and websites to find all online mentions: this can help you uncover some interesting things, such as what mentions they’re getting in top-tier publications – how can you get a mention for your brand as well?
How many mentions are they getting: are they getting more mentions than you?
What is the sentiment behind their mentions?
What is their share of voice – and what is yours?

All of this information will help you benchmark your own business against your competitors, but it also helps you see a picture of their overall strategy – and the results they are getting in return.

Of course, generating traffic back to your website is no easy feat. There are so many things that you need to do, so many different tactics that you need to use – and you’re also competing with countless other websites at the same time for the attention and time of the same audience. In this case, understanding what your competitors are doing to drive their traffic can massively help you improve your own.
. How much traffic are they getting?
. Where is their traffic coming from?
. Which keywords are they ranking for?
. What sites are linking in to their website?

There are some tools you can use to monitor traffic and SEO – one option is Alexa, which you can use to:

a. See any websites’ traffic stats, including engagement (bounce rates, daily time on site), how many unique visitors they have and where their traffic is coming from (including the percentage of search traffic)
b. Find new competitors based on how their audience is overlapping with another competitors’ website (or your own website)
c. Compare your website stats against your competitors and compare traffic sources to discover new traffic opportunities
d. Find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and discover potential low-competition keywords that you can rank for

2. Use Social Media
Social media has become one of the most important marketing tools we have available at our disposal; it helps boost brand awareness, customer engagement, website traffic and even conversions and sales – if used the right way.

Monitoring your competitors’ social media presence can help you a lot when putting together your own strategy; here’s what you need to find out: Which social networks are your competitors using? Simply search for their brand names on all major social networks to see where they have accounts; which ones are the best performing? Where do they have the most followers and engagement? This can help you choose the best platforms for your own social media strategy.

3. What is their content strategy like? What types of updates do they post on each social network and how well are they performing? This can help you understand what types of updates work best for your target audience, both in terms of content formats (videos, Stories, images and so on) and in terms of the topics they choose to cover. Use this information not to copy their updates but to understand which updates work and which don’t and use that knowledge to inform your own content strategy for social media.

Who are their followers? Who forms their target audience? Where are they from? Monitor their followers to find opportunities to connect with more people
What social media ads are they running? Should you use the same platforms for your own ads?

4. Monitor Your Competitor’s Email Marketing
Analyzing emails is as difficult as it sounds, but there are tools like MailCharts to simplify things a little bit. MailCharts aggregates emails from competitor campaigns to help point you in the right direction. They gather subject lines and also data like send frequency so you can see whether you measure up to the competition or not. The tool also compares your campaign to its own massive library to make sure you are sticking to best practices like timing, subject line length, frequency, and so on.
Another great tool is Owletter which aggregates competitor emails, analyzes them and presents the data on a simple dashboard for your spying pleasure.

In conclusion, it is important you diligently implement the information you have garnered from your competitor. With proper application, it is certain you will have an edge than your competitor.

YouTube Launch New Dedicated Fashion & Style Content Hub

YouTube Launch New Dedicated Fashion & Style Content Hub

YouTube Launched new dedicated fashion and style content hub

Whether it’s for music, entertainment or tutorials, just getting lost in a video hole, YouTube is a platform we are all familiar with. However, the media platform, which heralds the title of second biggest search engine in the world, is launching a new channel Youtube.com/Fashion, which aims to bring unfettered access from not just the fashion front line, but deep into the industry.

YouTube Fashion will be a hub a content where you can find live streams of the most talked-about fashion shows, insider interviews, fashion how-to tutorials, closet tours, red carpet style and creator content from the biggest names in the industry.

Derek Blasberg, who serves as director of YouTube Fashion and Beauty shared the following.

“Top shelf content on the site during the next four weeks will be fashion shows from New York, London, Milan and Paris. There will also be a series called, ‘Stories of Style’ – which acts as a behind the scenes look at the fashion industry. There is a vertical devoted to model, which we have coined ‘the model army’, another devoted to careers. Publishers like Stylist and other magazines will also have a vertical where they can create content and publish articles for their readers. So instead of this kind of content being dotted all around the YouTube.com site it’s in one channel dedicated to you, where algorithms will pick up what you like and bring you more of that type of content.”

“What we see doing really well on the site is slight longer piece – between six and eight minutes – that has a narrative structure and is personality rich. So, whoever in the content is someone super charismatic or witty or someone that holds your attention. Also, I think people come to YouTube to learn something. It doesn’t have to be as descriptive as like five tips for the perfect little black dress, but I think when people are watching

YouTube, they want to learn something or discover something or find a practical method that they can apply to their stylish life.”

YouTube has announced the launch of its all-new ‘/fashion’ hub, that will showcase style and beauty-related content by luxury fashion brands, beauty creators, industry collaborations, publishers, as well as live runway shows, and more. The new section is accessible now at YouTube.com/Fashion In addition, as explained by YouTube,

“[YouTube.com/Fashion will] feature original content from the biggest names in the industry, as well as the popular content that users have come to expect from the world of YouTube. Each shelf is chock-full of compelling videos from fashion and beauty creators, industry professionals, publishers, and luxury fashion brands.”

It is quite interesting to see social media platforms growing to meet the growing needs of consumers. What are your thoughts on YouTube launching new dedicated and fashion style content? Please feel free to share your comment.

EFFECTS OF AI ON SOCIAL MEDIA

EFFECTS OF AI ON SOCIAL MEDIA

EFFECT OF AI ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Today’s world is an era of information explosion, with just a click information comes knocking. Social media is a part of our day-to-day life that can’t be ignored. Unsurprisingly, it has both positive and negative effects.

With social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. the world has been inseparably connected, making communication, networking and relationship easier. Social media has grown over the years to become a large platform for entrepreneurs, businesses, organizations and various other professionals who seek identification and recognition at a moderate cost. And in order to succeed, businesses and organizations opt for Artificial Intelligence which is becoming more and more common in today’s world and social media seems to be doing the same. With the growing technology, a wide variety of tools are being used in order to target the right audience on social media. And AI is creating a better journey for users by developing a better user experience on social platforms.

Here’s how AI is transforming Social Media:
Statistics show that social media user base as of the year 2019 is estimated up to 2.77 billion. Artificial Intelligence needs to be properly applied, keeping the entire focus on the current business need. As social media users are growing at an unprecedented state, the business need is to efficiently process the unstructured data. And Artificial Intelligence is providing solution to exactly that.

A study by McKinsey has highlighted that, in the year 2016, Machine Learning constituted around 60% of the total external investment of approximately $8 billion to $12 billion towards AI. With upwards of 3 billion people logging into social media sites regularly, the process of optimising social media marketing has received a massive boost through the application of AI.

Approximately 2 billion internet users are active on social media. That’s almost one in every four people in the world. They are constantly updating their statuses, tweeting their every move and thought, uploading new photos and videos, or posting new thoughts and conversations. This is a whole lot of information that marketers could be using to target customers and sell products to them by using artificial intelligence.

Where AI is already incredibly helpful is where it’s being used as social media monitoring tools. They allow you to ‘listen’ to what is being said about your brand, your competitors and your industry in general. You can then use this data to understand your audience better and improve your marketing strategy. You can also be alerted to conversations about your brand or industry, and chime in at a relevant time. This allows you to be seen as an industry expert and useful resource.

The reality is it will take time for AI to ever replace authentic human conversations and interactions. Tools are already improved to the point where they can create strong bonds with customers. But it’s up to your staff to reach out and ensure those leads result in conversions. To read more about the importance of social media monitoring have a look at our recent article. It’ll give you some tips of how you can improve your online strategies and provide support for customers.

Empowering marketers:  companies are better leveraging social media through artificial intelligence. It’s helping them to better understand their customers buying personas, which, in theory, should help to market more relevant products.

Marketers can personalize content for their customers by understanding buying habits, people’s everyday environments and what motivates them to make their decisions. And AI can learn these habits at a rate much faster than any human. The ever-changing environment of social media makes it harder for companies to keep on top of trends. Which is why they are turning to AI to is a smart move. Machine learning algorithms analyze everything that is happening on social media in real time and convert the information to tangible data for marketers to utilize.

AI studies data and makes recommendations based on its findings. Such vast information would typically take months for a human to cultivate. Deep learning, algorithms, and data-sets empower AI, which in turn streamlines the process for marketers.

The main goal of any organization is customer satisfaction. Research has shown that about 60% of the organization’s priority is customer satisfaction. In order to gain high satisfaction amongst customers, organizations are striving to enhance their customer service. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence in marketing, organizations can now deliver high-grade services to their customers.

Lastly, it is interesting to identify the fact that AI is here to aid business administration and enhance productivity.

Please, kindly share your thoughts or concerns on the topic; do you agree with our position on AI effect on social media? What are the possible changes you will like to see on social media as a result of AI?

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