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DHL Express Cements Strategic Investment in Link Commerce

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DHL acquires a stake in their strategic partner company, Link Commerce, in support of growing e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa and other global emerging e-commerce markets; Africa’s online retail market predicted to reach an 11-digit dollar value in 2020.

DHL Express announced its minority stake acquisition in Link Commerce, the UK-based e-commerce firm that helped the logistics company develop its hugely successful DHL Africa eShop platform.

Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, says that the acquisition demonstrates the company’s commitment to growing e-commerce on the continent. “Acquiring a stake in Link Commerce – the company behind the MallforAfrica.com platform – shows our tremendous support of e-commerce in Africa. It also positions us to realize our ambitions of growing the eShop offering globally, and work on the scalability of the platform when the opportunity arises.”

”DHL’s investment in Link Commerce is a perfect fit. With the DHL investment we are now able to grow faster by leveraging the amazing shipping network DHL has built globally. This will help us expand our white-label turnkey B2B eCommerce platform and provide online shoppers with the ability to shop more and get more at great shipping rates fast.” said Chris Folayan Founder and CEO of Link Commerce and Mall for Africa.

Just over one year on from its initial launch, the DHL Africa eShop (www.Africa-eShop.dhl) continues to see massive growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Heymans notes that the DHL Africa eShop has consistently outperformed expectations since its launch.

“The platform was developed in partnership with Link Commerce and initially launched in 11 African countries in April 2019. It was an immediate success, gaining around 5,000 subscribers within the first six weeks. Today, DHL Africa eShop is live in 34 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with tens of thousands of users across the continent.”

The DHL Africa eShop offers African consumers unprecedented access to international retailers via an easy-to-use platform, with great convenience, speed and reliability.

“DHL Africa eShop enables African customers to shop directly from over 200 US- and UK-based online retailers, with purchases delivered directly to their door, by DHL Express.”

Heymans adds: “Online buying behaviours and product mixes have evolved quite significantly since the onset of COVID-19. Some of the most popular items on the platform now include productivity and communications devices to support remote working, home and kitchen appliances, entertainment gadgets and health related products, in addition to the historic orders of fashion and beauty products.

“Consumer interests have shifted towards goods that are harder to source locally. With brick-and-mortar retailers in many regions operating at reduced capacity, consumers have turned to online shopping to acquire the goods they need.

“It’s been great to see eShop providing vital online shopping access during this time, with impressive growth coming from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda and Kenya during the various stages of lockdowns, and with South Africa back on board to access e-commerce, we are thrilled for our users to be able to use service offering once more.

Assurance for delivery has become a top priority for consumers,” says Heymans. “ Basket sizes have also increased, as shoppers seek to get all of what they need immediately, rather than to space out their orders. Online shopping supports the ultimate level of social distancing – connecting consumers to everything they need at a click of a button.

Heymans explains that while the e-commerce market in Sub-Saharan Africa has been largely overlooked by international retailers in the past, it currently offers some of the biggest opportunities for rapid growth in the world.

E-commerce is proving to be one of the most important and fastest-growing market sectors in Africa. A report published by Rapid B2C forecasts that Africa’s online retail market will reach an 11-digit dollar value in 2020, while another report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that this value could potentially reach $75 billion by 2025.

“These growth predictions, coupled with the incredible demand and quick uptake of the DHL Africa eShop offering, confirm that this acquisition is the right move to ensure DHL Express is geared for continued growth,” adds Heymans.

As part of the acquisition, Heymans has been made a board member of London-based Link Commerce Ltd.

“We have no doubt that deepening our partnership with Link Commerce in this way will take both companies, as well as e-commerce on the continent and new markets across the globe, to new heights. I am honoured to take on this new role as part of DHL’s growth strategy.”

“At Link Commerce our strategy is to help businesses grow and provide shoppers globally with access to US and UK online retailers like never before. DHL’s investment in the company gives us that edge we need to expand rapidly globally and access to products like never before,” said Chris Folayan, Founder and CEO of Link Commerce Ltd.

With operations across 51 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, servicing customers, efficient delivery is an important factor for DHL Express.

“Our strategic investments in innovative technology and connectivity across the region, are all aimed at promoting global trade and ensuring that businesses and individuals across the continent can leverage global opportunities,” Heymans concludes.


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eTransact Posts N183m Quarterly Loss

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eTranzact International Plc has posted a loss after tax of N182.53m for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020 as against a profit after tax of N90.76m recorded a year ago.

eTransact Posts N183m Quarterly Loss

According to the firm’s audited report obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), its revenue grew to N5.92bn in Q1 2020 from N5.59bn in the same period in 2019.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange recently notified dealing members that eTranzact had, through its lead stockbroker, Meristem Capital Limited, submitted an application for the approval and listing of a rights issue.

The rights issue comprised an offering of 4,666,666,667 ordinary shares of N0.50 each at N1.50 per share, on the basis of 10 new ordinary shares for every nine ordinary shares held.

eTranzact International, a payment technology provider, engages in the processing of all facets of electronic payment transactions using its switching platform.

 


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Opinion: It’s Time to Get Serious About User Data

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By Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation

Over the past few years, tech-savvy customers and younger, more dynamic, employees have forced businesses in all sectors to completely change their way of operating. But with that transformation has come an unprecedented threat in the shape of the harvesting and misuse of personal data by technology vendors.

For their part, customers expect every company they interact with to use technology in a way that makes their lives simpler and more efficient. After all, if they can change insurers or buy groceries with a few taps of their smartphone, why shouldn’t they be able to do the same when it comes to investing or getting property-buying advice?

Employees, meanwhile, expect to be able to interact with their companies in the same way they do with the products and services they themselves use as consumers.

But if organisations aren’t careful with the technology vendors they use, they may not only be putting their customers at risk, but also their own reputation and ultimately, their bottom line. As organisations evaluate their path forward, it is therefore critically important to step back and determine what they are giving up to rapidly stay ahead.

From a personal perspective, it is generally understood that using Google, Facebook, and Twitter comes with a compromise – people pay for these free services by allowing them to track their online behaviour constantly, giving up control of their data. They are, essentially, “surveillance companies”.

The majority of websites monitor customers, users, and prospective customers through cookies; small lines of code designed to track a visitor. Companies pay significant amounts to access the information these cookies collect, so they can target them with advertising. This happens secretly, and without an individual being aware their data has been packaged and distributed to other companies with ulterior motives. What we must recognise is that it happens in the business-to-business (B2B) world as well.

B2B companies allow surveillance companies to track their users while on their properties. Surveillance in the form of trackers can be found everywhere on B2B websites. Salesforce, SAP, WorkDay, NetSuite, and Slack, common applications in today’s professional environments, all employ surveillance tools that track things such as user browsing habits.

It’s not surprising that most Nigerians feel a massive disconnect between how their personal data should be treated and how it actually is. According to a survey by the Web Foundation, 97% of Nigerians view the treatment of their personal data as a major concern.

B2B companies use products and services from surveillance companies in exchange for their users’ data, but users are not informed about it. This practice happens on websites, and it happens on mobile devices. It is everywhere.

Data is priceless, and safeguarding it should be an organisation’s greatest responsibility. It’s important to challenge any company that collects and sells user data to stop adjunct surveillance to protect – and respect – customer privacy.

All organisations should ask if their technology vendor is running its products on a public cloud, where they can track you or client’s behaviour or data. Most public cloud companies also have ad-based business units, and as we know, ads and privacy don’t mix. In order to remove trackers from all ad-supported companies, have they developed tools internally? Where are the “Trojan horses” within the confines of their products?

It has been said that data has surpassed oil in value. For businesses who grow by exploiting consumer’s personal data, it’s gold dust. Sure, some things can be monetised; personal data should not be one of them.


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21st Century Technologies Launches Konet, Solutions to All Communication Needs

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21st Century Technologies Limited, Nigeria’s ICT powerhouse has launched Konet- a wholly grown indigenous fully customizable, real-time collaboration tool that allows users to work and share.

21st Century Technologies Launches Konet, Solutions to All Communication Needs

Wale Ajiesebutu, EVC/CEO, 21st Century Technologies

With Konet, users  can: chat with people from all over the world, create newsgroups, organize remote meetings, build  professional network or even follow the news of their contacts

Wale Ajiesebutu, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer, 21st Century Technologies, said that “ Konet allows for real-time collaboration and improved productivity in your workplace. There are no limits, be you an individual looking for affordable solution, a small business owner, or large organizations” he added.

Some of the security and protection on Konet include: cloud 24/7 NOC & technical operation; secured media and signaling flows; encrypting data during traffic and during storage; and unique and dedicated, only includes the user group you defined.

Others are: generalized to your company, includes all the users you defined along with all your company and subsidiary users;  public, your company users and the rest of the world; and for quicker approval process of documents shared.

Konet adapts to user’s needs and those of the teams by offering fully customizable tool.

It has inbuilt instant chat messages to keep in touch with your teams and users can organize group discussions.

Users can also share files in their workgroups so that members can access them at any time.

It has the latest activities and notifications available in one click from the  dashboard.

Konet has flexible rates according to the number of collaborators without limit of the number of meetings or documents exchanged.

For conferences; users can call to organize remote meetings with their  teams around the world.

The mail service is very easy to use and with modules like; scheduled mail delivery, auto forwarding, auto response, filtering (inbound and outbound address ip ad domain) To-do.

Another feature ofKonet  is spam protection and account delegation as well as disclaimer and can automatically sort emails into different categories to reduce clutter. This feature is really helpful.

 

 

 

 


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