Earlier this year, Oberlo made a forecast of global e-commerce growth rate for 2022 at 12.7%, bringing sales to $5.545 trillion, but the tremendous shift in digital adoption caused eMarketer to forecast higher, giving a 20.3% worldwide e-commerce sales.
A report by Research and Markets projected the global e-commerce market to reach US$55.6 trillion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 27.4% between 2022 to 2027.
The speedy acceleration of e-commerce cannot be overemphasized, but how are business owners able to manage their daily activities, including deliveries to customers across and beyond the country?
To help resolve this challenge, individuals are rising to take this burden off the shoulders of business owners. While they focus on other daily activities, companies like Sendy take up packaging and delivery for them.
Adewale Adisa, the General Manager for Sendy Fulfilment in West Africa, in a chat with TechEconomy.ng, explains the drive behind the startup:
“Sendy was founded with great ambition,” he stated. The company was built with a goal to make trading in Africa easier and more beneficial to more people.
“We started out by simplifying logistics. To do this we consolidated vetted transporters on a single platform and enabled them to connect to individuals and businesses that were looking to move goods easily and on-demand. This seemingly simple tweak powered small businesses with the same tools and capabilities that large businesses had. They no longer had to own vehicles to move goods reliably. It also transformed small transporters by giving them access to large corporate accounts that were previously reserved for owners of large fleets.”
Sendy not only makes logistics seamless for business owners, the startup has included payments, storage, shipping and financing solutions to its offerings. E-commerce and consumer brands can ship goods to consumers and retailers across Africa. “Today we enable people and businesses to thrive by using our platforms to sell, move goods and get financing,”
Sendy’s impact so far
About six years ago, Sendy launched operations in Kenya and has since expanded into Nigeria, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire. So far, Sendy, with a total funding amount of at least $30 million according to Adisa, asserts working with over 6500 partners and over 7000 businesses across all the countries.
“We have seen incredible uptake of our newest vertical Sendy Fulfillment. Currently we have over 1000 online sellers on the platform selling over 7000 unique products. The efficiency of this has enabled sellers to sell more, build trust and loyalty resulting in growth of their businesses,” Adisa told TechEconomy.
Cybersecurity is a fast-growing trend that cannot be ignored by any tech-enabled corporation. How does Sendy tackle this? Adisa affirmed that the company understands the pinpoints of cyber security as a company and as a service provider. “The way we implement security is entirely based on our customers and partners’ behaviour,” he noted.
“We build solutions that curb access, tools used, tracking security, individual security for our partners and product security as a whole.”
What sustainable strategies has Sendy put in place for this highly competitive vertical it chose to focus on?
Adisa’s response was simply intellectual. Logistics is the foundation of easier trade in Africa and Sendy has invested heavily in it from both a tech and operations perspective. From a tech perspective, the company has redesigned its systems to ensure the proper handling of not only present traffic, but also future traffic. “The redesign greatly improved the stability of the system, achieving an average of 98.4% uptime.”
Sendy continues to invest in recruiting and upskilling local talent, offering them opportunities to advance their careers. Not limited to these, the solution oriented company leverages partnership as the foundation of what it does. “We have strategic partnerships with logistics providers, consumer goods suppliers, financial institutions, payment networks, warehouse providers and regulators in all countries we operate in.”
How does Sendy do it?
Sendy achieves its mission by bringing together everything that’s required for e-commerce and consumer brands to ship goods to consumers and retailers across Africa. Financing services in the form of a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) product are part of its offering. The short-term financing allows retailers to purchase goods from suppliers and pay for them within a week. Requirements and specifics vary from business to business.
More on Sendy’s Product
“We have two products, Sendy Supply and Sendy Fulfillment,” Adisa pointed out; Sendy Supply provides a platform that enables businesses to purchase stock at competitive prices from multiple suppliers/manufacturers.
“We also provide advanced credit and flexible financing to enable businesses to buy stock and meet customers’ shopping needs. Through the platform we are helping general retailers to grow and do more by picking and shipping stock from suppliers to their stores within 24 hours so that they can spend more time growing their businesses.”
On the other hand, Sendy’s Fulfillment supports online businesses that do not have storage or delivery systems. Sendy Fulfillment service picks, packs and ships orders to customers. It relieves online sellers of logistics difficulties while also insulating them from the high operational costs that come with logistics. This also enables them to focus and spend more time growing their businesses.
Pulling through the challenges
“Every challenge has always provided us an opportunity for growth. We have seen technology evolve over the years since we began our operations and this has helped us to overcome a number of challenges.”
When Sendy began, mobile and even internet penetration was not as high as it is now. But today, the company is able to leverage the faster internet speeds to connect with its drivers and partners in real time. “This has enabled our processes to be seamless hence benefiting our customers.”
In expanding to other countries, the issue of regulations cannot be avoided and owing to the fact that this differs from country to country, it can be challenging.
Needing to abide by the different regulations in heterogeneous markets across different countries, Sendy has had to adapt to the different market demands and the dynamics presented.
“We continue to take every challenge as an opportunity to learn, grow and above all, continue building a solution that will power Africa’s growth by making it easier to trade,” Adisa concluded.