Introducing RejaReja: Empowering small retailers and gig workers to do big things
MarketForce 360 has always been about creating ways for consumer companies to manage their field sales activities and grow their distribution channels in Africa, by enabling them to optimise how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers. In Africa (and many frontier markets), over 90% of retail transactions occur through informal channels — with millions of ‘corner shops’ and field sales agents acting as the first point of contact between consumers and brands.
Since our inception in 2018, our goal has been to build the first of its kind, end to end sales and distribution digitalization platform, offering mobile-first technology for the entire value chain; manufacturers, distributors, retailers, field sales agents and financial service providers.
Today marks 5 months since we launched a new service, MarketForce Troops, a solution that leverages a community of crowd-sourced youth sales agents who have so far collected over 20,000 orders from retailers across Nairobi at the shop level, and gotten paid through commissions once the orders are fulfilled by our partner distributors through fulfilment agents.
Following this successful pilot in Nairobi, we are excited to expand the service into a B2B wholesale e-commerce marketplace and rebrand to RejaReja. This creates a new self-service channel for shop owners to source and re-stock the inventory they need, and get it delivered directly to their store from the nearest distributor, within hours. This saves them losses attributed to lack of inventory to sell, or the time and money that they would have had to spend if they closed shop and went out to look for stock. We are also granting them working credit and intend to roll out the service in more towns in 2021, while introducing more value added services to help them grow their revenue streams and margins through working with strategic partners.
In the past, a ‘duka’ needed to get inventory from up to 20 different sources (wholesalers/distributors) every week and sometimes order in bulk to get better rates, even when they don’t need such large quantities. RejaReja, which is now in public beta, aims to help small retailers solve such inefficiencies that they face in the supply chain while creating employment for thousands of youth gig workers through our ecosystem.
”RejaReja” is swahili for retail, which sums up our collective vision to revolutionize retail distribution and drive financial inclusion in Africa using technology, helping businesses across the supply chain increase their efficiency and providing them with tools to conduct their business seamlessly and more profitably. We ask ourselves – can we bring the technology, tools and skills of modern retail and combine it with the low-cost, local structure of traditional retail to grow the income for small businesses and unemployed youth in Africa?