Etisalat, YuuZoo launch e-commerce portal for SMEs
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria’s most SME-friendly telecommunications operator, Etisalat, in partnership with Singapore’s YuuZoo Corp, has unveiled a bespoke e-commerce platform, SME Arena, to facilitate the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.
The dedicated e-commerce portal, SME Arena, developed and managed for Etisalat Nigeria by Singapore’s YuuZoo Corporation is a social and e-Commerce platform which allows small and medium-sized enterprises to converge, network, collaborate, showcase their products and interact with customers and business partners on the digital space, thereby enhancing efficiency, productivity and profit optimization.
Through the partnership, YuuZoo gains prime access to the booming e-Commerce and social networking market in Nigeria, with a specific focus on the huge SME market.
Speaking of YuuZoo’s exciting new venture with Etisalat, YuuZoo CEO, James Sundram said, “YuuZoo is excited to be the first Singapore-based company to in a significant way engage in the booming Nigerian e-Commerce market. We are deeply honoured that Etisalat, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators, has chosen us to be their trusted technology and solution partner for their new massive social e-Commerce launch. Working with Etisalat gives us first-hand access to their huge database of 24 million subscribers. Instead of starting from scratch in a new faraway market, we can concentrate our efforts on building exciting new solutions which Etisalat, through their massive reach, will market to Nigerian consumers. SME Arena provides an exciting new service to many Nigerians, who now can source and purchase a wide array of products online at their convenience.”
Also speaking at the launch in Lagos, Matthew Willsher, CEO of Etisalat Nigeria, described the SME Arena as a convergence of social experience and e-Commerce.
His words, “At Etisalat Nigeria, we pride ourselves as the most SME-friendly telecommunications company in Nigeria. Our commitment to the development and growth of small and growing businesses in Nigeria led us to create several platforms that enable budding entrepreneurs to strive. The market place is an Arena of sorts, and in today’s world, trade goes on at a fast pace. This is why we strongly believe that a platform such as the SME Arena is important in the improvement and growth of small and growing businesses,” he said.
The YuuZoo-Etisalat partnership forms a strategic collaboration between two viable business entities growing their online and mobile e-Commerce and social networking businesses together in Africa. YuuZoo’s business strategy is to provide complete turnkey platforms that offer e-Commerce, social networking and entertainment to partners with large customer bases. Via SME Arena, YuuZoo leverages Etisalat’s rich current user base of 24 million Nigerian subscribers as well as Nigeria’s 182 million strong population.
The Nigerian e-Commerce and social networking market has about 82.19 mobile subscriptions per 100 people in Nigeria as at 2015 . The total number of mobile cellular subscriptions in Nigeria is put at 150.83 million with the country also having the highest mobile internet traffic against total web traffic ratio in the world, at 82% as of 1st quarter 2016.
Etisalat SME Arena helps small & medium-sized businesses in Nigeria drive networking, profitability and brand awareness through its unique Community, Marketplace and Directory features. It empowers an SME operator to interact, socialise and share industry intelligence with people of common interests using the available social network platforms.
SME merchants can choose to open a store and sell their products on the online marketplace with support for delivery and also list their businesses on the portal for free through the directory. This feature helps SMEs expand their client base and gain increased awareness for their businesses.