It’s obvious by now that Konga (and all the big e-commerce companies) aren’t technology companies — their business is really retail infrastructure, inventory warehousing and logistics. Be that as it may, Konga does some little things with tech that amaze me, and often can make all the difference for many people.

I got an email from Konga this afternoon. They wrote to say they’d noticed that I haven’t shopped for two months. Then they offered me a N750 voucher to come back.

Of course, I’m sure you know that it’s not the N750 that’s impressing me here.

Customers cost money, and are freakin’ hard to acquire. You should guard the ones you have with your life. With that one “thoughtful” automated email, plus money-incentive-viral-adoption-loop combo, many a customer that is about to fall out of Konga’s shopping basket will be scooped safely back in. I don’t recall ever having received such a communication from a Nigerian company.

Like I’ve said before, Konga fanatically track and optimise their conversion funnels. Do you? It’s kinda standard practice elsewhere.


On further consideration, 
I’ve come to understand that the said thoughtful automated email wasn’t some random act of tech foresight. It is actually informed by very astute consumer psychology. Konga deals mostly in fast moving consumer goods — groceries, toiletries and other common household consumables — the kind of things people tend to purchase on a frequent and regular basis. In my case, it was groceries, which I generally replenish monthly. When someone breaks that routine, it’s a sure sign that they are buying elsewhere. That means that while this sort email reminder works very well in my case, it probably wouldn’t work for say a store that sells expensive jewelry, because there’s a much lower expectation of frequent custom there.

Again, I have to say that there can’t be many Nigerian companies or startups that play at this level.

Now, for an insight that Konga’s tech can’t figure out. I’ve realised that despite my self-confessed newfound craze for online shopping, I haven’t bought from Konga for the past two months because since my sister moved in with me, she’s been doing all the shopping. She does it the old-fashioned way, so Konga would have to have a word with her, not me. There’s also something interesting there, about connecting with the demographic of people most likely to make the household buying decisions.

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I first published this article, under a different headline, on TechLoy (August 2012) I started writing about technology almost entirely by chance, back when I was in Law School and actively pursuing an unrelated side gig in freelance graphic design. A client’s brief required me to register a Twitter account for them. I wasn’t quite sure what […]

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