Less than 6 months from today’s date, April 29th to be precise, a solution was developed to help middle income and high class Nigerians access items from local markets without having to be physically present – a literal “helping hand”.
Cue in TRADR.
Tradr is an online shopping platform owned by Tradr Africa Limited, founded by the ambitious and entrepreneurial Chidi Oguegbu whose love for bettering society by being a solution provider has left a trail of impressive startups to his name.
So, what’s with Tradr?
You know, having more time to spend on what matters the most at the moment, and not haggling over meat prices under the very hot sun after wrong footing in a messy pothole. And oh, the stench! Yeah, that’s a big privilege.
What matters the most is relative. For some, it’s spending that extra time with their kids, for others it could be more time to record another episode of their vlog or podcast, get on that goofy call, stepping outside to enjoy good ‘ol fresh air or just being able to rest their domestic staff some more.
There is also the part where we are actively trying to reduce the unemployment gap in Nigeria by hiring as many shoppers to attend to buyers and get paid decent commissions for every transaction.
And last but not least are the market men and women who get to make more sales because we are bringing those who would naturally not visit their markets to buy from them through shoppers.
All of these and more are possibilities with Tradr.
How does it work?
It all starts with hiring and training people to be personal shoppers. They undergo a verification test, get onboarded upon passing verification and are then listed on our platform after being assigned to a local market near them.
Now to the platform, the actual deal. Tradr is a mobile app that acts like a broker between personal shoppers and intending buyers. You wouldn’t be wrong if you also called it a meeting place between personal shoppers and intending buyers.
Permit me to interject with a glossary below this line for context:
Intending buyer: Middle, upper and higher class Nigerians who would like to purchase items from a local market usually due to freshness of food items, cost savings especially as they may be buying in bulk and originality of items to be purchased.
Local market: In this context, rowdy Nigerian markets where traders come on a daily basis or on select market days. These are usually where the retail supply chain for urban cities start from and these markets are mostly known for peculiar items. Mile12 market in Ketu is the hub for every food item supplied directly by farmers all over the country, Ladipo markets is the automobile parts centre of the nation, find your next electronic item and parts at Alaba international market among many other markets.
Personal shopper: Trained professional usually stationed in the market or closely around it, understands the market and it’s dynamics, expert bargainer, chief negotiator and up to speed with latest developments in the market (impending scarcity, price hike, price fall e.t.c.). Just the kind of person you should keep close, you know.
So now, back to the article.
Tradr then helps intending buyers connect with personal shoppers at their preferred local market. Upon connecting, buyers place their item orders, receive real time market pricing from the shopper, give a go ahead and then the shopper gets to work.
Sweetness to this is the live interaction between shopper and buyer during shopping where the buyer can get to have a feel of the market via audio or video call.
Upon completion of purchase, these items are taken to a collection center where they are inspected and quality checked by our market supervisor. They are then cleaned and packaged for dispatch right away!
What markets can I purchase from using Tradr? We are currently live in four markets:
● Mile 12 international market – food items
● Lagos island( Balogun, Mandilas, Idumota) – Fashion items and accessories, household items
● Alaba International Market – Electronics and electronic parts ● Ladipo Spare Parts Market – Automobile spare parts
Who needs an app when I have domestic staff to run errands anyways?
Honestly, you are very correct! But think of it this other way;
You get to have domestic staff who become more efficient because the laborious and time-consuming task of visiting the market has been taken off their shoulders and then they get to serve you better because they are well rested and yes, they’re human too.
I really hope that was convincing.
What we are struggling with
At the moment, the Tradr app is currently undergoing serious debugging and restructuring by the engineering team. We should be back to open beta in a couple of weeks. But in the meanwhile, you can connect with shoppers from various markets by visiting our website at www.tradr.ng and clicking on the “connect to shopper” button.
The cost of transporting items purchased from various markets down to the buyers has also put a huge constraint on our profit margin as we
currently do not operate our own logistics which means that we have to rely on third-party logistics which can be very expensive.
So far, how far?
Over the past 4 months (since we launched open beta in July), we have been able to satisfy 45 customers in 60 transactions totalling about 6,000 dollars in total transactions, commission paid to shoppers about 500 dollars and profit from service charge amounting to a little over 600 dollars.
You can see testimonials from our satisfied customers on our Google my business page and on Instagram.
We hope to achieve more milestones and satisfy even more customers and make more shoppers happy.
Just a recap
● On Tradr, you can request a shopper and make your shopping list. ● Monitor and track your shopper in real time.
● Receive live updates about prices of items.
● Fast, easy, seamless payment process.
● Receive your goods in eco-friendly packaging in record time.We are currently expanding our services across major markets all over the country and are also open to receive funding. For funding discussions, kindly reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.