By Emma Okonji
With broadband access more readily available and mobile data becoming increasingly reliable and affordable, more people in Sub-saharan Africa are choosing to shop online.
DHL, a major industry player in logistics distribution is already well positioned to support and contribute to the evolving e-commerce industry through its involvement with names like Jumia and Konga, two of the largest e-commerce sites currently operating in Nigeria. However, DHL is now set to take its involvement in the industry a step further.
DHL has announced its agreement to become the official logistics partner of newly launched and first of its kind social commerce platform, 3AL. www.3al.com is a personalised business networking site that incorporates the functionalities of ‘Social Media’ and ‘E-commerce’. The platform allows businesses to communicate directly with existing and potential clients in a virtual community, post their various products/ services to their market and conclude a sale.
3AL is a first-of-its kind business community which provides a platform for individuals and corporate organisations to interface, network and exchange goods and services promoting retail through interactivity and convenience. To facilitate convenience, the platform has been integrated with a dynamic payment settlement solution in partnership with a foremost financial institution, and it offers a subscriber to subscriber payment module. The payment solution is currently integrated with all switches recognised in Nigeria, which means it accepts all the credit/debit cards issued in the country. DHL will provide courier services, thereby ensuring speed, security, tracking, signature, specialization and swift delivery of items ordered by the customers.
Speaking on the partnership, the Country Commercial Manager of DHL Nigeria, Mr. Chrys Okereke said: "With the improved infrastructure, in terms of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and online safety and security, more people are choosing to make use of online shopping over traditional brick and mortar outlets due to the variety of products available to them at just the click of a button." He added that the inclusion of a social element like they have done with 3AL makes this even more interesting. We at DHL see the prospects in this industry and this partnership signifies our willingness and commitment to become a dominant force in the logistics aspect of the e-commerce sector, he said.
The CEO of 3AL Limited, Mr. Oladapo Okupe said the portal would be the first of its kind in the industry, combining the power of social media and eCommerce. "It offers businesses access to display their goods and services on the web at no cost to them. Innovative ideas need support from experienced partners and this is why we have pitched our tent with DHL,” Okupe said.