A cutting-edge e-commerce tech, Hicolumn, which connects consumers to their choice stores within or close to their neighborhood has been launched in Lagos.
The e-commerce tech, which is a mobile app, according to its promoters, is designed to give visibility to neighbourhood stores and connect them directly to customers anywhere, anytime. It comprises Hicolumn Customer, Hicolumn Merchant and Hicolumn Delivery Apps respectively, which are connected together and work as one-enterprise resources programme.
Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of the e-commerce tech firm, Benjamin Madu, said the app is designed to revolutionize the online market in Africa, and offers stores, merchants, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with existing and verifiable businesses the opportunity of leveraging the internet to serve or sell to their existing and prospective customers, without the customers physically visiting the stores.
This first of its kind, Madu explained is designed to make a difference in the e-commerce sector, adding that the app also ensures that customers’ usual places of shopping are made available for them to choose or change current location from where orders are made, for real comfort and convenience.
He said, “Merchants can register and set up their stores for free without difficulties and start getting orders from consumers. They don’t need any delivery facility, but they need to have goods available in stock for packaging after receiving payment from consumers.”
“Hicolumn enables merchants to have online presence without having a website or delivery facility, as consumers who have made purchases on the platform would have prompt delivery of their goods within 20 minutes, with the same quality, same price and faster than physically being at the stores,” he added.
Expressing optimism on the positive impact of the online stores hub, Madu said over 100,000 jobs are expected to be created before the end of 2021 and will bring about large-scale youth empowerment and increase in the patronage of locally made goods.
In his remark, Hicolumn’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Uche Elekwachi, said the platform will transform the online market in Nigeria and Africa with its innovative mobile app that will give merchants the ability to sell their goods to widely dispersed customers.
He stated that the e-commerce Tech has come to the rescue of merchants and store owners, to become super strong, active online and not to lose their business focus to foreign competitors currently entering their domain, especially in this period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when shopping is mostly done online.
According to Elekwachi, the majority of the e-commerce apps in the country do not adopt traditional open market methods of e-commerce that enable buyers to choose from a variety of physically available merchants, thereby forcing them to trade with only selected sellers.