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Social media has been largely adopted as a social commerce platform where online selling and transactions take place. It often involves direct communication between a business and its consumers. Social commerce is ideal for SMEs without access to loans or the capacity to set up stores. Thus, social commerce provides them with an avenue to grow their businesses and increase sales. Also, running a business on social media doesn’t require much digital expertise. So it is more accessible to less tech-savvy vendors and consumers.


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Sadly, the processes through which social media sales occur; on the side of the seller are crude and inefficient. So, Silas Adedoyin and Segun Oladiran built Catlog as a social commerce solution. The platform launched in private beta in November 2021. Catlog offers vendors a simple and easy way to create an online store on its platform, add their products, and create a custom link they can share via social media. Then, potential customers can click on the store link and choose the items they want to buy. Also, Buyers can click the button to reach out to the vendor, who automatically receives the order on WhatsApp. At this stage, a chat is initiated during which both parties finalize the details of the purchase.

Catlog Helps vendors in three ways:

Make more sales: With Catlog, everyone sees all the items a vendor has to sell. This prevents them from losing sales because buyers didn’t know they have those items.

Be more efficient: With Catlog, vendors won’t have to keep answering the same questions from customers every time especially if they won’t end up buying.

Be more visible: The platform’s advanced search engine optimization helps vendors, stores & products show up on Google when customers search related keywords.


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Subscription

Currently, Catlog has onboarded hundreds of Nigerian sellers on its platform. It makes money via two tiers of subscription.

Basic pack: This pack can be purchased for a monthly subscription fee of ₦900. Customers here have access to everything in starter, custom store link, a list of up to 100 products, and SEO optimization.

Starter pack: This pack gives customers free access to the platform for 30 days. Also, customers can only list 10 products, create a store link and manage one store.

The platform has plans to introduce another plan in the coming months where sellers have more power.


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Service Offerings

For now, the platform can’t process payments because most customers are uncomfortable paying online. Eventually, a feature that helps sellers automatically generate invoices and collect payments, including a buy now pay later (BNPL) option will be introduced. Likewise, escrow services for the invoices will be rolled out to solve the hassle of pay-before-delivery. Catlog also launched a feature that allows sellers automatically add orders they receive on WhatsApp to their dashboard. This helps them keep track of all the orders received so nothing gets missing when it’s time to deliver. This feature also allows them to see analytics of how well their business is doing, manage details of buyers, and also automatically notify customers when changes are made to orders. Catlog features a chatbot that helps sellers respond to customers and take orders in their absence. Others include simplified ways for buyers to find multiple sellers in specified areas, price comparison, credit facilities for sellers, and an easy way for sellers to find delivery riders.

Retail sales still take place through offline, informal channels. This means there’s a huge market waiting to be tapped when these offline retail shops are onboarded. Therefore, Catlog has a big market opportunity with plans to expand to more countries soonest.

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This article was first published on 9th May 2022

eyimegwu-ekene

I am an accomplished content creator and recently delved into technical writing. I enjoy using my skills to contribute to the exciting technological advances and create awareness of evolving technological trends in Nigeria.


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