Mazao Bora (mazaobora.com) is a multivendor e-commerce platform that sells agri-inputs and agri-products to customers and to other businesses.
What Was the Problem?
Mazao Bora sought a provider to develop a USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) system for them and integrate it with their already existing web-based e-commerce platform (mazaobora.com). The USSD platform would make it easier for customers without smartphones to purchase products from mazao bora. The primary target for Mazao Bora is farmers in rural Kenya, particularly western Kenya. Many of these farmers lack smartphones or have poor network coverage in the areas they live. With this in mind, Mazao Bora wanted a USSD platform to make their products available to these farmers. The USSD platform allows farmers with any kind of phone, internet-enabled or not, to access and purchase Mazao Bora products.
Integration of the USSD platform with the web-based platform allows the management of the products catalog and sales to be done in one place. The Mazao Bora’s USSD service is available at *483*300#.
How Did We Resolve It?
We started by creating a prototype with one shop whereby buyers could go through the entire lifecycle of online shopping from viewing products to adding to cart, checking out, and paying via Mpesa. The final step in the purchase process is receiving a confirmation SMS from Mazao Bora confirming that the customer’s order is being processed. After successfully linking the first shop, we integrated two more shops for a total of three, each with it separate Mpesa Paybill. We also created a web-based backend platform via which the web manager can add more products to the USSD and do other web-management tasks, such as changing product prices and removing products among others.
What Were the Outcomes?
The USSD platform has allowed Mazao Bora to increase its sales, particularly in the rural areas. The platform has also allowed Mazao Bora to build a phone number list that they can use in their marketing and to analyze demographics of their customers, such as the region they come from and age among others.
So far, Agetake Kreatives has onboarded three stores on the Mazao Bora USSD platform. The client has plans to onboard over 20 stores, each with its own unique payment method and we are in the process of developing this platform in the most efficient way that guarantees system reliability and security of personal data. There’s also a possibility of developing an android app that would enhance the diversity of services available to Mazao Bora customers via their phones.