It is quickly becoming a tradition for BellaNaija Style to host important conversations on Fashion and the Business of fashion around Lagos Fashion Week! Last year, the #BNStyleXBonang exclusive talk session with Bonang Matheba centered on Style & Building A Global Brand.
And this year, right after fashion week, BellaNaija Style in collaboration with Afrikrea held a fashion business event for fashion designers, stakeholders, and influencers focusing on fashion e-commerce in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The event, one of epic proportions and frank conversations about the way the fashion industry is evolving through the help of e-commerce, held at the scenic Africa Fintech Foundry in the heart of Victoria Island – the perfect location for serious conversations while enjoying stylish cocktails and chic eats.
The discussions kicked off with a brief introduction by BellaNaija Style’s Mary Edoro of the key speaker of the day – Moulaye B. Taboure, the CEO of Afrikrea.com.
He began by presenting Afrikrea‘s white paper and sharing key insights gained on the brand’s journey to achieving €2million+ in revenue with customers in over 78 countries under less than 2 years. Moulaye who comes from a tech background shared that although the brand’s social presence may not be as obvious as some of their competitors, they have invested time and resources into making the web platform as user-friendly as possible for a quality experience for both the sellers and the customers – and this is one of the secrets of the brand’s success.
Although, the Afrikrea platform initially launched in 2013, the business failed due to sub-par practices and re-launched in full force again in 2016. Now almost two years down the line, it has become a top online marketplace for African inspired fashion and crafts lovers, the platform still strives to overcome the lack of support and tools of designers on the one hand and to offer the best experience in buying African fashion online to customers on the other hand.
During his 45-minute presentation, Moulaye talked about the journey so far and shared key tips on how to succeed in the fashion business especially through e-commerce.
Here are five lessons we learned from him on that day:
- Social media following sometimes does not equal sales if you don’t put in the work.
- The best selling brands are consistent and known for one particular product
- Know your products and deliver the best for your customers
- Make profit but also establish trust in your customers
- Keep the quality of products high backed up with crisp photos for promotion
The presentation session ended with questions from the audience that raised even more strong points.
Olusegun Adeniyi, the Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry then took the stage to give all present a warm welcome and share his thoughts on why the importance of discussions like this that continue to push African fashion to greater heights cannot be overemphasized.
After a 20-minute break during which healthy yummy treats from Smol Efik Pot were munched on, the group reconvened once again and the main conversations anchored by BellaNaija Founder, Uche Pedro kicked off.
She directed specific questions to key players in different subsets of the fashion industry centered around working with brands, working with influencers and the ever-changing trends in the business of fashion.
One of the advisory questions was targeted at DHL‘s E-commerce Manager; Halimat Ibrahim. She talked extensively about the key logistics features in place for e-commerce merchants and platforms as well as answering the many questions that the eager-to-learn crowd had about the delivery processes for DHL.
The day may have started out with a bang, with the top-notch speakers but the audience off the stage who took the microphone to share from their personal wealth of knowledge including Latasha Ngwube, Pepper Chikezie, Ink Eze, Bola Balogun, Kiki Kamanu, Tolu Bally, Derin Odugbesan-Thomas among others — piqued the interest of the crowd.
In the end, Bella Adeleke said to BellaNaija Style:
This was a much-needed discussion especially for business owners and entrepreneurs in the fashion/retail online space. There’s little or no data for retail in Nigeria/Africa and this report is a good start to understanding our market better. What I took away was a reassurance when it comes to retail business. Whether online or brick and mortar, understanding your customer and building trust is the key to a successful business.
Another highlight of the cool afternoon event was the insightful words Bode Pedro, Founder/CEO of Veda Technology, shared on how fashion and technology are currently the power couple to be reckoned with.
The day’s event ended with pretty Rum n Passion cocktails as guests were led to the gorgeous AFF rooftop for more nibbles and cocktails to celebrate the insightful day as people shared their highlights and their favorite moments.
All in attendance agreed that the event was indeed a success and truly a day to remember in the fashion industry.
Keep scrolling to see the guests pose off with the beautiful backdrop and click on the gallery below for more photos.