Hi *|FNAME|*,

Welcome to 2nd edition of ecomm.africa dispatch. Here we are on the edge of level 2 and things are looking up. We've had a lot of fun working to get this ecomm.africa thing off the ground and we've been thrilled making friends along the way. Good things happen when you put yourself out there and there's never been a time where we've needed community and connection more. For those of you who have subscribed to our weekly mailer we want to open up our plans with you in hopes of getting some feedback.

1. Simplifying eCommerce platform choices. We want to help people (based on their unique needs) by putting them on the path to success. For this, we developed a tool that we'd love for you to test and let us know what you think. Off the back of this tool we're putting together DIY guides on getting started. We know DIY isn't for everyone, in fact we recently discovered that more than 1/3 of all WooCommerce sites in South Africa are built by freelancers or agencies.

2. Where do you find help? A lot of people and businesses need help starting and need help growing their online stores. For this we are building a tool to help you find local help from experts that match your budget and requirements. 

3. Themes, apps and services, oh my! Choosing your eCommerce platform is a great place to start but we know choosing your theme and tools to power your site isn't easy. For this we're creating content and a directory of stores in South Africa (for now) that you can browse through to see what's powering them. We think enabling sellers to be exposed to local inspiration will help them more easily find the right tools and may also enable collaborations between sellers. Here's an example of a store listing, let us know what you think? 

4. Meet the heroes. The starting point for this project was to tell more stories and to learn from local eCommerce folk. Seller Stories has been a ton of fun, we'll continue featuring businesses and are considering recording the interviews. Here's our latest Seller Story.

Seller Stories: A dream deferred. The story of turning tough times into a new creations.  

Last week we shared the journey of 3rd generation beekeeper, this week we get to hear from Nicky Barber who recently launched her online store centred around her love for cooking. 
"In times of crisis people handle things differently. After I’d gotten over the initial shock of what my fate might be over the next few weeks, I went into survival mode. How would I get through this? What would my next move be? How could I use my skills to generate an income during a time where people are having contracts cancelled, being retrenched, freezing positions and closing their businesses? I'd do what I know best - cook, bake, photograph and create content which people needed. And so began what I hope will be something that I can successfully do now and continue doing after this is all over." 
Read Nicky's Story


Upcoming Events

β€’ Wed, August 19, 8:30am: Lean (Startup) Coffee 
β€’ Thu, Aug 20, 12pm Future of Work Series with Sumarie Greybe, Co-Founder of Naked Insurance by OfferZen.
β€’ Thu, August 20, 4pm: OnlineX: β€˜Why now’s the time to launch your e-commerce business’ with Andy Higgins from uAfrica.
β€’ Thu, August 20, 3pm: WordPress Meetup: Intro to Gutenberg Block Development

eComm Professionals Corner

eComm Africa Experts Directory is coming soon, reply to ensure we list you or your favourite agency.
πŸ› οΈ WordPress 5.5 "Eckstine" released last week. There's CMS more popular on the planet and Africa. Update your site but don't forget to back it up first .
πŸ› οΈ New Shopify Google Web Vitals App.
BigCommerce IPO'd and their stock is soaring. This could lead to increased expansion.
‍♀️ Arko opened up applications for digital tech accelerator for township startups are open! Apply here.

Job Board
β€’ Pargo (logistics) - 2 roles 
β€’ Ozow (payments) - 20+ roles
β€’ Peach Payments - 3 roles
β€’ Vaimo (Magento agency) - 3 roles
β€’ Woww (WordPress agency) - 6 roles
β€’ generalistjobs.co.za a new site for an incredible list of non-developer jobs.

eComm Trends: WooCommerce vs Shopify

Live Debate

Last week Joel from our team had the chance to host a session and debate for Online X. Melissa Rowlston (team Shopify) from Maverick Marketing and Felix Norton (team Woo) from Woww each presented their cases before squaring off.  Here's the video should you like to see how it went down

By the Numbers

Last week we shared that in July, WooCommerce added over 2k stores while Shopify added over 700. Digging further into the migrations here's what we found:

β€’35 stores migrated from Woo to Shopify
β€’10 stores migrated from Shopify to Woo.

The battle wages on. Here's the link to check out the migrations report for the past year.
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