Johannesburg, South Africa, 02 November 2018: Mzansiads is a South African ecommerce startup company that will disrupt the way ecommerce industry operates. Founded by 3 young entrepreneurs, Promise Mandondo, Gerald Ndlovu and Brain Nyathi, with an aim of harnessing the disruptive world of Artificial Intelligence. The company started as a web designing agency for small and medium sized businesses in South Africa. It grew to a web designing and marketing agency.
The company was founded in early August 2018. Soon enough, the company made some progress and it launched an online classifieds advertising platform called Mzansiads.com. That’s where the idea of an Artificial Intelligence powered ecommerce marketplace came into existence. The reason behind the idea is that fraud and counterfeit goods remain the biggest problem for online shoppers, hence this reduces the customer-merchant relationship.
That’s how Mzansiads was born. To detect and prevent fraud and counterfeit products, at the same time simplify the shopping experience. Mzansiads.com is an e-commerce start-up company positioning itself to become the market leader in offering online merchants and consumers a uniform and trouble-free way to shop, sell and advertise online in one place. The company offers a business-to-business solution to online merchants of physical and digital goods. The company utilises a unique approach that allows online merchants to instantly advertise, save bad sales, restore customer satisfaction and stimulate repeat sales, while offering consumers a convenient, centralised online location to shop products and services of their choice securely. By creating a new service category and utilizing the buy and sell online advantage, Mzansiads.com positions itself for rapid growth and gains a strong opportunity to raise entry barriers for possible competition.
Mzansiads.com’s services streamline the entire return process for retailers. They allow retailers to outsource a large part of their business, allowing the retailer to concentrate on their core competencies and not get distracted with activities that add little value. Mzansiads.com will reduce capital expenditures of a company that uses their services, increase customer service of the retailer, increase sales opportunities, increase revenues, and improve inventory management. Customers will benefit by having a convenient, easy way to sell and advertise their goods and services online, set up store managers to their online store, give world class instant customer support to their clients and track their orders online.
Speaking to Gerald Ndlovu (CEO) and Brain Nyathi (COO) they said that they are planning to raise US$500 000 for the development and implementation of the system. The duo continued to say that they will beat competition through:
1. Creating a customer-centric search- Mzansiads.com will integrate a system that enables the platform search engine to think the way humans do. We found out that consumers often abandon e-commerce experiences because the product results displayed are often irrelevant. To tackle this problem, Mzansiads.com will utilise natural language processing to narrow, contextualize and ultimately improve search results for online shoppers. The visual capabilities of such a system are truly outstanding. By first obtaining visual cues from the uploaded imagery, the software can successfully assist the customer in finding the product they desire. The consumer no longer needs to be shopping to see something they would like to purchase
2. Creating a more efficient sales process- Mzansiads.com will use AI to better understand the consumers. By using IBM’s AI solution called Watson, we can enable online shoppers to discover their perfect shoe. The system will achieve this by asking the customer questions e.g. “where do you want to go? or Do you love to party?” through voice input AI technology. IBM’s software then scans hundreds of products to find perfect matches based on real-time customer input and its own research e.g. such as weather conditions in the local area, or upcoming events.
3. Providing a personal touch with chatbots-Mzansiads.com will integrate a Chabot system into a shopping cart. Once the Chabot system has been integrated with the shopping cart, it can work with all the stores based on the platform. Also, the Chabot will be integrated to the shopping cart to retrieve information such as product details, quantities and shipping terms that it may use to provide accurate answers to customers. Chatbots will provide a valuable customer support solution for Mzansiads.com retailers.
4. Combating counterfeit products- When browsing through large online marketplaces, it can be difficult for the everyday consumer to identify a counterfeit product from a third-party seller. When the consumer buys a product that looks legitimate but performs poorly, it can leave a sour taste and negatively impact the consumer’s perception of the brand. Mzansiads.com will adds a layer of protection for brands by adopting machine learning algorithms that spot counterfeits, and help businesses understand how consumers are discovering their products. The system will then draws on data from multiple online marketplaces and analyses it to determine which products are in fact counterfeit. A fascinating and effective way of using artificial intelligence to tackle the painful problem of counterfeit products.
5. Local customer experience-By integrating IBM’s Watson and its natural language capabilities, Mzansiads.com can successfully personalise local recommendations for consumers. Personalising the results means a lot of overwhelming information that consumers are often presented with is removed. This allows consumers them to make faster decisions and with more confidence.
They launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, to raise funds for the start up. If you are interested in supporting the young entrepreneurs, you can do so by visiting their campaign on Indiegogo.
Help the youngsters fulfill their dreams and make the world a better place. United we stand, divided we fall.
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