Closet49 is Kenya’s online marketplace for trendy,fashionable, unique and eclectic items from upcoming designers, boutique stores, and pieces straight from individual consumer closets. Launched in 2012 and accelerated at 88mph Nairobi, fashion the marketplace says it has launched its API and anyone can integrate their system on their platform and sell around the clock from their sites.
Closet49 says it’s now serving over 9,500 active buyers, has signed up 58 traders and designers and still counting. Sera Kanyua, coo-founder Closet49 told TechMoran that they have improved their www.closet49.com portal which now boasts of a simple user interface for quick easy purchases of trendy, affordable items and the latest fashion news and access blog articles.
Their is so much revamped, catch the whole story here!
Why the changes?
E-commerce is still very young and new in the Kenyan market. At Closet49 we are constantly working to make the experience better for our family. We are a dynamic marketplace and hence there will always be changes 🙂
Any additional funding?
We have completed our accelerator program that came with start-up funding and we are now looking to invite new investors on board.
Are you making any sales?
We now have 58 traders and designers and doubled our community of active buyers to over 9,500.
How does Closet49 work?
Closet49 is marketplace that connects the buyers and sellers.We have created a catalogue of fashion items from the trendiest upcoming designers and traders that are available online for easy search, find, click buy and make payment using M-pesa. We coordinate the delivery of the item between the buyer and the seller to ensure the item delivered is of quality and reaches the customer in good condition.Once the customer receives their purchase and is happy with it,we release the funds to the respective trader.
In addition we have a fashion marketplace for individuals to sell their gently worn but still in great condition items that are taking up unnecessary space in their closet. Anyone can earn some extra cash and it is also a great way to go green.
Take us through your features
Featured products: We let the user quickly know about daily specials, current trending items, or new products in the store.We promote our featured products constantly on our active Social media channels.
-Categories & Navigation: Users can easily browse through designer pieces, boutique picks, and great finds from other fashionable women’s closets. We have a great tiered structure that lets you easily narrow down your search and quickly find the perfect piece.
-Subscription: Users can either subscribe to receive text alerts on their mobile phones, or our weekly email newsletter where we send information on sales and discounts.
–Automated payment: All payments are made via Mpesa. Once the user sends in their payment to our Mpesa account, they input the confirmation code on the site and get an immediate response about the processing of their order.
–Social Media presence: Users can easily comment on products with their social profiles, share great finds with their friends, and send inquiries to our customer support using their Facebook, twitter, Piniterest, and Instagram profiles.
–News & Events: Closet49 is a lifestyle. To that end, we like to keep our family informed on the latest fashion news, events happening around them, and DIY beauty guides. Basically all information on “Who What Wear”
-Return policy: If you don’t love it, we’ll take it back! That’s the C49 promise. If it doesn’t fit, just bring it back and exchange it for something you never want to take off.
Are is Closet49 just on the web or you got other platforms?
From the onset, we built Closet49 to be mobile friendly. The site is very intuitive. The screen size adjusts to respond to the user’s machine. Some features are automatically hidden on smaller screens to enhance speed and accessibility Smart phones have full access to the site as is available on the web platform, feature phones are able to browse through the store but have to complete their orders by phone.
Biggest achievement to date?
To have been successfully selected to be part of the accelerator program by seed fund 88mph that has enabled us to launch our improved e-commerce site and doubled our active community reach to over 9,500 active buyers.
After several months in the market, are you solving the problem you wanted to?
We are effectively tapping into a growing network of IT savvy customers looking for convenience, variety and affordability of online shopping while avoiding either the exorbitant cost imposed by physical stores in high rent areas or the time and effort to navigate heavy traffic just to visit shop after shop. As time is money,you can save both and shop online from virtually anywhere in Kenya, Africa and around the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This represents a huge untapped buying market who have access to the internet from computers and mobile phones.
Closet 49 provides an additional selling online channel to fashion designers and traders using our marketing expertise, reach and resources to tap the growing IT savvy customer base.
Where do you get your designs from?
ustomer have the three options to browse and find that fashionable item .We have Kenyan designers with unique handmade pieces,Boutique picks with trendy affordable items and great fashions finds from other fashionable women’s closets . We aim to cover the needs for the discerning fashionable lady .
Any competition in the market?
Yes. We continue to be focused on being purely a fashion marketplace ,as we are not interested in selling to customers, fashion items next to a fridge or microwave. While continuing to deliver to customers our value proposition of trendy,fashionable,affordable items and providing a marketplace to sell gently used but fashionable items that are in their closets.
Apart from competition, are there other challenges?
The normal start-up challenges of capacity building, working around the lack of a fully developed delivery logistics system in Kenya, and changing the mentality to shopping online as a more cost-effective and convenient mode of transaction.
What are you planning for the near future?
We are focused on growing our community of buyers,traders and designers .To create a more enriching experience for online buyers and bring the online shopping experience to every home and office.