It has been six years since the JuakaliSmart dream was born and indeed it has been an interesting journey for us. We started off trying to solve the problem of access to market for locally made products and with that in mind, we set up an online marketplace for juakali products where we quickly onboarded more than 1000 sellers only to realise that most of them are not using the platform and even those using it are not using it as intended.
It has been six years of learning and unlearning the local juakali market and with all the experience gained, I would be lying if I said I know it all.
We have had to start over many times; we have become friends with some of the workshop owners and even opened a workshop ourselves all in an effort to really understand the pain points and devise the best solutions.
Through this experience, we have managed to really discover that not everyone who makes wood and metal products is our customer and that indeed, it is actually better to have few sellers on the platform who first are able or are willing to learn to use simple mobile technology and secondly and most importantly are aware of the importance and are able to build a good reputation with buyers through honesty and good workmanship and thirdly are ready to find time and commit resources to undertake the marketing function of their business.
JuakaliSmart remains an online marketing platform for locally made products particularly but not limited to wood and metal products. We have built a very rich system that leverages Search Engines to drive potential buyers to our users’ products. We have also built an automated facebook, google and Instagram advertising system that puts sellers’ products in the eyes of people looking for them within two hours after they are added on our mobile app.
After being the only sellers on the platform for a while as Halisi Home Furniture, today we have launched JuakaliSmart Group that will have between 100 and 150 Workshop Owners as members at a time. Members of the group will be able to advertise their products on the marketplace with very strict adherence to honesty and good workmanship. I truly believe that it is better to have 100 seller’s that buyers can trust and buy from than 1000 not getting any value from the platform. If you think you are a good fit for the group, download the JuakaliSmart App on Playstore, create an account and we will be in touch. Let us build JuakaliSmart into a brand.
JuakaliSmart App Download link - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.juakalismartapp