A budding entrepreneur, Taeli Hopolang Mofelehetsi, has transformed his online store into an online mall in a move to grow and diversify.
Currently studying Diploma in Accounting and Business Studies at the Institute of Development Management (IDM), the Hlotse-born aspiring entrepreneur started Qiloane e-Store, a platform meant to provide e-commerce services for different entities and products in 2020, shortly after Lesotho went into lockdown as a measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19.
With the evolution of business and saturation in the market, as well as the drive to grow, Qiloane e-Store has been transformed into Slickbuy, a platform that is bigger than just a store.
Mofelehetsi told this publication that the journey began in 2019 when he was piloting the platform which would later be launched as Qiloane e-Store.
“I started Slickbuy back in 2019, but at that time it was Qiloane Marketing and Promotions as a pilot phase, with the main aim being to promote tourism, online shopping and local products,” Mofelehetsi explained.
â€œQiloane Marketing and Promotions was a listing website where the plan was to link businesses. It was later upgraded to an online store,â€ he added, noting that the concept of Slickbuy is a virtual platform housing several stores that sell different products.
“Slickbuy is a Virtual Marketplace which will enable people to buy from various stores and also opt to pick up their orders or have them delivered to their doorsteps, while, stores will subscribe to be listed on the platform. They will then get a content management system where they will be able to manage their content and a delivery system which will use to deliver purchased orders,” Mofelehetsi explained the process, saying the aim was to make local products easily available.
In January 2021, the innovator noted that the online store partnered with Enrich Store to sell more products in to attract a larger market, while still promoting local products.
He said the platform allowed shoppers to use the online platform or even use WhatsApp to forward their grocery list which would later be delivered to their doorstep.
“That’s when we decided to close Qiloane e-Store because it had reached its saturation, then the move to have an online Mall became plausible. Its first name was Lestransact, but it didnâ€™t resonate very well with our target market. Most people thought it was a mobile money company. We then decided to change the name to Slickbuy.
â€œSlick means â€˜operating in an impressively smooth and efficient way.â€™ Slickbuy means buying in an impressively smooth and efficient way which would explain the Slickbuy slogan â€˜At Your Comfortâ€™.â€
Mofelehetsi indicated that Slickbuy has not ditched the original concept of promoting local products as part of the requirements for stores is to list local products that are affiliated to Slickbuy on the site.
He added that the reason they have vested interests in promoting local products is that local products create jobs and more business opportunities.
“The higher the demand for local products, the more jobs and business opportunities will be created thus also simultaneously increasing the buying power which in return will increase our clientele.
“Today the world is a global village because of the internet. We talk to people far away from us in seconds, we get news from around the world immediately. Why not use the same internet to develop our livelihoods, create jobs and more business opportunities,” stated Mofelehetsi.
“My plans with Slickbuy are bigger than a Virtual Marketplace. The virtual marketplace is the first step. Slickbuy will be partnering with C-Pay. C-Pay will be the payment gateway which will be processing all payments. We will be using a split payment method where payments will be split according to the percentage agreed and the store ownerâ€™s funds will be transferred directly into their C-Pay Merchant accounts,” he said.