Small package delivery in Africa and Africa business, as a whole, is growing exponentially with the huge African expatriate population in other parts of the globe. Transthat, a Nigerian startup has managed to tap into this traveller base by connecting travelers returning to the continent with local buyers of foreign goods. The company offers to pay the travelers upon arrival on behalf of the customers who have ordered specific items. Bizrika wanted to know more about this simple yet exciting idea and it’s impact on Africa business and spoke with the founders of the company.
Could you give a brief description of how Transthat works from a buyer’s perspective?
Transthat offers a buy option for products and a Transfer lite option for documents only from buyer/requester’s perspective. A buyer lists the item they want to buy along with how much they are willing to pay to the traveller for their time and effort, a minimum price has been set.
Once a transthat traveller offers to help on the request the buyer is prompted to pay for the item.
Transthat facilitates the request and holds the money paid by the buyer in escrow ensure that transactions are done safely and securely on the platform. The money is released after the item has been delivered to transthat and verified. The travellers can also shop with peace of mind.
The buyer is kept up to date at each stage of the request and is able to chat with the traveller once the transaction has been confirmed. The item can either be picked up from our office or delivered depending on the option that was selected by the buyer.
Transthat is unique in that it is not limited to things you can buy online from abroad. Requests can be made to pick something up from a local market or a local gallery without an online delivery service.
Do you have your own merchants/travelers abroad or the buyer must have a traveller of his or her choice to bring the goods to Nigeria?
Transthat connects requesters to travellers registered on Transthat as Travellers. Buyers are matched with travellers based on travel route and dates. Ultimately, the travellers offer to help on requests of their choice and earn money for each request as an incentive.
Does Transthat offer door-to-door delivery services or a customer has to come to your offices for pick-up?
Transthat also offers door-to-door delivery service for a small fee. However, the Office pick up option is free.
Which countries abroad have proven popular sources of item requests with most of your buyers so far?
So far, we have found the United Kingdom and the United States of America to be the most popular countries for buyers.
Most shipping items require excise duty especially expensive ones. Do you consider that in your pricing?
Yes, requesters are advised to make allowance for excise duty and add it to their listings on the website.
Which is the popular list of items does Transthat bring via travelers?
Interestingly, the most popular requests we have seen so far on Transthat are for:
Shoes and accessories
Do you have expansion plans for Transthat delivery to other parts of Africa?
Most certainly, we plan to expand to other parts of Africa starting with our neigbouring countries in West Africa.
Thank you very much for speaking to Bizrika.