One of the difficulties retail outlets all over the world face is; selling-out older products that have been deemed out of fashion by the market. Selling such items for a lower price as part of a bundle or package is a common practice among businesses worldwide and in Ethiopia.
Qinash, translating to “discount” in Amharic, is a mobile and web platform serving as an online discount mall. Qinash provides a hybrid service where business owners promote and sell all kinds of discount offers, and buyers know where to get the right deals.
In the past, businesses used to promote discounted sales and special seasonal offers through temporary posters placed on their shop windows, which could be seen only by the number of people passing by the shop.
Through Qinash, all retail businesses can now promote seasonal discounts and unique bundle offers to a much bigger market. In addition, Qinash delivers all sales made through its platform and provides a dashboard where sellers can keep track of their transactions. Qinash is paid a 5–10% commission fee for the promotion, delivery, and tracking services it provides to sellers.
On the buyers’ end, just by installing Qinash, users can shop smart on the spot and have their package delivered. Qinash has a diversified list of sellers, offering buyers a wide variety of product options. Buyers also get notified of the status of their purchase through Qinash’s buyer notification bar.
From fast moving consumer goods like groceries/foods, fashion (Men and women), health and beauty, leather products, electronics, home and kitchen appliances, kid’s fashion, and furniture are some of the diverse items found on Qinash where discounts sometimes go as much as 50%.
Qinash is led by five young men with technology and business backgrounds. Each founding member leads departments within the startup, such as product development, business development, operations, and marketing. Being part of three startup support programs, SolveIt, YAW Incubation, and Ahun Acceleration Program have equipped the founders with important business, strategy, and marketing skills.
In addition, Qinash has also been recognized at continental awards. It was selected as one of 5 innovative startups in East Africa by the US chamber of commerce in the African Digital Innovation Competition 2022.
Qinash also took represented Ethiopia in #FastTrackTech Acceleration Program of the International Trade Center and ETHOS 2021(Entrepreneurial Talents’ House of Opportunities and Supports) of World Bank and SUNY Korea.
Amadou Daffe (Co-founder/CEO at Gebeya Inc.), Elias Demessie (Software Development Engineer at AWS), and Derartu Doto (Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook) make up the advisory team for this startup.
For the past three years, Qinash has been bootstrapped and financed by grants awarded by support organizations. This fund has been invested in developing Qinash’s mobile/web app, signing up businesses on the platform, promoting to buyers, and exploring multiple delivery options.
“Last-mile delivery is complicated and expensive, especially direct-to-consumer deliveries; we have struggled to find the right logistics company to outsource our delivery operations to. Which is why we have decided to design our own delivery system,” says Biniam Alemayehu, Founder and CEO of Qinash. “Qinash’s delivery system will incorporate e-bikes to ensure affordability and service efficiency,” added Biniam.
With this new delivery plan, Qinash targets to serve 2% of Ethiopia’s eCommerce market, valued at $1.2 million. Using inbound marketing strategies, it plans to acquire 4.4 million users in the coming three years.
So far, the platform has onboarded 100+ retail outlets and 4000+ users. Just recently, Afri Herbal, a local cosmetic manufacturing brand, joined Qinash to promote a seasonal discount package for their products. Biniam mentioned, “Working directly with manufacturers and other digital retailers is another engagement area the Qinash team will be working on in the coming months.”
Further, Qinash, which uses cash on delivery, is planning to integrate payment gateways such as Chapa and telebirr to enable users seamlessly experience shopping on Qinash. The integration will also allow Ethiopians abroad to buy gifts for their loved ones here using international payment options.
In August 2022, Qinash’s app went live with some exciting new features and updates. Go to Qinash.com to learn more about the new features and how to use Qinash.