Episode 12 Transcript

You're listening to the Business in Morocco Podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco. My name
is Ryan Maimone, I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experiences you in order
to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com
alright let's get started with today's episode it's going to be a lovely day
welcome to episode 12 of the Business
and Morocco Podcast. this week we're gonna
be talking about e-commerce in Morocco
I'm Ryan Kirk and I'm here with my
co-host Ryan Maimone, Ryan how's it been
going? what's new? how's life in America?
good we've been here for about two weeks
we've adjusted to the time difference
that's always fun with kids yeah just in
the time difference with kids is
interesting because it was about five
hours difference which means their
normal time of getting up in the morning
at 7 had turned into 2 a.m. fortunately
we were able to keep him up late enough
at night that they slept into all about
5:00am the first day and now we're
actually on a normal schedule so that's
going well we've also come to realize
that my wife is allergic to this area
what??? something that yeah something
especially during spring time with all
the pollen in the air and the trees so
she's got some allergies here that she
has not had in in Morocco or in France
so that's an interesting development and
I continue you know I continue to work
on this podcast and working on
supporting my clients who are in Morocco
and in the United States doing
advertising Google Ads, Facebook ads, and
preparing for Ramadan which is going to
be starting for you guys here soon and
we're going to be changing a little bit
of the way that we do advertising during
Ramadan in light of the fact that there
is a reduced work schedule and people
are fasting during the day and and
behaving quite differently during
Ramadan than they do the other parts of
the year mm-hmm yeah well I mentioned
last week that I went up to Tangier to
speak at a university while I was there
I filmed a video about about whether
Moroccan should try to escape Morocco
or whether they should invest in Morocco
and the video has received a lot of
attention and a lot of feedback and it's
not a divisive topic but there's
definitely a variety of opinions and
some people feel they really want to get
out of Morocco and some people are very
patriotic and nationalistic and want to
invest in making this country a better
place so that's gonna be great because
next week on the podcast we're gonna be
talking about some of the challenges and
the opportunities for Moroccans who move
overseas yeah that's great I look
forward to to discussing that topic I
have a few things to say about Moroccans
who who think that the grass is always
greener in that it's it's better to move
to Europe or to the United States and
you'll have a better quality of life
there I don't I don't happen to agree
having lived in all three of those
continents but we'll talk about that
next week
all right let's get into the topic of
the day which is ecommerce in Morocco we
have a bit of experience in this area
there are a few companies that are
really trying to gain a foothold in the
e-commerce space and I think the first
one that we should talk about the one
that is in my mind the most similar to
amazon.com which is the biggest and most
powerful ecommerce retailer in the world
is www.jumia.ma hmm I've used Jumia
quite a few times they have two options
they have Jumia local or Jumia Morocco
where the products are are in Morocco
and you can expect delivery within one
week and they have another search option
on their website which is Jumia Global
where the products are located overseas
mostly in China
and the delivery takes between four
to six weeks depending on the
the source of the product I've only ever
used Jumia local I've had good
experiences I bought a pillow I bought a
I bought some some shoes for my daughter
and every time the payment has been
processed I've received email
notifications that my payment was
accepted and the order was accepted then
I get further notifications regarding
the delivery time and date in fact they
actually give you the name and phone
number of the person who is going to be
delivering the item and when you can
expect them to deliver the item so in
that sense I've had very good
experiences the quality of the products
has always been as expected the delivery
is usually early it's usually earlier
than the expected delivery date when you
first order and overall I've been very
satisfied with the services and the
offerings the one challenge I think will
get into this a little bit later when we
talk about e-commerce challenges is that
I have yet to have a driver who was able
to locate my house without having to
call me first
yeah that's that's an ongoing battle we
have that problem every time we order
food or when we've used Careem, when we
used Glovo all these different services
where you can utilize your smartphone
that seems to be an issue when it's
location dependent yeah many many
delivery drivers in Morocco whether
they're on a scooter or they're in a van
they usually have flip phones and not
smartphones now if you don't have a
smart phone you're not able to use
Google Maps or Waze and that creates a
big challenge for the driver I think it
would be a lot easier if these platforms
started to provide smart phones for
their drivers they would be able to
complete a lot more deliveries each day
they'd be a lot more efficient and it
would be a better customer experience
if you type in my address into Google
Maps it pops right up and it is exactly
right so there should never be a reason
to call me to coordinate the delivery of
my items. oftentimes the driver his
French is is okay and my french is okay
but when you have two people who speak
French just okay that causes
difficulties especially when you're
trying to tell someone where you live
yeah and the names of the streets are
not always well known yeah I completely
agree actually our street isn't on
Google Maps and so I usually type in the
closest corner but I always get a call
and so a lot of these apps they they
give you the option to drop a pin so you
you do pinpoint your location but if the
person doesn't have a smart phone or
they're not comfortable following the
map they're asking for a specific name
of a street and that's something that
doesn't help people because our street
is tiny and nobody in Casa knows it and
the language thing I've had several
drivers who speak almost zero French and
that basically matches my level of
and so I've had times where I need to
walk out onto my street and ask somebody
standing there to communicate with the
driver in Darija because otherwise
I've got no way of getting the guy to my
house yeah this is probably the number
one challenge for e-commerce in Morocco
is the delivery process e-commerce is not
going to catch on until the deliveries
are reliable and the customer experience
is great this is what Amazon did in the
United States they basically went from
one-week delivery to four day delivery
to three day delivery to two day prime
delivery the drivers never called the
customer to ask them where they lived
it's an essential part of the customer
experience to have the driver be able to
deliver the products without the
homeowner needing to be there without
having to coordinate
the delivery by phone so if Jumia or
these other platforms like Glovo or
Marche Express or Click Apporter are
going to succeed in the e-commerce space
they need to figure out the delivery
process and how to enable their drivers
to make deliveries without calling the
customer yeah do you think it's possible
to deliver something here if the home
owner isn't there I mean you see a lot
of videos online of people stealing
packages off porches in the States I
mean there's just no way you could leave
a package in front of somebody's home or
on the steps of an apartment building
here that leads us to another big
problem so that the biggest problem for
e-commerce in the United States is the
inability to leave a package at a front
door because what that requires is the
the home owner or the business owner to
be there and receive the package and
then it requires the delivery company to
make multiple efforts to deliver the
package which costs time and money
mm-hmm but in the United States I would
estimate that 90 percent of the the
items bought on Amazon are left at the
front door without the person being
there and and it's actually gotten to
the point where Amazon has developed this
technology where the driver can remotely
open the door to the customers house
they scan the package they open the door
there is a camera inside the house that
videotapes the driver opening the door
and leaving the package on the inside of
the house so they have developed this
technology which solves the problem of
packages getting stolen off the front
porch by allowing the delivery driver
access, temporary one-time
access to the house and being videotaped
during the process that's incredible I
mean I know the technology's there
because I've I've heard a lot of Airbnb
owners that have software programmed
locks that just require a passcode and
they can be changed from your smartphone
remotely and sent to somebody and then
soon as the person's used it once they
change it again so I know the technology
is there I just hadn't heard of people
using it simply for e-commerce purposes
yeah when I worked in e-commerce I
worked for a company that delivered
amazon.com packages and stolen packages
and mis delivered packages was our
biggest problem and if you can get to
the front door and you can validate that
you're at the right place by scanning
the package and scanning the app in your
phone and it remotely opens the door to
the customer's house then you have
validated that delivery and the package
is safe on the inside of the house as
opposed to on the front steps
another solution I saw in Canada that I
haven't heard of here yet maybe I'm
unaware of it is having drop-off
locations so the bank that I go to in
Canada there's a whole set up of lockers
in the lobby various sizes and you can
have packages delivered there from
several different fulfillment centers
and then on your own time your own
convenience you can go and and just pick
it up there at a public place that is
called Amazon locker in the United
States and those lockers are placed
strategically throughout major cities
and places like convenience stores and
pharmacies grocery stores you go to
those lockers and you enter your code
and it opens the correct Locker that has
your package mm-hmm and that's a great
option as well I think that's something
that that could work here in in Morocco
and in fact they are sort of doing that
because they have Jumia locations where
you can order your package to be
delivered to the location they'll hold
it for you and you can go and pick it up
there actually this may be a great
business opportunity in Morocco as
e-commerce is ramping up but you have
the two problems which we've identified
which are drivers needing to find the
location the owner not being home or
there being a high risk of theft this is
a great solution
where you have these centralized
locations where there's a locker in each
neighborhood and that could be something
that you sell as a business owner to all
the different platforms to to Jumia to
Click Apporter to whoever is delivering
Amana is another one instead of the
instead of these companies having to
communicate with the customer and
arrange a time that they're they're both
at the location they just drop it off at
their convenience and there's a lot of
economies of scale there as well because
you can drop all the packages for the
same neighborhood right into that locker
so it saves these companies a ton of
money and it improves the customer
experience yeah if we've got any
entrepreneurs in our audience that that
would be something to think about, uh huh
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now back to the show
I think one of the other issues or
challenges for e-commerce in Morocco is
the widespread use of cash for everyday
purchases when you are paying cash in
person upon delivery which Jumia offers
you can either pay with your bank card
online or you can pay with
upon delivery then that is an obstacle
to efficiency as well because that
requires an interaction between the
driver and the customer there's really
no way around that if you're going to
exchange cash for the item upon delivery
to the extent that Morocco remains a
cash based society that's going to
present challenges to e-commerce yeah
definitely another issue that's facing Morocco when
it comes to buying and selling in a
global marketplace is the fact that
Morocco's currency still has capital
restrictions it's still closed and
controlled and that limits the
e-commerce possibilities here now that
that creates an opportunity for
entrepreneurial people like the owner of
clickapporter.com who he recognizes that
a lot of Moroccans want to purchase
things on Amazon and order it in from
Europe but there's a cap for how many
Dirhams they can spend internationally
as well as the hassle of having to deal
with the duoane and and the time it can
take and so Click Apporter has tied in to
Amazon's back-end and you can order
products and pay in Dirhams and they'll
sort out all the logistics and the
shipping and dealing with customs and
deliver right to your door so it's
almost as if for the customer that
Amazon has a fulfillment center in
Morocco and that you can pay in local
currency so it's it's created a business
opportunity to to get around some of
those restrictions that exist but the
hope is that in the future
Morocco will open the doors and make it
a lot more make it a lot more open for
the currency to flow in and out of the
country I think is the same with PayPal
if I understand correctly you can
receive hard currencies from around the
world and deposit those into your bank
but you can't purchase things or you're
limited in what you can purchase using
Dirhams in the global marketplace am i
understanding that correct yeah as far
as I know the restrictions for foreign
currency transactions are about forty
thousand Dirhams per year per person I
know that at my bank Banque Populaire I can apply for a visa card that will allow me
to use those forty Dirham's in overseas
purchases and Euros or in dollars or in
Pounds by simply using that credit card
and it'll it'll deduct the amount in
Dirhams from my account
mm-hmm but that's only possible in my
personal account if I wanted to make
overseas purchases with my business that
card is not available to me so I have
still yet to figure out how I can use
the revenue from my business to pay for
overseas services like website domains
and hosting and advertisements on Google
and Facebook so that is a challenge to
to e-commerce and to online business in
general in Morocco so we've definitely
covered quite a few challenges but let's
also look on the bright side
first of all Morocco has very good
internet and it does have one of the
highest internet usage and smartphone
usage levels in the region so there's
great opportunity there and when I moved
to Morocco five years ago
there weren't even any banking apps so
even major banks like Attijariwafa and
Banque Populaire they didn't even have
ability to do your banking on your phone
that's come a long way in five years and
it seems like every few months there's a
new opportunity where now I don't need
to go into Lydec and wait in line and
I can do it right from my phone through
my banking app same thing with paying
for my internet or adding credit to my
another thing has been Wafacash which
they put up all these small little
kiosks all over the place they are
everywhere in the major cities which
makes it far simpler to move money
around the country I've got the GB Pro
app on my phone so as I'm preparing to
sell a digital product here in Morocco
yes it's not as simple as it would be in
some other countries but it's far
simpler than it would have been just two
years ago so there's some challenges but
we're moving in the right direction
which is exciting yeah I think there's a
lot of opportunity for e-commerce in
Morocco just looking at the number of
platforms so we already mentioned Jumia
there's Jumia Food
there's Glovo, Click Apporter, there's
something called Marché Express where
you can order your groceries I was
looking there today you can get 12
kilograms of vegetables 99 Dirhams
which if that's delivered to my house
that sounds like a great deal Marjane
also offers delivery so you can order
online and all orders of two thousand
Dirhams or more will be delivered within
40 kilometres of a store so that's
another great offering especially if
you're going to buy large furniture
items or other things like that
the other e-commerce platform we haven't
mentioned yet is Careem, I think that
there's a lot of possibilities for Careem,
especially for those of us who don't
live on major streets where the taxis
are coming by everyday if we'd like to
have the the car come to our house and
then take us to a location that requires
left and right turns then a taxi may not
be the right choice for us we may want
to take a Careem and I think they're that
more and more people are going to be
using to go places in Morocco yeah agreed I've
I've really been impressed with Careem
service I was really sad when Uber left
Morocco and I posted something about on
Facebook and one of my friends commented
hey bro switch to Careem it's been
fantastic and he was right I've really
been impressed with the service if I'm
going somewhere I often use Careem or if
I need to get somewhere for a specific
time and I don't have enough flexibility
to just wait and see whether a taxi will
come it's worth it to pay a little bit
more for me to to use a Careem there's
also a couple e-commerce services where
you have the opportunity to sell things
like Avito and Babelist which is you
know a startup app just a few years old
in Morocco these are guys that grew up
in Europe that moved to Morocco to start
this business because they saw the
opportunity for e-commerce here they
could see the things we're talking about
the potential in this unsaturated market
and they thought we are going to have an
opportunity to to gain some first mover
advantages so I think there's these
challenges that are holding back a lot
of people but you can also see it as an
opportunity to be some of the first
movers and to begin businesses that are
challenging now but will become easier
and easier as these barriers and
obstacles are removed yeah Ryan you
actually have an experience that you
documented regarding your your order on
Glovo where can people go and see that
video that that you produced regarding
Glovo this past summer Glovo completely
covered the city in yellow billboards
advertising their services and I'd never
heard of Glovo it was brand new entering
the market starting in Casablanca and so
I made a video on my youtube channel
Maroc Treasure documenting my experience
and giving some information about the
application so if you've never tried
Glovo and you are living in either Casa
Rabat, Marrakech and
soon to be Tangier you can check out
that video just simply by Googling
Glovo Morocco
you'll see my face you'll see the video
and that's a great one to learn about
their services I think in general the
e-commerce atmosphere in Morocco is
getting better the availability of
platforms payment methods and delivery
is improving everyday I think there's a
lot of hope and a lot of opportunities
for e-commerce in Morocco going forward
yeah I agree
the future's bright
you've been
listening to the Business in Morocco
Podcast my name is Ryan Kirk here with
my co-host Ryan Maimone, if you enjoyed
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you'll have a lovely day doing business
in Morocco we'll see you next time

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