Enterprise54 is pleased to announce the launch of African Startup of the Week – a weekly series that features the most innovative or interesting startups the continent has to offer. From South Africa to Egypt, and Senegal to Ethiopia, new enterprises not more than a year in existence, would be uncovered to offer readers a
GW – Greetings World was founded by Abodunrin & Wamide Opanuga. Right from our courtship days, we have always seen cards as a medium to convey and express thoughtful messages to one another. Over time we realized that the messages in these cards had a positive impact on us as individuals and eventually our relationship.
E54 – When and why did you launch a greeting card business in this digital age? Is there even a market for that?
GW – In 2011, while in our final year in Covenant University, we decided to give other people the platform to convey words of hope, affection & inspiration to those around them. We started out in a traditional way of mass-producing and selling greeting cards to individuals and various retail outlets. As the years went by, Nigerians began to embrace the concept of e-commerce and we saw most businesses take their products to the internet. We decided to follow suit, but merely selling greeting cards online didn’t seem like a novel idea.
After much research in 2013, the idea to start a personalized greeting card store came up. We started work on it from January 2014 and by July 2014; Nigeria’s 1st personalized greeting card store was launched. Cards on www.greetingsworld.com.ng have been grouped into categories like: Birthday Cards, Occasional Cards, Seasonal Cards and Thoughtful Cards. We built the website on a foundation of features that we believe people will get to know and love, like the Card Customizer to allow you customize every design with your own words and images, The Delivery Date Selector to get cards delivered on your preferred date, and probably our most talked about feature- ‘Edimaw’, Our online shop assistant to help suggest the most suitable card for that special occasion, combined with a ton of other great features, and what you have is a web store that promises an experience that is simple, convenient and enjoyable.
Yes, there is definitely a market for it. Although, other alternatives (such as text messaging & social media) have come up over the years, greeting cards still trump these alternatives by retaining that special ‘wow’ effect. Also, Nigerian greeting card stores have recorded huge returns in the sales of greeting cards, especially during seasons such as Valentine, Christmas, etc. What we have done with www.greetingsworld.com.ng, is to use technology to preserve the culture of using greeting cards to exchange thoughtful messages while attracting a tech-oriented generation to engage in the same culture.
E54 – Who is your largest target market?
GW – Our largest target market is anyone who wishes to send messages of hope, affection & inspiration. You should send a thoughtful card today.
E54 – So how has patronage being? Sales volume, return customers etc.
GW – Although we’ve only been operating for about one month, the feedback has been amazingly positive and sales have increased by the week.
E54 – What are the obstacles to this business?
GW – Encountering obstacles is one thing all businesses have in common. The thing that sets us apart, however, is how we deal with these obstacles. Our major obstacle is reviving the culture of using greeting cards to convey messages of hope, inspiration and affection. On our social media platforms, we communicate in ways to reach people’s emotions and change their psychology.
We are also working on partnerships with certain companies to imbibe the culture. Handling the delivery logistics can be tricky because we have to deliver the cards on the sender’s preferred date.
E54 – How much was your startup capital for this business and do you think you raised enough?
GW – Over N5, 000, 000 was raised to start up the business. Yes, we raised enough.
E54 – What’s the staff strength of the company?
GW – Our team is made up of 10 talented minds from Project Leads, Web & Graphic Designers to Sales, Marketing & Logistics experts.
E54 – Where do you see Greetings World in the next five years?
GW – In the next five years, we see Greetings World becoming a preferred platform to send messages of hope, affection & inspiration using products like greeting cards, gift items, etc.