Scrader is a social commerce app that seeks to provide a reliable, trusted, and accountable online shopping experience for Millennials and Gen Z. With a wide range of tools created to make social commerce easier, safer, and more interactive, it seeks to redefine what it means to shop and sell online.

The adoption of the internet in Nigeria has been growing exponentially, with the country boasting one of the largest internet subscribers in Africa. Internet culture has grown along with this trend, facilitating a shift in consumer habits for the generations that grew up with the internet; Millennials and Gen Zs. They prefer to shop and buy items online, as opposed to brick-and-mortar services.

Social commerce has gained an increasing foothold on online shopping, especially Instagram and Twitter. These platforms are used by online vendors due to their reach, communities, targeted ads and the ability to grow a following and achieve virality.

Shoppers also use these social media giants due to the intimacy and interaction associated with vendor to customer relations in social commerce, as opposed to traditional e-commerce platforms. Retail social commerce sales is projected to grow by 34.8% to $36.09 billion in 2021, representing 4.3% of all retail ecommerce sales.

However, the very nature of social commerce always gives rise to problems of accountability and reliability, due to anonymity on the internet. On the customer side, they want to be assured the vendors are properly vetted and do not sell fraudulent items. On the vendor side, the sellers want security for their goods and a way to market them effectively and without much hassle. Slow checkout times, poor return policies, lack of customer warranty, unverifiable products and deficient vendor review/rating mechanisms are hampering the steady growth of social commerce.

This is where Scrader comes in.

Scrader is an anagram of the words ”social commerce” and ”trader”, and this speaks on what this startup is trying to do and its value proposition for its users. Scrader was conceived as not only a product but also an identity. A means of reaching out to, and bridging the gap between online commerce and Gen Z/ millennials, who are the key demographic fast adopting online shopping and trading.

According to Emeka Mba-Kalu, the co-founder and CEO of Scrader, the current limits of social trading platforms like Instagram, where most young online shoppers are found, have a huge trust and reliability problem. Scrader seeks to bridge that gap and create a trusted, accountable and reliable platform for sellers to meet shoppers without any worries of breach of trust or fraud. It seeks to become the one-stop place for everything social commerce and online shopping, with its suite of solutions for both vendors and customers.

With its seamless and simplified onboarding process, Scrader empowers its vendors, merchants, and retailers by facilitating

  • escrow payments, so every person on the platform has a sense of security and does not feel short-changed. Escrow services also allow vendors to safely deliver the goods knowing they will be paid, while customers are also rest assured that they get the items they have paid for.
  • Scrader also offers logistics and delivery solutions to its vendors and shoppers, at an impressive N1000 flat fee within Lagos.
  • Payments assistance and inventory management are also part of what you get by signing up as a vendor on Scrader.
  • Dispute management and conflict resolution mechanisms.

The most exciting feature, however, appears to be its product discovery feature.

A big hindrance to growth for most online vendors and traders is reach. Social media is such a convoluted space, and it is especially hard to gain organic and consistent visibility in such a crowded space.

Fortunately, Scrader facilitates product discovery for vendors and customers to shop their favorite items, for customers to engage with vendors, product reviews, and even chat options for both parties. This end-to-end integrated product discovery allows vendors on Scrader to grow their business, gain traction and build their business and product offerings.

All this creates an ecosystem (from discovery to delivery, support, and dispute management) and allows for a very seamless, safe, and enjoyable shopping experience for all parties.

How Scrader works

The Scrader team notes that all these solutions are available to users once they sign up on the app. The app is available on IOS and Android App stores, in addition to the web version, and is built with a mobile and desktop first philosophy, enabling users to run their business anywhere from their phones and computers.

Regarding the types of sellers on the platform, the Scrader team reveals that for now, the vendors on the platform include fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics, and adjacent products. But expansion plans are in the works to add more sellers across other markets onto the platform. Emeka notes that the goal is to dominate the space for fashion and adjacent products in Nigeria, and then expand into other markets and even move to other countries.

Although Scrader is still relatively young, it has started attracting significant growth. According to Emeka, trading volumes have tripled consistently over the past months, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Scrader has deployed its solutions to scores of client vendors and the numbers keep growing.

The plan is to keep on growing, the team notes. In terms of funding, Scrader has raised a family and friends round with plans to raise a pre-seed round in the works. It also has several ambitious partnerships in the works.

Regarding future plans, Emeka notes that the social commerce space is only going to get bigger. According to him, a lot of innovation and growth is still needed in that space, and its vast potential remains untapped. He believes Scrader will be “at the forefront of propelling this growth and be the go-to space for independent vendors to reach customers and manage their businesses”.

For shoppers, “Scrader seeks to be the one-stop trusted platform for them to shop freely with no hassles”. By enforcing common standards and quality assurance, Scrader wants to remove the notion of lack of trust in online shopping platforms, so that what you see is effectively what you will get.