Eden Life is staking its future on an e-commerce marketplace in crucial rejig

6 mins read

Eden Life is launching an e-commerce marketplace for vendors to sell products in categories such as food, medicine, beauty, and cosmetics.

Eden Life, the Nigerian home service platform that provides laundry, cleaning, and meal-delivery services, is launching a new marketplace product as part of its broader strategy to expand into the larger retail market. The marketplace will allow vendors and small businesses in categories like beauty and cosmetics, electronics, food, and medicine to sign up to sell on the platform. 

“Our vision is to 10x the quality of life. Marketplace will enable us to scale our vision to 10x the quality of life across Africa,” said Deji Adeleye, the head of marketing at Eden.

In response to the dwindling purchasing power in Nigeria, Eden Life has been forced to rejig its model. The company launched in 2019 as a home management service to “improve people’s lives” by outsourcing their laundry, house cleaning, and meal delivery needs to vetted professionals. But its subscription model and cost have cut it from a larger market.

In 2021, Eden Life had a customer base of around 600 people paying an average subscription of ₦42,000 monthly, 40% higher than Nigeria’s minimum wage. Its CEO, Nadayar Enegesi, envisioned the company as a concierge for busy Nigerian professionals. But this focus leaves Eden Life susceptible to subscriber loss as an increasing number of the country’s middle class relocate abroad in one of the worst brain drains since the 1980s.

However, Eden Life has been testing new verticals in an expansion move to shore up its customer base. In July, the company launched Homemade by Eden, a quick-service restaurant. Now, it is adding more categories to its e-commerce model, as Nigeria’s e-commerce market is expected to hit $16 billion by 2028, according to a report by RationalStat, a market intelligence firm.

Eden Life’s entry into e-commerce means it will compete against market leader Jumia and its rival Konga. “[We want] to be bigger than Jumia,” the company said.

The company will charge a commission on the sales made on its marketplace, betting on a wide range of vendors and customers who get onboarded.

But Eden Life’s e-commerce efforts will rely heavily on an efficient logistics model. In a flash promotion for its quick-service restaurant in late July, its online platform collapsed after it promised to deliver a variety of meals for just N1,000. On the backend, the company expected no more than 400 orders, which tracks closely with its subscriber numbers, but it received nearly 2,500 orders within 24 hours, which put pressure on fulfillment abilities.

The company said it has learned from this experience and will work with more delivery partners to fulfill food and non-food orders on its new e-commerce platform, where order volume could soar to tens of thousands if the service gets off the ground. “We’ve partnered with specific fleets and businesses, and we’re growing our database of riders and delivery services in order to ensure that our customers get their orders by the time they need it,” Olumide Yomi-Omolayo, Eden Life’s Brand Manager, told TechCabal.

Additionally, the product infrastructure will allow vendors access to a dashboard to generate discount vouchers for specific customers, get ranked in their various categories, see locations where customers are ordering from and best-selling products, handle requests, and get feedback. Vendors also have access to information on the kind of customers that are buying from them. Customers who want to buy from the marketplace can be assured of safe payments, be able to monitor their orders in real-time and enjoy other services from Eden. 

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