A Nigerian start-up, SNAPRA, is set to revolutionize the e-commerce ecosystem with the launch of an application that combines the efficiency of Artificial Intelligence (AI), visual-nature of African cultures, youths’ social shopping behaviors and a reward-based system for improved online shopping experience.
Set for launch on April 15th, SNAPRA taps from an extensive research on young peoples’ social activities and provides a platform for instant shopping for goods through a platform powered by AI technology.
Co-founder of SNAPRA, Dr. Wale Oparinde, a Nigerian-born Washington DC-based entrepreneur and researcher, in a chat with journalists, said that the platform uses AI features to improve the shopping experience and allows for immense interactivity in purchasing goods, providing for choices that make online shopping cost-efficient.
According to him: “It is common knowledge that some new generation electronic gadgets provide users with functions that use AI technology, which makes them seem like they have magical features. Recognition is the source of that magic. This simply refers to when your phone becomes an interactive friend that can recognize your voice, face, emotions, and things around you. The world is building up for platforms that improve the shoppers’ experience through AI.”
Oparinde said SNAPRA is arguably Nigeria’s first AI-powered e-commerce application and empowers shoppers with a new experience using visual search. According to him, “SNAPRA uses images to enhance shopping online. To use the application, when you see anything you like, and would like to buy it, just take a photo, SNAPRA does the magic. The application identifies the item in seconds, searches where the item is being sold to you; you can compare prices seamlessly and buy at best prices with ease. SNAPRA helps shoppers find new information and save money!”
The application will be available in Android and iOS stores and plans to exploit the AI in changing the landscape of online shopping in Nigeria and improve shopper’s experience. He also added that users of the application would also benefit from a reward-based system through the affiliate marketing schemes of the existing e-commerce platforms, such that the application could also serve as a ‘side-hustle,’ for ordinary Nigerians especially the upwardly mobile youths. Giving an insight into how the application works, Nigeria-based Charles Olojede, a co-founder of SNAPRA, said.
“A young person could be in a party or any other function and sees an item, such as clothes, shoes or wristwatch that he likes and wonders where to buy it. Armed with the application, all he needs to do is to take a photo of the item using the application. The AI system processes the image, combs the internet and various e-commerce platforms and gets a pricelist for the item and platforms that have it in stock. With this, all that is required is to make a purchase on the platform.”
He added that the application is seamless to use and offers a unique user experience that would easily endear its functionality to all Nigerians especially the trendy, tech-savvy youths.
He said that the launch of the application will herald the deployment of AI-powered e-commerce to make the online shopping experience worth the while, adding “We realize that people are suspicious of online shopping because they often do not get the full value of what they bargain for. And because there could be clutter in making a buying decision, they end up with sub-par products and are often not satisfied. This is why we deployed the AI system to de-clutter the process and allow for a shopping experience that is hassle-free.”