With technology set to transform the franchising industry in Africa, substantially increased growth is expected over the next few years as has been the case in many developing economies.
This is the view of Mark Rose, Head of New Business Development at Nedbank, who points out that the franchising industry has grown strongly over the past few years, with the number of franchises recently continuing to increase significantly.
Rose says that internet and mobile applications will continue to change the face of the franchising model.
‘The ever-rising mobile penetration across Africa has given rise to lucrative business opportunities within the field of mobile application and internet-based functionality for franchises’.
Locally, franchises offer a vast range of online services, such as iFix to book in devices for repairs, Car Service City to book cars in for a service or repairs and Pick n Pay for online ordering. Other platforms, such as online travel rating services including TripAdvisor and Zomato, allow for the online rating and reviewing of restaurants.
‘Notably, technology and the increase of internet access to the broader population have already transformed a number of industries, including music retailers and travel agencies. Likewise the franchising industry has become hugely enabled, as evidenced by successful franchises such as Debonairs and Domino’s Pizza,’ says Rose.
These two pizza franchises are capitalising on the growth in smartphone ownership and usage by enabling consumers to order online. Pizza franchises are among the fastest growing franchises in the fast-food sector.
With the introduction of these apps and websites, more people than ever before are now using these technology-enabled services.
Many more franchise sectors could further be reshaped entirely by an online franchising model, presenting massive opportunities for entrepreneurs to identify the next gap in the market.
Ideally, franchise owners should want to build or engage with a brand that is able to provide a unique value proposition and experience.
This is pivotal in earning and retaining substantial market share, essentially making your franchise the only viable solution and ensuring that potential clients have nowhere else to go.
With new technologies coming to market daily, it is crucial that you keep your finger on the pulse of these developments to ensure you engage with a brand that will be a market leader over a sustained period.
‘Ultimately a successful internet franchising model is about embracing change and adapting to your market. Don’t be afraid to try something new; if you have done your homework and you understand your audience, franchising in these new industries can prove to be a very lucrative endeavour,’ concludes Rose.