e-afford.co.za is a web based startup with a great focus on developing web applications to creatively lower the cost of education and increase it’s accessibility and quality. We develop web and mobile applications to help students plan,afford and ace their grades and how you choose to learn is very exciting for http://e-afford.co.za/
Dubbed ‘the Netflix for textbooks’, e-afford.co.za is a web based startup out of the University of Pretoria developing digital tools to help students be smarter. e-afford is developing a platform wherein students will be able to access textbooks at a fraction(about 65%) off what the bookstores are currently charging and still make 35% gross profit. Students can now rent out textbooks online and save their hard earned cash. The business model of e-afford is similar to that of Netflix when they initially hit the market, disrupting the movie rental space and catching incumbents sleeping. They are taking advantage of the impending digital transition that is coming and it’s going to come and the opportunity of changing the face of education as we know it.
They are certainly going to run into some challenges, the potential challenges for http://e-afford.co.za/ look a lot like those facing Netflix a few years ago (and a key one that does not):
Lack of a physical footprint on campus Industry long dominated by a few, deep-pocketed players; in this case, Van Schaik, Juta, Protea and Kalahari.com which operate more than 90% of campus bookstores between them Impending threat of digital replacement of physical goods A seasonal product need that does not fully utilize operational capacity But there is definitely something that http://e-afford.co.za/ would do better than anybody else, by virtue of being a startup, which makes it difficult to compete against and win: Test Quickly and Fast Rollout: The company can test concepts in discernable communities with limited risk and capital outlay. At the formation stage, the company could limit the number of books it needed. As it grows, it can roll out new services quickly after proving out the concept at say, Gauteng. Marketing: There is nothing as viral as a college campus. FTW! Operational Excellence: Like Netflix, e-afford will have to be excellent at pick, pack, ship, and return. This is incredibly difficult to do. Scalable: e-afford will always have better inventory than local bookstores and better pricing. Customer Service: 30-Day refunds, free return shipping, customer support, tree planting. More interesting stuff as we follow on the progress to be made in rolling out service. Good luck to the http://e-afford.co.za/ customer development team. Stay out of the building.
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