The marketplace project began with a fresh reimagining of the company’s printed Yellow Pages into a platform, app and community proposition named Yep!, a play on the popular South African phrase “yep” and a shortening of the Yellow Pages name.
Accenture worked with local vendors whose insights informed blueprints for user journeys and the platform experience. It had to be simple for a small business to create a mini-storefront, upload a company logo and contact details, and communicate and transact with customers—ideally within a few quick steps. To shorten the learning curve, Accenture incorporated UX from familiar apps, like WhatsApp, and gave it a sleek and colorful look.
Merchants can set up a storefront, manage appointments and schedule bookings via the Yep! dashboard. The app alerts business owners to new customer requests for quotes. Customers can find a vendor, ask for a quote and chat with the merchant inside the app.
Because much commerce in South Africa is handled in person, Yep! can help SMEs bring business to their stores as well. In-person agent visits from the Yep! team provide digital guidance and business advice in a familiar and relatable setting. In the future, merchants may tap into an online academy on the platform to learn how to set up a great storefront and edit their service and product images.
SMEs can also use Yep! to quickly buy and sell services to other merchants. A forthcoming feature enables SMEs to bid for supply contracts offered by larger firms, furthering the Yep! platform as an integral part of the fabric of the South African economy.