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How to build a low cost MVP

building an MVP
really cool image that has absolutely nothing to do with building an MVP

What is an MVP?

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It’s a way in which you learn more about your concepts place in the market without spending loads of time and money. A good MVP can help you determine if your product is a unicorn or a white elephant. With a well thought out MVP you can determine if your concept has the correct features required to make you money.

As a web development Agency manager i find a lot of customers start by building all the features they “Think” their users will want. This is not often the case. What actually happens is they end up building a lot of useless or sub-par features that no one uses.

Is Low Cost the same as Cheap?

When building an MVP one of the fundamental considerations is cost. Low cost is the objective but people end up with cheap. This is because people don’t realise that “Low” cost does not mean “No cost” and cheap is well, pretty cheap. Cheap is what you get when instead of getting someone to build professionally you attempt to build it yourself DIY, even though you have never written a line of code in your life. How hard can it be you say to yourself. So you spend 3 months learning to code in python two months learning basic CSS and HTML and finally emerge as an inexperienced two bit developer. You see, low cost costs you money, cheap cost you both time and money and gets you zero viable results

When looking for a developer don’t automatically sign up with the cheapest. If cost were the only consideration in building websites the internet would be a graveyard for half baked, poorly thought out, incomplete and abandoned MVP’s

How do you determine your core features?

Core features

So you have found the lowest cost option, now it’s time to determine which features are absolutely essential to your project. This is my approach. First of all, list all the features that are nice to have. Out of that list remove all the features that are not “core” or needed in the very first iteration. For example you’re building a web app that allows people to send invoices to each other, the ability for people to pay for the invoices is a core function, adding on a payroll module is not. Strip the application down to its most basic form, build it fast share, take feedback and build again.

Design with a purpose

Great design that delights is at the heart of a great MVP. There is a difference between good design and great design. Good design happens when you hire a designer and then flood them with your own ideas. Great design happens when you hire a designer, share your ideas, and give them the creative freedom to turn your ideas into a stunning concept. Easy enough, you would think right? trust me for many, this is Rocket Science.

Great design is not simply about the aesthetics. To achieve it you need to communicate your ideas clearly to your development team and give them the space to do what they do best.

Finally…

  • Remember the “minimum” in MVP. Strip it down to only the most useful features then reduce it to only the absolutely necessary. Keep it simple but still viable.
  • Low cost does not mean “No ” cost
  • Find a great team of developers, communicate clearly, then let them get on with it

TeamAlfy Live web development conversation

This post is a live development feed from our slack dashboard.

 

Costs Of eCommerce Websites In Ghana

You might want to have a fair idea of how much it costs to launch and manage an eCommerce website in Ghana after taking into consideration all factors that go into building and managing an eCommerce platform.

Domain costs

For a standard .com domain (ideal for an online shop), that will usually cost between GHc100 and GHc200/year.

If you prefer a .com.gh domain which is more expensive, you could be looking at somewhere between GHc250/year.

Some prefer a newer and more specific .store domain. These can cost somewhere between GHc300 and GHc600/year.

Do note though that domain name costs are yearly.

Online Payment Methods In Ghana

According to a survey by Wopedigital, the majority of eCommerce sites offered at least one online payment method, 52.1% to be exact.

Of the sites that offered online payments, 84.2% offered a single option whilst 13.2% offered 2 options. Only 2 sites (2.6%), shopayamorrison.com, and yevuclothing.com offered 3 or more online payment options.

Which online payment platforms are the most popular in Ghana?

The answer was quite clear. Some eCommerce sites processed their payments via SlydePay. PayPal, Flutterwave, expressPay, and Hubtel rounded out the top 5.

We came across 17 payment methods in total which you’ll find below listed in the order of their popularity:

  • SlydePay
  • PayPal
  • Flutterwave
  • expressPay
  • Hubtel
  • Shopify
  • The Teller
  • InterPay
  • Jumia Pay
  • GlobalPay
  • MIGS
  • Paystack
  • Amazon Pay
  • Stripe
  • Asoriba
  • iPayGH
  • eTranzact

You might notice from the list that some payment platforms listed aren’t available to Ghanaians. PayPal, Shopify, Amazon Pay, and Stripe are all payment methods you can’t sign up for from Ghana.

The sites using them might have someone based outside the country to help them with that. Or the owners opened the account when they traveled abroad.

 

Offline Payment Methods In Ghana

In the previous post was an introductory blog to eCommerce payment methods in Ghana.

Focusing on offline payments, as stated in the previous blog posts are all payment methods where the payment cannot be immediately confirmed within the website. This is due to the fact that the payment method is not integrated into the website’s systems.

The most popular offline payment method offered according to a post by Wopedigital was cash! This encompassed both cash on delivery payments and cash payments in-store.

The second most popular offline payment method was Mobile Money. This referred to direct payments to any of the 3 mobile money wallets being MTN Mobile Money, AirtelTigo Money, and Vodafone Cash.

In the third position was Bank Transfer, where a client transfers or deposits the order amount into a bank account.

One interesting option that was encountered was a store that provided its shoppers outside Ghana the option to pay via WorldRemit.

Both Flutterwave and Paystack have options that allow you to pay via bank transfer. Once payment is made, they’ll verify and have your order completed online.

So now we know about offline payment options offered by eCommerce websites in Ghana.

For the introductory post to this, check out eCommerce Payment Platforms in Ghana

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