Well. It finally happened about a week ago that Jumia.co.ke went live in Kenya. Jumia is the Pan-African e-commerce brand of Rocket Internet that has already been operational in markets such as Nigeria and Egypt, and finally has made it to Kenya. As reported on this blog last month, it was expected that Jumia.co.ke would go live any day soon since Rocket Internet was agressively hiring and had also set-up a landing page announcing the imminent arrival of the site in this market.
I had a look around Jumia.co.ke and at first glance it seems “well stocked”. There are a broad range of product categories ranging from mobile phones to shoes. The range seems to be quite large and impressive for an e-commerce site that is only getting started in Kenya. At the same time, it seems to have a broad range of payment options including mobile money as well as cash on delivery (COD), in addition to the e-commerce standard of credit cards and debits. One clever thing for me is the fact they included COD which makes a whole load of sense in a market where credit or debit cards are not always “de facto” and mobile money may not be availble (even though over 17 million Kenyans are on Safaricom’s M-Pesa).
In another instance of checking out Jumia.co.ke, and being a mobile addicted user, I tried it out on my mobile phone and was pleasantly surprised to find that it has been mobile optimized. This is really cool since the majority of Internet access in Kenya happens via mobile devices which is a no brainer if you are trying to build Kenya’s Amazon.com which is indeed the case for Jumia.co.ke.
Going forward, seeing that Jumia.co.ke has just launched in Kenya, the question remains is how well will Kenyans respond to the arrival of this e-commerce behemoth in the market. Yes, we do have other brands in Kenya that offer e-commerce. albeit at a smaller scale in most cases. In addition, from looking at the pricing, electronics seem to sell more or less at the same price as most “bricks and mortar” players on the ground but clearly they are not the most competitive around. I did however notice that items such as clothing and shoes are pretty competitive which is not bad. In concluding, I would like to say a big welcome to Jumia.co.ke and look forward to seeing them grow the e-commerce pie in Kenya!