eCommerce Day and eCommerce in Kenya

A report done by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) presented at the first Africa eCommerce Week indicates that Kenya ranks 7th in Africa according to their Business-to-Consumer Index.

This goes to show that Kenya is an emerging market in terms of eCommerce.

The eCommerce day organized by Digitalk was held at The Nailab on 15th May 2019 with the following people as the key speakers:

  1. Peter Ndiang’ui - Co-Founder and CEO GOBEBA
  2. Sam Chappatte - Managing Director Jumia Kenya
  3. William Benthall - General Manager Glovo Kenya
  4. Michael Mureithi - CEO Cheki Kenya

One of the main highlights was the evolution of the on demand economy with William Benthall giving an example about the Music Industry. As the Digital Revolution was taking shape, he had to board a bus to buy music at a downtown shop. Several years later, Apple Music set the pace when they launched in 2015, making access to music efficient and convenient.

He also touched on the importance of data and AI, which Glovo as a company uses to get insights of customers to make their product better. This is through features such as the thumbs up or down on their App, that users can give feedback with about their service.

With Jumia having the largest reach within Africa among the invited guests, Sam Chappatte mentioned the focus they have on vendor data. They organize forums for one on one conversations with their vendors to understand their needs and thereafter customize their service based on the vendors' feedback.

A question from the audience was if they consider their customer data as well, in which he explained that it is all about finding a balance and serving the part of the business which matters most.

Another important aspect was on customer focus. Michael Mureithi emphasized that every customer is unique, and it is therefore important to ‘enjoy’ negative feedback and use that to build your business.

The eCommerce industry is constantly changing, and so are the consumer needs around it. A talk by Peter Ndiang’ui was on super apps, which implies many apps under one umbrella app.

Giving an example of GOBEBA ,the company started as a gas delivery company. With time, his customers started making additional requests to their riders. This included running errands for them like grocery shopping and parcel delivery, and even bank transactions done on behalf of their customers.

Such instances give an insight on the need to have a new kind of platform that offers all services under one roof. Examples of superapps are Rappi and Go-Jek in Columbia.

He summed up his talk by emphasizing on the need to have a healthy competition culture among the eCommerce sector in Kenya. Peter pointed out an emerging trend of business entities with huge funding giving retailers money to sign contracts that lock out other businesses from trading with them.

The talk ended with an eCommerce award announcement to promote the eCommerce industry. Read more about the awards and how to register here: http://digitalk.co.ke/eaward/

Thanks again for the support, responses to the newsletter via email and for reading this.

Until next time.

Mark and Team Nendo.

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