The mobile market is a profitable business in Kenya, and over the last few years the sale of smartphones and tablets has soared. Jumia, Kenya’s leading online retailer, has moved to bank on this rise with mobile applications that allows shoppers to purchase on the website from anywhere in Kenya.
Jumia’s Android app, which was launched a year ago, has now been featured as a Google Play Store Favourite. It has already been downloaded over 100,000 times, a clear indication of the exponential growth of the mobile market. In fact, according to a 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report, 95% of urban Kenyans own an internet-capable mobile phone and mobile is the preferred platform for internet access.
Parinaz Firozi, MD for Jumia Kenya said, “The free app responds to consumers’ demand for convenience by providing access to over 50,000 products on the Jumia website www.jumia.co.ke, either through the search bar or by browsing the different categories. Users can also read product reviews and descriptions, place orders and pay through the app. All the transactions are securely processed.”
Since mobile shopping traffic is expected to surpass desktop in the next couple of years, it’s obvious that more mobile phone manufacturers will make their entry into Kenya. This means there will be different operating systems and a single model app will not satisfy the market. For this reason, Jumia has recently launched its Window 8 app focusing on proving a unique mobile experience to keep ahead of the competition and is expected to launch its iOS application by the end of this month.
Dozens of mobile-money systems have also been launched in Kenya, MPESA for example has extended to offer loans and allow for savings besides paying bills. Most companies have embraced this mode even for disbursement of salaries. Shoppers on Jumia can also pay for goods via mobile money transfer with MPESA leading the packamong players like Airtel money and YuCash
The e-commerce company is not the only one leveraging on the market, as financial institutions have also established e-banking applications that allow customers to transact over the internet and from their mobile phones. Similarly, companies such as Hellofood that allow you to order food online and Easy Taxi, an application that allows you to locate the nearest cab and have the driver call you back, have not been left behind in the mobile market party.