This is a guest contribution from Florence Githinji.
Online shopping in Kenya has seen accelerated growth in the past few years thanks to various factors such as the growth of mobile telecom services, online payment based platforms and increased internet penetration.
Today, Kenyans are increasingly choosing to spend their money online over traditional brick-and-mortar stores, mostly due to the convenience offered by the latter.
Traditional retailers and brands have taken note of the trend and in hopes to boost their sales, are now moving in to take advantage of opportunities presented by the growth of the online shopping industry. While some are opting to launch their own online stores, majority are partnering with existing eCommerce platforms to capture this segment.
Bernard Gibendi, a sales representative at Mika Appliances says, “We recognize a lot of our customers notice the convenience of shopping online. You can easily buy a product from the comfort of your home and have it delivered to your doorstep.”
Online shopping also allows people to scout for the best deals of the product they want to buy.
Gibendi says, “There are various discounts that are run online as compared to offline. It’s easier for one to know the offers available online.”
His assertions are alluded to by Nelson Mukabana, sales representative of Armco appliances, “Online platforms allow us to tailor make campaigns for our customers through eCommerce platforms such as Rupu”
Among other benefits, such as new customer acquisition, eCommerce offers this brands free digital marketing of their products and as noted by Mukabana, an online shop is more cost effective and requires little capital as compared to a physical store.
According to Stacey Ondimu, Managing Director Rupu this shift is evidence to the growth of the eCommerce industry noting that this is a far cry from when Rupu started, five years ago.
“At the time it was almost unthinkable to approach renowned brands so we are limited to small merchants. Today, we partner with top brands across various industries from restaurants to travel, electronics and more.
Even stores that do set up their own online platforms still find that we are able to complement their online operations with a seamless eCommerce experience. We plug in by providing services such as Marketing, Delivery and Customer Service tailored to suit their brands” adds Stacey.
Rupu is now offering merchants the opportunity to have their own online shop with a customized url and marketing targeted to push their brand. This takes away the hassle of brands having to set up their own eCommerce platform.
Some of the brands currently on Rupu enjoying the newly set up Rupu Shops feature include Bata, Mika, Black & Decker, Philips, Hotpoint, Arcmo and more.