Retail chain Tuskys was named Best New Business of 2017 by Jumia Kenya in recognition of outstanding accomplishments across the e-commerce system.
In an event held on Thursday to celebrate its 5th Anniversary, Sam Chappatte, the Jumia Group Managing Director said they have witnessed steady growth of internet penetration in the country.
“Kenya’s internet penetration which currently stands above 67 percent has been instrumental in shaping the digitisation process of an otherwise mortar and brick industry,therefore giving traders a global reach as well as rendering a fair playground for stakeholders.”
Chappatte said smartphones have played a key role in e-business noting that being the primary point of internet connection for most people.
“Kenya stands in the leading connected countries in Africa, towering way above the continental average of 27 percent,” he says.
Dan Githua, Chief Executive Officer of Tuskys said since they joined the Jumia platform, they have seen themselves as a brand offering opportunities for small business to access the online market.
“We see ourselves as a brand through which many our vendors, especially small business, can access the online market through Jumia.”
“So, this award is an encouragement for us to continue with this platform for purposes of making them to thrive,” he added.
Tuskys joined the platform early this year after signing up as merchants on the eGift Africa, a brand of the global gift card network in December.
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Githua says as a retail chain, they are looking to increase its sales enlisted some of its products, which include furniture, electronic appliances among others.
“E-commerce is the future. We do not want to be left out. By the end of the year, our sales on the e-commerce will be equivalent to one store,” he says with optimism.
Darshan Chandaria, Director and Group CEO, Chandaria Group notes that the growth of e-commerce in Kenya is positive and offers opportunity for startups and the SMEs.
“It is a growing platform with a huge following. People visit it to buy their daily essentials. For us, it is an alternate channel where you are in control of the dynamics,” he said after receiving an award that recognised Chandaria as the Best Digital Kenyan Brand from Jumia.
E-commerce offers huge potential to SMEs including potential strategic benefits such as possibilities of creating new industries, developing new content and chances of finding or creating employment said Chappatte.
Anne Muchoki, the Kenya Investment Authority chair-lady said, “I have seen the transformation Jumia has made to businesses. They are moving us ahead in e-commerce. Let the market decide, eCommerce transforms lives.”
Other vendors and partners awarded include: Mitsumi Distribution (Digital Business of the year), Nairobi Safari Club ( Digital Hotel of the year – Travel), Clay Oven (Digital Restaurant of the Year – Food), Pampers (People’s Choice Award), Tune Hotel (Best New Hotel of 2017), Burrito Bar ( Best New Restaurant of 2017) and Java House Orbit ( Best Franchise Restaurant).
Growing population, a rising middle class and improved technology are some of the factors driving retail market in Kenya.
According to the quarterly sector statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) mobile penetration stood at 88.1per cent with 37.8million subscribers up from 36.1 million in the previous quarter. Broadband penetration now covers as much as 30 percent of the country.
“Improved technology has made goods/services available on demand through online shopping sites such as Jumia Mall, Kilimall and Facebook, thus widening consumer reach. Availability of cashless payment systems such as Mpesa, Airtel Money and Mcoopcash make shopping safe and convenient,” according to Cytonn Investments Analysts.