May 2013 was the date when the AFRICAN AMAZON to be was founded at an apartment in kileleshwa, Nairobi. One year old now, Jumia has managed to grow drastically making it the biggest online retailer in Kenya and across six countries and counting in Africa. It has managed to employ over 100 people on a permanent basis with a storage warehouse of 24,000 square feet.
How it started Jumia started at an apartment in kileleshwa where the company had products mainly electronics. Some people bought directly from the apartment in kileleshwa while the rest were delivered through bikers. Marketing was done through word of mouth and also family and friends. However, they managed to get more customers when the media started picking their story.
How it grew Jumia survived the start-up meltdown through unique selling points and great prices that were irresistible. They have managed to grow even bigger by having deliveries anywhere in Kenya, free return and exchange policy, having their own warehouse and strong partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers
Challenges Kenyan mentality of shopping in stores than online was and still is one of the biggest challenge that Jumia has been and it’s still facing up to now. There is the issue of online fraud that they are endlessly fighting, the big digital divide in Kenya and also getting the common “mwananchi” to shop online among others.
Why this business According to Jumia they got into this particular business because there were less risks involved compared to having a store. They wanted to establish a stress free store in Kenya and that Kenya is the IT hub in Africa making it the best place to start an online store.
Don’t do it just like many start-ups, at its infant times it faced a lot of challenges. Many people advised them against getting into the e-commerce business in Kenya and that it won’t survive nor see its first anniversary. Besides all the outcry not to do it, they still pushed on. Now, Jumia is the biggest online retailer in Kenya and six other countries in Africa hence, Africa’s amazon.
Advice from Jumia If you are starting or already started a business, always have a clear focus, Identify strong partnerships that can help you grow, make sure you have the right idea and strategy (a business should not give you headache) and lastly partners strengthen the brand than investors.
Originally posted 2015-05-10 20:13:05.