Pan-African e-commerce giant Jumia seeks to promote cashless, contactless delivery during Lockdown-driven e-commerce boom, Around the world, e-commerce and online shopping platforms have seen meteoric growth as consumers, restricted by the pandemic, have turned away from more physical offerings.
This is particularly true of Africa, where a dearth of vaccines is forcing governments to implement strict lockdowns and curfews to contain the spread of infection. Jumia, the largest pan-Africa e-commerce operator, reported a 22.8% year-on-year increase in active consumers in the nine months to September 2020.
Now, a surge in infections across the continent is ushering in a fresh wave of lockdowns, such as that announced in Uganda on June 18, banning the use of any private vehicle on the streets for 42 days. These latest restrictions saw Jumia Uganda announce a 50% cut on all delivery fees to help consumers cut costs when they needed it most.
Speaking to Innovate Uganda, Jumia Uganda CEO Ron Kawamara, said that as well as delivery fee cuts, the company is seeking to promote contactless and cashless deliveries. “Keeping with safety measures, consumers that visit our platform will be able to opt for the ‘contactless safe delivery’ option that has been implemented through Mobile Money or card payment systems.”
Kawamara added that through the system, customers will make prepaid payments for their orders and have their orders delivered without direct contact or cash exchange between the customer and the delivery agent.
In line with global trends, pandemic-related supply chain restrictions and demand changes have seen Jumia shifting its focus from its phone and consumer electronics inventory towards everyday product categories such as groceries and beauty products.
The African e-commerce market presents enormous opportunity and is projected to double in size to a staggering $75 billion by 2025. Uganda is an early frontrunner of this thriving market and was in fact the first country in the world to introduce mobile money in 2009.
Ms. Maureen Aguti, a regular Jumia customer, told Innovate Uganda that she sees the promotion of contactless and cashless delicery as a sign of building customer loyalty. “As a proud Jumia customer, I am so happy about this development. And with this lockdown, I hope deliveries will be made in time!” she said.