Kenya yet to fully embrace online shopping

Kenyan shoppers and merchants are yet to embrace online shopping, says Marcel Auja, M-shop co-founder.

Auja’s remarks followed failure by M-shop, Kenya’s one-year old pioneer online shopping system, to receive a full uptake in the country.

The phone-based system allows user to book of buses, airlines and shopping online. Users pay for the services and goods through Kenya’s mobile money services including M-pesa, Airtel money or Yu cash. The system afterwards sends a ticket number to the customers at a fee of 2.5 percent for every transaction. Customers can later use the ticket to collect goods or service at a merchant shop.

According to Auja, the system has faced various challenges in getting the merchants on board.

“We have had to spend a lot of money to convince business to venture in our online transactions,” he added.

M-shop, determined to get the country’s major bus companies as well as airlines on board, however reports a good start with Modern Bus, the only bus service that has embraced the system.

“By the end of December 2011, we had over 13500 transactions clocked and this was with only one bus company. We are targeting crown bus, easy coach, transline, kampala coach, randa coach and many others. In airline industry, we also targeting local airlines like jetlink and fly540,” said Auja.

Auja who is also the chief operating officer at MTL Systems’, the application developer, is optimistic that the system will succeed.

“At the moment we have only one bus company but plans are underway and we will have at least three bus companies by end of this month of April. We will also have several events listed in our platform,” Auja told HumanIPO.

Other Kenyan online merchants have previously faced similar fate. In October last year Kalahari.co.ke shut down due to poor business. The online shop boasted of 14 million users and over 3 million products and services listed at the time of closure.

Analysts argue online merchants have failed to acquire significant uptake in the country since majority of Kenyan still do not trust online transactions.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Latest headlines

Latest by Category

Tweets about "humanipo"