Following the announcement that Safaricom is about to make a major play in the e-commerce industry with Masoko, it seems like current players are bracing for serious impact. Masoko is currently under testing and word is, things are going well so far and if we know this, you can bet that the competition does as well.
Jumia, arguably the leading e-commerce platform in Kenya, is said to be restructuring its onboarding process to allow vendors to sign up on the platform as fast as possible. Jumia plans to reduce the onboarding time to just 24 hours.
Jumia’s onboarding process includes an online application, physical approval of the vendor, training and finally uploading of the inventory. Jumia says, it now wants to make selling on the platform as easy as it is to buy. The move to get more sellers on the platform is seen as a measure to retain customers that will be attracted to the variety of products and price competitiveness that the new lot of vendors will bring.
Masoko on the other hand, well according to those participating in the pilot, has a more tedious onboarding process that requires vendors to have a KRA PIN, KEBS certification and have a registered business. A process that will ensure Masoko as a platform has quality products but will lock out a lot of vendors which might mean lack of variety and slightly high prices considering Masoko apparently charges 10-percent commission on every item sold, regardless of the price.
Jumia’s move could be considered a reaction but it is a reaction that could prove fruitful in the long run. We have not seen Kilimall make any moves recently, but maybe they have secret plans to take over the world.