A new report by Jumia Kenya has highlighted how online marketplaces can bring opportunities to underserved rural regions, by providing access to millions of products and also creating employment opportunities.
The report dubbed “E-Commerce in Rural Areas” was launched on Monday and cited Beauty, Home (furniture, bedding, etc.), Phones, and TV as the leading categories currently demanded by rural customers in Kenya. Consumers mentioned Jumia’s competitive prices and product diversity as the main reasons for shopping online.
“We are proud to bring a modern and convenient shopping experience to customers located in small Kenyan towns and to give them access to millions of products that are not available locally. Jumia’s development in peri-urban and rural areas of Kenya also shows our commitment to driving economic growth and improving lives through the Internet,” said Charles Ballard, CEO of Jumia Kenya.
The report further highlights the crucial role JForce – a countrywide network of over 25,000 independent sales agents – who drive awareness in local communities, inform customers about Jumia’s offers, and help them order on the platform. JForce agents play a crucial role in boosting e-commerce awareness in rural areas, fostering growth and brand adoption. The agents are their own bosses and earn commissions based on their sales on the platform. They help rural consumers place online orders (which are then delivered within 2 to 4 days to local Pick-Up Stations where customers collect their orders).
“E-commerce enables all consumers to buy products at the same price whether they live in Nairobi, Meru, or Lodwar. Delivery costs have also decreased over the years, the average delivery cost to rural areas is now around Ksh 300 depending on the item’s size. Pick-Up Station deliveries have helped reduce prizes and minimize environmental impact”.said Chris Nyaga, Head of Logistics, Jumia Kenya. He added, “Eldoret, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kitale, and Kisumu are the areas showing the most promising consumer demand.”
Physically present across the country through more than 350 Pick-Up Stations (PUS), Jumia has developed its network of rural Pick-Up Stations to meet the needs of rural consumers. Its collaboration with over 45 local logistics partners ensures streamlined supply chain operations. It enables the company to offer competitive and timely delivery options to these rural areas.
The report highlights the company’s dedication to driving sustainable growth, empowering communities, job creation, and closing inequality gaps.